There are just shy of twelve million valid reasons for quitting Facebook, but my path began with its suggestion that I befriend Christy Turlington.
Knee-jerk-wise, friendship with Ms. Turlington seemed like a killer idea. Imagine: Menlo Park chose me, a private citizen with average cheekbones, to socialize with the number one fashion model in the history of the world.
Unfortunately, I broke protocol with Facebook and thought about it. Granted, at this point, I am on a strict need-to-know basis about my own life, but still... why this friendship? A click on her page revealed that Ms. Turlington and I have one mutual friend, no shared "likes" and no common interests except Christy Turlington. It was confusing. But then, it should be confusing, seeing as I have 379 Facebook friends and I've only spoken to maybe 210 people in my whole life.
OK, a theory: Facebook has transitioned from connecting us to people we know but wish we didn't to people we don't know but wish we did.
Eh, that's a little thin. Not that liking someone enters into Facebook's idea of friendship, but there must be a better reason they think Ms. Turlington and I would like each other.
I clicked on "Photos" and well, if the curator of the Louvre saw this page, he'd bounce Mona Lisa and have Ms. Turlington's profile photo hanging up by the end of business tomorrow. Just pondering how genes and chromosomes ever strayed from their usual mischief to pull off a face like hers...
...Let me throw this out there: Maybe Facebook thought I'd find Ms. Turlington attractive. Truthfully, she is my type. But how would they know I have such quirky taste? Perhaps they perused the bone structures of my current female Facebook friends and --
No. With a billon clients, it's crazily labor-intensive for a Facebook employee to slog through profile photos and madly extrapolate that I'd find Ms. Turlington appealing. Any MBA would tell you that's an inefficient use of human resources.
After a thousand years of gazing at her profile photo, it dawned on me: Ms. Turlington and I have history. Once, when visiting from New York, my mother said to me in a grocery store, "The girls in Los Angeles are pretty. Like that one at the check-out: Not a drop of makeup!"
"Uh, that's Christy Turlington."
"So I have good taste, huh?"
"The best, Mom."
I've told that story a lot. Maybe it got back to Facebook and they thought I needed a little nudge.
Or maybe this is like one of those police stings where they offer free baseball tickets to people who have $350,000 in unpaid parking tickets, then bust them at Will Call.
Boy, this is nuts. Obsessing over the cyber-friendship of a supermodel... ridiculous.
Then again, she is a supermodel.
The investigation continued. Ms. Turlington's "About" page says she lives in New York. Maybe Facebook formed an algorithm (whatever that is) or code (again) in which, instead of hooking us up with people we moved 3,000 miles away to avoid, they're now connecting us with people who would make us move back. This theory dovetails nicely with Facebook's clear-cut goal of world domination: Beyond dictating with whom we socialize, they want to control where we live.
Intriguing, no? I'm a little hazy on how they'd monetize this new feature, but I'm also a little hazy on how to monetize cash -- a conclusion that prompted a series of exciting thoughts: (A) Once a day, I should probably consider the possibility that I'm an idiot. (B) Facebook doesn't see human contact as part of friendship but humans do, so (C) Seeing as my enrollment in humanity and Facebook are current, there's a bigger choice to be made here.
If Maybelline accidentally invites me to a gala to which I accidentally show up, meet Ms. Turlington and find we have more in common than cloned sheep, fine. A friendship would be possible. But for the moment, I can't even presume to call her Christy.
So, the only logical choice is to be all retro and return to MAKING new friends. And that's how this became a story about quitting Facebook. Rumor has it, the degree of difficulty of quitting Facebook lies somewhere between leaving Scientology and busting out of Leavenworth, but it feels right.
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