This is kind of funny. The other day on WPR there was a reporter-gal talking about Facebook. She’d been on it for a year or so. One of the things she said that was interesting to me was that Facebook’s format was such that there was “no room” for sarcasm on it. I kind of believe that and I kind of don’t. Here’s my take on it: The more personal information you share, the more friends are recommended to you. The more friends you have the less likely it is that you know them. The less well you know your friends, the less likely it is that you will engage in sarcasm. Because you really need to know people and they really need to know you for sarcasm to work.
So I’m talking to Don about this and he made the trillion dollar point that sarcasm does not further Facebook’s goal of knowing as much about you as they possibly can, no matter how banal that information is, so they can target you with ads. Indeed, any information you type in that isn’t personal is just stuff they have to sift through. And isn’t that interesting? I never thought about it like that.
Ever since I had that conversation with Don I’ve taken this perverse delight every time I post something sarcastic on Facebook. I was taking delight in it before but now there’s an extra layer of enjoyment because I’m consciously trying to ruin something. Case in point: the other day I was having a conversation with Deanne Chase about making “Pie Day” an actual holiday. At one point the subject shifted to vacuuming and I mentioned that I never vacuum my floors because I’m afraid of the sound the vacuum makes. That wasn’t sarcasm, really, that was just a lie. But as I typed it I laughed and laughed wondering if there wasn’t a demographic for 41 year old white ladies who were afraid of the vacuum. Do you see how much fun this is for me now? I think what we say on there matters to someone. I want to mislead them and waste their time.
(The truth about the vacuum, by the way, is that I vacuum the floor at the studio extremely infrequently because I imagine that the sound of the vacuum bothers my hedgehog and my iguana. Since I’m not psychic I don’t really know if it bothers them or not. Also, I’m lazy. See? I reward you with the personal info when you bother to read the blog. )
I do love Facebook though. I’m in contact with two people I haven’t seen in years, I can message locals about Bob Foster weekends and I can contact almost any lampworker and get a reply within hours. Also, Today’s Fortune finally has a home where people see it and like it, or not. So Facebook is a good tool for that. It’s also kind of a game.
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