I’ve realised the most annoying thing about Facebook isn’t being told that someone I dimly recall from college has a cold, twice, because the first time they spelt it wrong. It’s not the hours I’ve wasted on Scrabble, either, because that was educational
and I keep winning. It’s the trundling mundanity of it all, in the face of the day-glo potential daftitude of a social-networking platform.
As this wonderfully earnest to-do list amply demonstrates, half the charm of being online is coming up with a pseudonym: your alter ego, your avatar, the other, more interesting you. A name, like that of a first pet, which will echo through time to ennoble or humiliate you in later years.* Futuristic space children wearing x-ray specs will perch on your knee and ask ‘What did you call yourself during Web 2.0, Grandma?’: imagine how disappointing it will be to answer ‘I was Wendy JonesformerlyBooth‘, when the likes of malevolent_crumpet were available to you.
Except that’s supposedly Facebook’s USP, where one may not ‘impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent yourself’. Yawn, boo, etc. (And aren’t all those people who keep ninja-ing me misrepresenting themselves, or do I just not know my friends very well?)
Obsessing over screennames is something I got quite familiar with over the summer, when Beloved British Ed, myself, and everyone who dared to come near me had to try to rustle up an alternative one for Big Woo‘s central character.That’s me, evidently paperless, tattooed with (mostly awful and hopefully illegible) suggestions. After weeks of pondering why she wasn’t a julie_madly_deeply or a cinnamongirl, we gave up and went back to what we started with. In the process I discovered that virtually every ridiculous thing I came up with already existed on MySpace. Alas, young to-do lister, there are probably multiple SonOfBitches out there already. I bet he ended up deciding Loaf Man wasn’t so silly after all…
* Starsky remains a perfectly sensible name for a goldfish. And I still applaud whoever it was who named their cat Graham ‘because it was grey’.
Good to see AA Gill saying what surely everyone must think about Poliakoff. Tragically rich people, family secrets, a big posh house: time to delve back into the Big Box of Ideas, maybe?
Flailing at West Wing season 7, nearly making gingerbread men, realising that the only thing in my kitchen which would allow me to do so is a gingerbread man-shaped cutter, eating jelly babies instead. I really need to stop having such exciting weekends.