Since the dawn of time, few words have been more effective at clearing a room than “I’m not on Facebook. Add me on Myspace.”
“Ah,” one says, after hearing them. “You are some sort of dangerous psychopath. Or in a band that has yet to attain mainstream success. Either way, this date/cocktail party/job interview is over.”
I thought this might just be my prejudice. “Not on Facebook?” I would gasp, agog. “But you’re aliv e.”
But it seems that employers are picking up on it, too.
According to the Daily Mail, if you aren’t on Facebook, this suggests to potential employers that you are a psychopath.
"See," everyone says, in relief, "the norms have shifted. Facebook is where we conduct the daily business of friendship. It's normal. And even employers are human enough to see that and overlook one or two misspelling-rife late-night postings."
And sure, we always knew that MySpace was the uncomfortable zone of the map where there be dragons and mediocre ska bands, living under the sustained delusion that the past 10 years had not happened. But Facebook use a sign of sanity?
Clearly, the Daily Mail and I are not friends with the same people.
Dangerous psychos do not tend to maintain a robust Facebook presence. They are too busy nurturing their anthropomorphic rats, or something.
“Spend all day frenetically documenting my thoughts, movements, likes and dislikes, sometimes in unpunctuated strings of ALL CAPITAL LETTERS?” they ask, with an eerie laugh. “Who does that?”
“While away my nights silently observing the behavior of my exes and keeping tabs on everyone I knew in high school?” your average deranged loner murmurs. “No, no, that would be crazy.”
“Become distracted from my work, unable to get anything done, in order to spend more time scrutinizing the behavior of my acquaintances?”
“Meet someone once in a bar through mutual friends, then spend the next day hunting him down with only his last name and city of origin to go by? Even I think that’s uncalled-for.”
“Befriend numerous strangers under the guise of my pet cat? Please, you’re spooking me.”
No wonder more deranged weirdos aren’t on Facebook. It’s usurped their prerogatives.
In fact, I think employers (and the Daily Mail) may have things upside down. If not being on Facebook is the hallmark of dangerous psychos, then dangerous psychos may well be on to something.
I wonder if there are openings in the Unemployable Deranged Loner line. It would take work, I know. I have never been one to spend my nights in the basement feeding my iguana whatever it is iguanas eat and making long lists of grudges. I do not have any real desire to kidnap someone and oblige him or her to RUB THE LOTION ON ITS SKIN OR ELSE IT GETS THE HOSE AGAIN. I have no delusions about being personally addressed by the television set or the Book of Revelation. And I lack any burning desire to sit up nights with the decayed corpse of my domineering mother. But I'm sure I could get into it if properly conditioned.
And it would be a nice change from all the ultimatums about switching to Timeline.