A girl I knew in high school has memorized all of Janet Jackson's dance routines. A college acquaintance is afraid of train whistles. Five separate people harbor lifelong desires to visit New Zealand. How do I know these things? Because they won't stop writing about them on Facebook!
Facebook's "25 Things About Me" meme seems harmless enough; people write 25 facts about themselves and post them on their Facebook pages, just as they do with videos, status updates and photos of last weekend's party. An estimated 5 million of these notes — that's 125 million facts — have appeared on the website within the past week. Assuming it takes someone 10 minutes to come up with their list, this recent bout of viral narcissism has sent roughly 800,000 hours of worktime productivity down the drain. (Read "Does Facebook Replace Face Time or Enhance It?")
But it's just so stupid. Most people aren't funny, they aren't insightful, and they share way too much. Facebook is a loose social network; a "friend" on Facebook might translate to someone you'd barely recognize in real life. I don't care that my college roommate's sister is anemic or that my stepcousin's boyfriend gets nervous around old people (apparently he's afraid they're going to die). (See the best social-networking applications.)
Below are 25 facts I wish people hadn't told me about themselves. They come from friends, friends-of-friends, friends-of-friends-of-friends and coworkers. They are all real, though I wish some of them were not.
1. I eat tacos with a fork.
2. I was fat in middle school. The wake of that horror has yet to subside.
3. I keep forgetting that Barack Obama is our President. (See pictures of Obama behind the scenes on Inauguration Day.)
4. I have been pooped on by a monkey. (See the top 10 animal stories of 2008.)
5. I am addicted to the ass-slap dance move. Sometimes I don't even notice I'm doing it.
6. When I finally told my now fiancé that I liked him (as in, liked him liked him), I drunkenly gave him the Anchorman line, "I want to be on you." He had only seen the movie once and had no idea what it was from.
7. Just because I realize that Asian women are smarter, more attractive, and have about themselves a generally superior level of class does not mean I have a fetish. Just that I'm racist.
8. I eat gummy bears by tearing them limb from limb and eating their heads last.
9. I can't grow hair on my arms.
10. Two of my best friends are under five feet tall and I have an intense fear of midgets.
11. I think yoga is incredibly spiritual. I know the Lord is with me in my downward dog. (See pictures of facial yoga.)
12. I was born with jaundice.
13. I was born pigeon-toed.
14. I was born with an extra kidney. I wish I could have sold it on the black market and made some money, but it was underdeveloped and did nothing but cause me to wet the bed until the third grade.
15. I like to tape my thumbs to my hands to see what it would be like to be a dinosaur.
16. A horse once fell over while I was riding it.
17. I don't believe in democracy.
18. I cried when Spock died in Star Trek II. (See the top 10 1950s sci-fi movies.)
19. I drink two glasses of wine every night before bed. Wait, did I just admit to alcoholism?
20. If you asked me to tell you my favorite movie, I would have a hard time not saying Titanic. (See the 100 best movies of all time.)
21. I once sent a teacher into early retirement by pretending to be a cheetah and swiping at her from under a desk.
22. I once ran into New Kids On the Block's Joey McIntyre in the lobby of an off-Broadway show. I told him he was the first boy I ever loved. He laughed and kind of smiled. This was the most gratifying moment of my life.
23. My friends say that when they shave my back, I purr like a walrus.
24. I don't understand what people see in the Godfather trilogy.
25. Sometimes I think pee smells like Cheerios.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I've finally found something more stupid than Twitter.
I'm scare and hope that Time doesn't find me! But seriously folks, is Facebook and the 25 things meme a waste of time?