Opinion: Facebook me!

By Zachary Schuster

They always used to say that engineers are out of touch with reality. Now they say that DI columnists are out of touch with reality. I’ll have you know that this writer here – well, he does think Saturday Night Live still is funny – has a firm grasp on collegiate reality. That’s right, I’m with it enough to be on Thefacebook.

If you are not familiar with Thefacebook, let me introduce you to this new college phenomenon. Please put down your DI (for now) and log on to www.thefacebook.com. Sign in and all that jazz and then proceed to waste the next hour mulling over whether Pearl Harbor or Jury Duty should be listed as your favorite movie. (You can add me as a friend, too). OK, now pick your DI back up and continue reading my column. You rock.

My expertise in the realm of Thefacebook ends here, but fortunately, a few of my more-hip friends filled me in on its many uses. I guess you can say that this old dog can’t learn any new tricks. I was thrilled when I finally mastered the use of Stalkernet (the University PH directory). I used to be proud of my online stalking abilities, but now, even the freshmen can run circles around these old bones.

As my roommate put it, Thefacebook was created so single people could find other single people who are interested in “a relationship” or “random play.” I think it also was created to fulfill our need to fill out stuff with completely meaningless information about ourselves. I remember those AOL Instant Messenger quizzes that people used to create back in the day. If those things are still cool for the youngsters, heaven help me and call me geriatric.

Another important aspect of using Thefacebook is acquiring a massive list of friends. I think it is kind of like the old “he who dies with the most toys wins” T-shirt, except that now “he with the most Thefacebook friends spends way too much time thinking about Thefacebook.” I know that some pretty random people already have listed me as “friends.” I could imagine – for the freshmen caught up in the college rat race – that the cute girl in Chemistry 101 who smiled at you could and should be considered a friend.

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I do think this “friend” thing can be clarified a bit. There should be different categories like “drunken hook-ups” and “this person is still alive?” Not only would this be more fun, but it also would help weed out the posers from those who actually have 185 friends. I guess it also would be a way for the “players” to brag about their exploits. Boo to that.

Regardless of its slacking and morning-after awkwardness potential, I think my roommate’s theory does hold a lot of sand. I, for one, hope Thefacebook finds a welcome home in college culture next to AOL Instant Messenger and DI shout-outs. Wait, they got rid of the shout-outs. Damn you, DI! Damn you to hell!

Dopes like me need all the help we can get with the whole dating thing. It probably doesn’t help to list “DI columnist” as one of my jobs, though. However, if you are looking for a DI columnist, I happen to be “single” and looking for “whatever I can get.”

If DI columnists aren’t your type, then there still are millions of other ways to find your Lothario on Thefacebook. Ladies, are you looking for a sensitive hunk who is into Sarah McLachlan? Then you’re in luck! There are 10 masculine Lilith Fair rockers to choose from. Guys, are you looking for a civil-engineering woman who likes reading Shakespeare? Too bad, there aren’t any. Apparently, you are not lucky enough to find a woman who is well versed in both Hamlet and rigid members.

Hopefully, my Thefacebook spiel has proven that even engineers can be collegiate hipsters. And because I am over my word limit, let me conclude eloquently and succinctly: Facebook me!

Chuck Prochaska will appear Thursday. Zachary Schuster is a senior in engineering. His forum will return Monday. He can be reached at [email protected].