June 08, 2009

My favorite thing about Facebook

For years I've been thinking about writing a YA (young adult) book -- mostly because I've always loved the YA genre of anything: movies, series, tv, magazines. I think what works so well in this genre is that no matter who you are, where you grew up, or what particular situations you found yourself in, a lot of the underlying emotions and feelings of adolescence are pretty much universal -- the feeling of alienation, the frantic scampering around trying to create/define/find yourself, the feeling that your parents just weren't on the same page as you are, this helpless lack of control over your own material circumstance. Oh, and of course, the cast of characters in high school were pretty universal -- the jocks, the nerds, the popular kids, the mean girls.

Anyway, I was thinking about all this earlier today and I realized that part of the reason I love Facebook so much is that not only has it given me the opportunity to reconnect with friends from my past, but it's also allowed me this voyeuristic reconnection with people I wasn't at all friends with. What's brilliant about Facebook is that it gives you closure -- Facebook shows you how the story ends.

High school? Ended with graduation. I never knew what the cute guy in my bio class did after graduation, nearly fifteen years ago, until he friended me on Facebook this year. The mean girls who used to slap around underclassmen in the hallways (I went to public school in New York City)? Most of them are married with babies now. And the handful of my friends from freshman year who were either expelled or dropped out? Nearly all of them are successful high-powered corporate lawyers now. Seriously.

This is what I wished for in high school. I was just a normal kid, not popular, not unpopular, just normal -- and completely aware of the strict social divisions in school. And I wondered all the time when I was 15 -- What happens next?

Well now we know. Facebook is awesome.