Thursday, February 05, 2009

Defending Facebook's 25 Things About Me meme

If you are on Facebook, you've definitely run into the "25 Random Things About Me" meme by now. Now the media had decided to start bashing it ( calls it 25 Things I Didn't Want to Know About You) and much to my surprise, I am here to defend it!

I am skeptical about most things that originate on Facebook, but here's why this meme worked for me.

1. It is a meme, not an application. It's just an idea--write a note containing 25 things about yourself, and tag 25 friends in that note. There is no third party application involved other than Facebook itself.

2. It didn't come into my email inbox. Everyone hates spam, but I also have a very low tolerance for forwarded emails of any kind, even ones that are well-meaning. If I am in my email inbox, I am most likely trying to work. When I go on Facebook, I am looking for a little brea, a planned interruption. There is a huge difference between having fun stuff pushed at me versus seeking it out.

3. I was sent this message by people whom I am genuinely friends with. A whole bunch of them started doing it and it generated a fun sense of community.

4. My friends must have good taste. Generally speaking, they didn't overshare with personal details. The only weird thing that happened for me occurred when an old friend wrote something about me in his 25 Things list.

5. Even though I was only technically sharing it with friends, my filter writing this was not to put anything I wouldn't want to see published in The New York Times. Good thing, because now the Times is now reporting on it, too. Extra good thing since I realized later I had set my privacy settings to make that part of my profile visible to "my networks" which included 300,000 people in Raleigh/Durham. Whoops.

6. I love finding out about my friends' hidden talents. I recommend this type of icebreaker in The Mojo Mom Party Kit, and the Facebook meme had that same vibe. I found out new things about people whom I have known for a long time.

7. It helps to have a sense of humor about the whole thing. It's not high art or rocket science.

I'll stop at seven things didn't expect me to go all the way to 25, did you?

How did you react to the 25 Things meme? Was it fun? Did you learn anything interesting? Has it jumped the shark yet?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't done it; I've read a few. More interesting to me is that Time and the Times are reporting on it. What a shame, what a waste of the scant journalism that takes place in this world. They could be lighting so much else, originating, uncovering, discovering, instead of coattailing on the diversions of social media.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Jeanne said...

I had something interesting happen when I posted mine. One item was "When I was in high school, I had a letter to the editor published in Time magazine, which espoused a view I now am totally against." A friend of mine, whom I have known since early childhood, commented and said that he remembered that letter (even some of the specific wording) and that he had been disturbed by my view and was glad I had changed it. At the time, I didn't even know he had read it! I was glad that the 25 random things cleared up this bit of the past.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Amy@UWM said...

I really liked doing it and love reading my friends' 25 things. Couldn't agree more with Karen's comment. Reporting on it in Time? Really?

10:40 PM  
Blogger testanator said...

I agreed with Time magazine. Some people are very bland and boring. The amount of time people are wasting on it is foolish. Perhaps if it was 5 things or 10 things it would be a little more feasible.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Tina BS said...

I have not read the article, but I must admit I think it is the Facebook version of spam and forwards.

4:31 PM  

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