Defined by a Facebook Page

Every morning as I walk to the bus stop, I have my ipod playing, headphones glued to my ears. There I am, standing at the bus stop, waiting for the big white vehicle to turn the corner and sway just a bit while it veers to the right. When I step on to the bus, I remove my headphones, say good morning to the driver, and strategically sit next to the closest group of people I can find. Why do I remove myself from my own world where only my playlist and I exist? You would be surprised at the fascinating conversations to be overheard on the morning shuttle.

The other day as I was casually looking out of the window at the ever so familiar scenery I heard two girls gossiping about their love lives. “So, is he just your boo, or are you two F.B.O?” “F.B.O?” I thought to myself. I had no idea what she was talking about. The girl, however, seemed saddened to inform her friend that they were not, in fact, F.B.O.

That day I got home and consulted my Facebook-obsessed roommate, if she could define the acronym for me. “Duh, Ally,” she said in that where-have-you-been tone she often uses, “F.B.O. means Facebook official, like are you officially in a relationship with somebody on Facebook.”

It was suddenly clear to me why the girl this morning on the bus had been disappointed that she only had a “boo” and did not have a F.B.O. relationship—and did this mean she had no relationship at all? Was the act of clicking a few buttons and declaring your commitment on your personal web page the only way to have a real relationship?

Does web validation stand true for everything else; are things only important if they’re on the web? If nothing shows up in a Google search of your name, are you a nobody?

Does my Facebook page signify who I am? I feel as though I am a very complicated person, how can the things I casually post on my page really identify and capture my personality?

I started to look at my Facebook page from a different perspective. It was true, you could tell a lot about me by looking at my page. My pictures could tell you a lot, snap shots from what I had done that weekend (whether I remembered them or not). You immediately would be sure of whom my best friends are by the numerous comments, even my mom and sister were listed as my family. My page could even tell you what some of my interests and hobbies were.

Maybe we do make these sites and invite people into our lives as a way of leaving our mark, and showing that we are apart of the world, maybe seeing the website is proof that our lives have meaning and are real.


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