Monday, March 16, 2009

Confessions of a Facebook Addict, Part II

I did not get to be on Oprah last week talking about Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, the 24-year-old Facebook founder (and bazillionaire), stole my thunder and landed in the coveted seat next to O on Friday.

While I suppose he was qualified enough to speak with authority on the subject of Facebook, I cannot imagine that, at the age of 24, he is really in touch enough with the fastest-growing demographic, those over 30, to understand what kind of monster he has created for Generation X.

Facebook may have been marketed to the high school and college crowd, but my young FBBFF’s (I have a few, mostly relatives, others who don’t know how ancient I really am) are NEVER on Facebook as much as my over-thirty-five posse. Maybe it is because they are too busy texting ("text" can be a verb, right?), maybe they haven’t lived long enough to be able to write a list of 25 Things.

Truthfully, though, I believe my generation was simply born for this.

First of all, we are the original multi-taskers. We not only grew up walking and chewing gum at the same time (choking hazards were unheard of in the 1970’s), but we could do it all WHILE CROSSING THE LIVING ROOM TO CHANGE THE TV CHANNEL. Yep, those were tough times, but we persevered. We learned to rotary dial the phone with one hand while applying spray gel to our bangs with the other and never had to choose between a Coke or a smile.

Thanks to these many complexities of our upbringing, dragging our iPhones around the house to keep up-to-date on our FBBFF’s status while we cook, fold laundry, and shave our legs is not a challenge.

But not only are we a multi-tasking people, we are also a people unafraid to stir the cyberpot once in awhile. Remember, we did not have “sensitivity training” in the ‘70’s, and, yes, it probably shows. So what? At least we do not fear the possibility of a low Scramble score showing up on our walls.

And we Generation X-ers love our entertainment. We practically invented MTV. Or, at least, we figured out how to make our own music videos using our parents’ eight-tracks, a chorus line of Monchichi’s, and a Light Brite. Posting a David Hasselhoff video or a Snuggie parody to share comes naturally to us.

We also love our friends, probably because we played with them in our backyards, not next to them on a linked-in DS. In fact, my friends and I are already planning the nursing home we will all one day retire in, complete with a Cougar Wing, Hair Band Mixers, and nightly Happy Hour.

But the one thing that really sets us apart from the young kids, is that we have nothing to lose by Facebooking. We do not have to worry about incriminating photos surfacing on Facebook, because (thank you, God) no one carried a camera phone in the 1980’s and all negatives have long been destroyed. Furthermore, we already have our jobs and no longer worry about what our parents will say. So even if that picture from Spring Break ‘92… you know the one… should ever surface, we do not care. (No, Mom, I never did that.)

“What’s all the buzz about Facebook,” Oprah asked? Even Young Zuckerberg was at a loss as to why his little networking wonder is a Godsend to those of us who grew up playing with real people.

But any Gen-X-er (and most of our Boomer parents) can tell you it is the perfect way for a generation busy raising a generation of their own now to keep in touch with those friends from simpler days gone by.

So, Mark, thank you for expanding our worlds beyond the walls of our homes and cubicles. Thank you for giving us a place to come together, where we can talk about your generation and how spoiled you all are, where I can show off pictures of my kids and act like one myself, without judgment.

And, as an aside to Mark Consuelos, I would friend you in a heartbeat!


Morgan the Muse said...

Zuckerberg. That is a fun name. I wonder if he ever got made fun of in high school? I am sure if he is geeky enough to come up with Facebook, he probably was.

la_vie_en_shoes said...

Love it, love it, love it, Jules! Even more than I used to love Bonnie Bell lip gloss! You captured the wonderfulness of being a Gen X-er and left out the embarrassing parts like how in the 90's we wore babydoll dresses with Doc Martens and carried vintage Strawberry Shortcake lunchboxes for purses.

adlibby said...

Another classic post Jules! Love it. That Mark C is a cutie isn't he? But an unlikely candidate to be hanging out with Oprah. What's up with thaaaaat?!!

Sassy Britches said...

Walking and chewing gum while crossing the living room to change the TV channel! Oh, that totally sums it up! Gen X rocks!

Sassy Britches said...

And yaaaay for your award on the sidebar!

the life aesthetic said...

Great post, Jules! I love the Lite Bright reference. Wow, it has been a long time since I thought about that...we are the MTV generation, and you are right in saying that Facebook allows us to connect with people when there really is little time to connect in person. ... especially when your FBBFF's are all over the country/world. Oprah should have called would have been great! Please keep them coming. We look forward to your next posting!!

Queen of the Road said...


A reader of my book sent me to your site, and I can see why: Mine is a humorous memoir, similar snarky tone, 200 shoes in the subtitle. I'm going to add you to my blogroll - if that Oprah producer ever calls again, I'm riding your coattails. (It's a Prada, right?)

Jules said...

Morgan, I'm certain he was, but I doubt it happens as often now!!
Shoegirl, Libby, SB, TLA... I'm glad you enjoy being an X-er as much as I do!
And QOTR, I hope we coast into O together, and yes, I would love a pair of Pradas for the occasion!