I know I am often far too persnickety about how I think Facebook and other social media sites should/shouldn’t be used. I sent someone a scathing email the other day because they sent me a friend request for their business. “That’s what fan pages are for!” I said. I also don’t care for people leaving personal notes on my wall when a private message would be be more appropriate. But I understand that not everybody has such rigid feelings about these things, and I try to let it go most of the time.
But about Fan pages… I would like to think that when you become a fan of something, you are actually committing to it in some way. You are saying, “yes, I want to see updates about this thing in my newsfeed, I want to interact with other fans of this thing, and I want to publicly declare that I am a fan of this thing, and you too should become a fan of this thing.” To me, it is not just a matter of clicking a button, giggling, and moving on. But I know I take all this too seriously. As my friend Angie says, “The internets, they are silly.”
Still I am perplexed that 26 of my Facebook friends have become “fans” of a dill pickle purely for the purposes of delivering a wry dis to the band Nickleback. Sure, I agree that Nickleback sucks. But they are so not even on my radar, I can’t really get worked up about them sucking. If this pickle does indeed achieve its goal of getting more fans than Nickleback, will that be newsworthy? Will anyone tell Nickleback that this has happened?
This just in: apparently such things are newsworthy, as this Mashable article reports. According to this, an onion ring was able to get more fans than Justin Bieber (whom I’ve never even heard of, but I am fairly isolated from much of pop culture). And this meme, “Can this (random object) Get More Fans than (some famous person)” has become pervasive. I can’t say that I’m really bothered by all this. I’m not that much a curmudgeon. I just wonder if there is a deeper meaning or lesson about human nature in it, and I suspect, disappointingly, that there is not.
But if you like being fans of things, here are three pages I recommend:
M. David Hornbuckle (where I try to do the bulk of my self-promotion)
PopCanon (my longest lasting and probably most beloved former band–and I didn’t start this page myself, though I’m an admin)
Southside Fiction Writing Workshop (more on this another post soon)