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Oh, the Random Things We Do for the Sake of Facebook

Narcissism? Pseudo-celebrity? Boredom? Whatever the motivator, Facebook's "25 Things" lists are surely clogging up your news feed.
Narcissism? Pseudo-celebrity? Boredom? Whatever the motivator, Facebook's "25 Things" lists are surely clogging up your news feed. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

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By Dan Zak
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 6, 2009

1. We have been tagged in a Facebook note titled "25 Random Things About Me."

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2. Update: We have received seven of these alerts in the past seven days from seven different people.

3. This is just another online outbreak of mass self-disclosure and self-importance, like personality e-mail forwards of yore (boxers or briefs? Pacino or De Niro?). Everyone is typing out Random Things this week, and asking -- nay, tagging -- us to do the same.

4. A friend's No. 3 Random Thing: "One of my favorite things to do is belt out monster ballads in my car, while pretending that I don't see people looking at me like I've lost my mind."

5. We are above reading these carefully worded train-of-thought brain dumps, we think. And we'll make our own list only if we get paid by the item.

6. We read them anyway. Each list amounts to a single-spaced, one-page document enumerating "facts, habits, or goals" about the author.

7. Fact: We are weak.

8. Habit: Checking Facebook every 30 minutes.

9. Goal: To get back to work.

10. So we turn this Facebook mini-phenomenon into work.

11. In the past week, the daily rates of note-creating and friend-tagging have doubled and quintupled, respectively, says Brandee Barker, Facebook's director of communications. "People of all ages and from all over the world are writing 25 very touching and insightful 'things' about their lives and tagging friends in order to share it more broadly," she says.

12. A friend's No. 17: "I have pooped my pants more than three times as an adult."


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