Thursday, April 19, 2012

What is it about facebook statuses?

Confession: I just spent the last 15 minutes looking for a good, sad, and juicy song lyric to post on my facebook wall.  Something intriguing and provocative.  Something to perfectly match my mood.

Then I stopped and asked myself, "Why?"

What is it about stringing a dozen words together and putting it up there for all of my "friends" to see?  What is the purpose of that?

Don't get me wrong.  I appreciate and even "like" interesting, funny, or thoughtful posts that other people put up.  But there is definitely something satisfying and almost relieving in writing a good status update.  There is something about it that enhances your feelings of goodness and suppresses your feelings of badness.

But what is it?

I may have an answer.

It's the same answer that a classmate gave in my Writing Fiction and Poetry class nearly 5 years ago when the professor asked, "Why do we write?"  His answer came after a few others.  "To inform people."  "To invoke emotion."  "To change ideas."

He said, "To make sure we're not alone."

We write to make sure we're not alone.  To see if anyone else out there feels the same way we do.  And I would venture to say that, whether you are talking about a newspaper article, a science paper, a blog, or a facebook post...most of them are written to make sure we're not alone.

There is a thrill with getting "like"d.  And even more-so with getting comments.  The thrill says, "Yes!  Someone gets me.  Someone has felt this way too."

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