Hey guys! My exams finished up yesterday, hallelujah! My AP Biology exam was my most daunting obstacle – especially considering I found a twitching lizard on its back two days beforehand in my basement – but it’s over now. I haven’t been doing a great job of posting or responding to comments and messages, though that will change as I have more free time. My birthday is in ten days so maybe I’ll post about that later. For now, however, here’s an anti-process essay I wrote for my Advanced Composition course; as always I’d appreciate any comments or constructive criticism!
Unless you are above the age of 110 or you actually like to go outside, you probably know about the social networking website Facebook. Many people assume the purpose of this site is to share status updates, cute baby pictures, and other personal tidbits. Well, they’re wrong. People really use Facebook to boost their already blown-up egos by gaining “likes”, or the visible approval of fellow Facebook members. There are several strategies you can utilize to get likes, and thus, to validate your existence. To start, seek pity and reveal embarrassingly private details – remember that one time you saw that attractive stranger at Walmart? Remember how you then realized he was your cousin? You should share that, because people will feel sorry for you. Proceed to post about controversial topics even if you do not care about them, because this will make people upset and they may accidentally click the “like” button. This is how I got my first like on Facebook: by telling everyone that people who watch My Little Pony are secretly members of the KKK. If all else fails you can simply beg people to like your posts; yes, you may come across as a friendless loser, but that’s better than being a likeless one. Keep in mind that in this day and age if you aren’t liked on the internet, you’re not liked anywhere.
Studies show that the more people feel sorry for you, the more likes you will get on Facebook. Make sure to share the sad events you experience on a daily basis – people will sympathize with you when you post about waiting in line at Chipotle when you’re hungrier than the kids in Africa or how your boyfriend isn’t as hot as Taylor Lautner. Enlightening people about embarrassing moments helps as well. If you forgot that you’re a girl and you get arrested for removing your shirt in public, make sure to publicize that, because everyone wants to know about your stupidity. It makes them feel better about themselves. Don’t hesitate to type out your darkest secrets either. Did you have a traumatic incident involving headless Barbie dolls when you were a child? Let it all out; even though “Facebook” and “filter” both start with “f”, they are by no means related to each other. No matter what anyone tells you, your entire measure of self-worth should be based on superficial standards, especially your likes per status ratio.
“If you post about controversial subjects on Facebook you will get pregnant and die,” – said no one ever. If you support the right of koalas to have abortions – no matter what their ethnicity, sexuality, impartiality to adorable cat pictures, etc. – go ahead and let everyone know. Supporting uncouth stances concerning hot-button issues can earn you many fans and even more likes. But, if you are against people who take selfies in public or individuals who also love Joseph Gordon-Levitt, promote your beliefs so that your friends may get so frustrated their fingers slip and hit the like button. Even if you have a random political thought, like, “hey, why is the government forbidding people to own baby pandas?” do not hesitate to post it on Facebook. Jay Heinrichs states in his book Thank You for Arguing that you should avoid talking about politics when you want to persuade people; most individuals have deeply rooted beliefs regarding the issues they care about and will not likely change them. On the internet, however, all is fair in love and unnecessary social commentary.
As a last resort you can directly request that people give you likes. If you feel like a manipulative jerk, just make up a fake cause or charity to entice people – post something like “for every 20 likes this status gets, I’ll donate $1 to the Ponies for Peons Charity.” Incorporating pity can help to play on the pathos of unsuspecting victims; perhaps you should state that your pet rock just passed away and only Facebook likes can revive your spirits. When nothing else works, it’s time to take it up a notch. Abandon all social propriety and type out the following message: “PLEASE LIKE MY STATUS PLEASE LIKE MY STATUS PLEASE.” This will evoke such a strong reaction of pity and disdain that at least one person will be forced to like your status. Otherwise, the amount of sheer awkwardness would annihilate all of Facebook in one foul swoop. The key is that your goal is to get likes – not for people to actually like you.
Living in the 21st century has large implications. You must share all of your personal secrets on the internet in order to succeed, to be known, to be appreciated. You must sell your thoughts on topics you don’t even really care about at all in order to be recognized. You must get down on your non-existent electronic knees and beg to be well-received on social networking sites. These steps, while effective in the order provided, will succeed no matter what – no matter what, you will create a void within yourself, a dark hole of desire for online recognition. But from this process, from the pain, from the suffering, comes the beauty of a click on your status update, a like – like a phoenix from the ashes.