Being “friends” on Facebook is more of a fantasy or imitation or shadow of friendship than the traditional real thing. Friendship on Facebook bears about the same relation to friendship in life, as being run over by a car in a cartoon resembles being run over by a car in life. Facebook is friendship minus the one on one conversation, minus the moment alone at a party in a corner with someone (note to ninth graders: chat and messages don’t count); Facebook is the chatter of a big party, the performance of public cleverness, the facades and fronts and personas carefully crafted, the one honed line, the esprit de l’escalier; in short, the edited version. Do you know anything at all about your Facebook friends? Do you, in spite of the “missssssssss you girlieeeee!!!!!” and the “I cantttttt believe you are going awayyyyyyyyyy,” care about all of them?
It should be said that adults are not necessarily less fictionalized, or more themselves, on Facebook; they are simply less natural, less conversant, less in their element, when they fictionalize. How many people do you know who are in the midst of some great existential or marital crisis, but whose Facebook page is all family photos from the south of France, or the Vineyard, or Bangkok, and charming things their children said?
Somewhere in the gap between status posting and the person in their room at night is life itself. So fiction is the right response, the right commentary, the right point to be making about who we are in these dangerously consuming media, in these easy addictive nano-connections.