I have Facebook Network Envy.
I put this in capital letters because at some point in the future, I'm going to petition the CDC to make it an actual disease. Not quite as volatile and hard to control as SARS, but it makes the chicken pox pale in comparison. It's like being David Sedaris all the time, and that's rough.
Anyone who uses Facebook probably already knows what I'm about to say, because even the most jet-setting and seemingly cultured among us sees friends of friends who are in Facebook networks that cause pangs of jealousy and its nasty cousin, envy. "Why does SHE get to be in the Egypt network. Why can't I be part of the Yale Club. I want to be Bear Sterns!"
Just kidding about the Bear Sterns part.
But honestly, I am secretly jealous of the Indonesia, the Paris and the Abu Dhabi amongst the (1) NETWORK HERE segment of my friends. Mostly because their lives seem more exotic and exciting than my own with its grande coffees from Starbucks, subway commutes and fixation on American Idol. I feel so pedestrian in their wake.
Yes, these pants are from the gap. Yours were made by a villager in Tibet from the wool of wild mountain yaks? That's nice.
One thing I learned very slowly as I got older was that middle school playground life IS life. Cliques, cool kids and pack-mentality last until, well, death. Adults aren't miraculously moral and ethical when they hit 21. I sure as heck wasn't.
And it strikes me that Facebook really is like that middle school playground. Using our networks we segment ourselves into groups and sub-groups, automatically creating in-crowds and out-crowds among the people we know and people we wish we knew. (We'll leave aside the people we wish we didn't know.) Who hasn't felt a little surge of happiness upon noting," I have 103 friends!" Even if it's 3 friends, it's better than no friends. Even if they are all cooler than you.
(P.S. - This post was also written on the contraband MacBook Air.)