Friday, June 23, 2006


Facebook is all the rage. It's the means by which you give out all manner of personal information to your "friends"--who include everyone who happens to live in the same city or have attended the same college--and then "they" will use it against you. Who are they? Employers, for one. And sleepaway camps. Authority figures of all shapes, sizes, and, uh, degrees of authority.

I totally saw this coming. Exhibitionism crossed with name-dropping blurs the line between public and private. Katie, 14, who likes weed and boys, is a different story from Katie, 14, who likes weed and boys, goes to school at Chapin, camp at Ramah (an odd combo I realize, these are just examples), and so on. Bragging and anonymity are hard to reconcile, after all, and it's no fun boasting of your exploits if you cannot associate them with the appropriate Ivy or sorority. That said, it's ridiculous that employers would penalize an of-age individual for photographs online in which they are not passed out, not skanked out, but merely drinking alcohol. I mean, where does that leave these people?

But--and this I find devastating--blogs are also part of the problem. Which I find amusing because this site has if anything helped me in the outside, non-sitemeter-checking world, by bringing me in contact with countless writing-obsessed, French-Jewish-everything-fixated compadres. But moreover, Facebook has come to my aid on several occasions. Specifically, every time I'm considering a new hairstyle. There are girls in my "networks," whose profiles I can access, who I've never met but who nevertheless have the hair I covet. First it was this girl with long hair and long bangs. But then I remembered that as my hair grows longer, it also grows wider--a problem Ms. X does not seem to share--and so have turned to a new young woman, who has the same long bangs, but with an angled, longish bob. Yes, she's the one, and I will be bringing her picture to the hairdresser.

Which brings me to my daily anecdote. On the Upper East Side today, I saw some women who were--how best to put this--very much of the neighborhood. All I caught of their conversation as we passed on the street was, "When you get highlights, do you get lowlights also?" And I thought, wow, how lame. And then I went home and tried to decide if maybe I'd keep my bangs the same length, just cut the rest of my hair shorter so as to make the bangs appear longer. I think that effect is what's being referred to when you hear people mention the "theory of relativity."

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