Facebook takes over

Matt Siblo

It’s not that I think I’m better than everybody else. Well, maybe. Nevertheless, that’s a completely different article altogether.

When I first heard that Villanova was added to TheFacebook.com, I played it off casually. I was confident in my vigilance against such an entity, as I’d been strong in the face of such adversity before. I had avoided similar time wasters such as MySpace and Friendster without batting an eye.

It should be noted that due to my staunch opposition to such online tomfoolery, friends and anonymous weirdoes took the liberty of creating profiles for me on both websites without my written consent. I mention this just in case you do a background check.

All crotchety protesting aside, The Facebook.com has gripped this campus like a plague of locusts, and who am I to judge something I’ve never experienced?

Well, since I am pretty awesome, I was contemplating just continuing to judge without understanding.

Instead, I decided to join as my own personal sociological experiment. Besides, if I play it off as if I’m only joining because of a newspaper article, my moral conscience is still in the clear, right?

Here were my personally inflicted ground rules.

Rule number one: No picture. From past experience, I know that everyone’s picture on these kinds of things are those vapid, grainy shots in which they are intentionally not looking at the camera.

Rule number two: No dating status. Enough said.

Rule number three: Only befriend people who invite you first. Since this was meant to be an experiment, I was not to actively participate. This rule does include ‘”poking,” unless someone pokes me first, because you know, I have to keep my rep.

The following is a day-by-day account with my experiences:

Day 1- My first invitation for friendship is a gent from high school whom I have not spoken to in over three years. I’m officially weirded-out, and it’s only been one day.

Day 2- Two other people have now added me. I think my name (Matt The-Big-Man Siblo) might take away from people’s ability to find me. But with a name as slick as that, a brotha just don’t care.

Day 3- I did a search for folk rock act Iron & Wine and found that 37 people at Villanova list them as an interest. Who are these people, and where do they socialize?

Day 4- I’m still going strong with not posting any pictures or not inviting anyone. I’ve started to notice my attention-span wander due to my emphatic searching for people. I feel as if I’m being sucked in.

Day 4, entry 2- Michael “Skip” Nyhan has added me as a friend. I realize now that I’m in too deep to get out.

Day 7- I have officially joined three groups and have now accepted a friendship from someone whom I don’t know. Should I have rejected this person? I mean, rejection can be tough. I’m too embarrassed to inquire further. Does this mean I can ask anyone to be my friend, and they will accept me because it’d be perceived as rude if they didn’t? I’m still not sure what “poking” is.

Day 9- I broke down and put up a picture because that dumb little question mark was annoying me. So I don’t sell my fledgling integrity out completely, I posted a shot of my blowfish stuffed animal.

Day 11- Dear Diary, I was poked today for the very first time. Everyone always says that you’ll never forget the first time, but it happened so fast that by the time I realized it … it was over. I don’t feel different, though. This is all so confusing. Love, Matt

Day 12- Second high school friend adds me, and this one apparently has a gargantuan tattoo of a Michelangelo painting on his back. Wowzahs.

Day 14- It’s been two weeks and I hit a rather depressing milestone. While in the company of two friends, I decide to completely ignore the flesh and blood humans that I’m surrounded by and instead, stare at my monitor desperate and detached.

This episode had me obsessively checking everyone at Villanova’s voting status. My frenzied state lasts for 90 minutes. I now have a problem.

Day 16- I realize that I stare at my own profile at least twice a day, although I’m confused as to why exactly I continue to fixate on my own information.

In my head, I liken this profile to my own personal baseball card. Albeit it’s a card without all the impressive stats and athletic talent, but a baseball card nonetheless.

Day 21- In a depressing loss of self-control, I add one of my friends who have specifically not added me because he was aware of my experiment. I’ve failed myself and probably others. Pull over world, I want to get off.

That, in a nutshell has been my facebook experience. Not quite as harrowing as the Stanford Prison Experiment, but it’s up there.

It was taxing at times, but I think I’ve learned a lot about myself and others. I learned that I went to Monsignor Farrell High School and that I’m taking six courses this semester including Cognitive Psychology. I also learned my birthday, my cell phone number and the fact that I’ve been a member since Sept. 30.

Oh, facebook, such hard life lessons learned.