Friday, February 06, 2009

A word about 25 things

I came across this article on the Huffington Post tonight that is basically a rebuttal to all the people that are decrying the "25 Random Things About Me" meme that has spread across Facebook faster than gonorrhea at an orgy.

I wanted to stand up and applaud when I finished it.

Here's the thing. Lists like that are by their very nature narcissistic and masturbatory. So is blogging for that matter. I mean, seriously, I've been at this for five years and do I really think that even 25 people give a damn about what I think about Madonna or want to hear about the latest thing I did with my daughter? No, I'm no fool. (I've killed the boss. You think they're not going to fire me for a thing like that?) And even most of the people that I am friends with on Facebook are likely not interested in the 25 things that I listed.

But it interests me. And in the end, that's all that matters. And while Facebook is a bit different from blogging because it is much more interactive and social, whereas blogging sometimes feels more like journaling with an audience (however small it might be), the same thing applies there.

A lot of the anti-25 things rhetoric is very much focused on people sharing stuff that they probably shouldn't. And yes, there should be a certain amount of thought put into the stuff you put on the internet, even if it is on Facebook which is semi-private. But what is to stop one of your "friends" from airing your dirty laundry, especially when many of us have work friends on Facebook? People that don't have a certain amount of propriety will almost surely be bitten by it at some point.

The other argument that the anti-25 things folks are griping about is that it is mundane. Well sure it is. But it certainly wasn't to the people that wrote it, although I will admit to liking the ones that are well-written. And they didn't write it for you. Ultimately they wrote it for themselves, whether they realize it or not. The entire 5 year history of this blog could fall into that category: I didn't write it for you. I wrote it for me. And while there are certain posts that were inspired by certain folks or that I wrote hoping to get a rise out this or that person, in the end, it was all for me.

Yes, I'm a selfish bastard. In the end, the truth comes out.


Anonymous said...

I got tagged a million times for the 25 things meme (I'm much more popular on Facebook than I am on my own blog, but that's not saying much), and I thought "#$%&!" At first, I thought I'd ignore it. How could I possibly come up with 25 appropriate things? Would my list be too braggy? Too down on myself? Too preachy? Too embarrassing? Too boring? But, some of the same people kept nudging me to do it. I was very self-conscious about the tone of my list. In the end, I don't even really know how it turned out, but like you wrote, at some point I stopped caring because the fun part was seeing how people would react to the list.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I was tagged several times as well and of course, me being me, I cannot resist anything meme-ish. The first time I was tagged was before Christmas. I ignored it for a while, but after getting tagged a few more times, I thought I would begin the list and then just save it as a draft until I could complete it.

Because I'm a techno-idiot, I ended up losing the draft I had saved by pressing the wrong buttons or abusing the finger pad on my laptop, so I'm thinking that my random things were better off lost into the vastness of cyberspace never to be seen again, anyhow.

The fun part of the exercise WAS to see how people would react; you are right about that, Mary. My random things put me to sleep, so non-reaction from others would have just been depressing.

I keep telling myself, "It's only a stupid quizzie, Tina. Why does this bother you?"

Boring bothers me. Average bothers me. Being so stupid as to lose a silly draft on my computer bothers me.

But, it has been fun reading everyone else's shiz :) I'll not be participating this time, though. I'm sure there will be other ones around that I can play with soon!

Matt said...

I had the same reaction...tagged several times, ignored it several times. It felt so narcissistic until I realized that I really enjoyed reading everyone else's list.

The boring lists DO piss me off, though...c'mon people, think of your audience!