Wednesday, January 9th, 2008...1:32 am

Facebook Is So Awesome!

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I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to Facebook. I just like to use the site to better understand the future of the Internet. At least that is what I say to myself. I even wrote this thoughtful post evaluating the service a few months back.

The other day my friend Brett signed up for Facebook after hearing about how much all of our friends enjoy using it. After getting acclimated for a few days and friending a bunch of people he asked “what do I do now?”. I didn’t have a good answer for him but the question got me to think through exactly what I do on Facebook. Frankly, if I’m not addicted, I must just be an idiot. Bwetty, you shouldn’t have asked….

Dear Brett,

First I would recommend that you log onto Facebook at least 3-5 times a day. I’ll go for a spin mid-morning, check back in the afternoon and then hit it up late night. I’ll often get an email notification from Facebook telling me to go to the site. I will obey within seconds. I’ll also use it like a peg-legged Pirate relies on his bamboo cane. If I’m feeling gloomy or grumpy, I’ll get a Facebook fix! Not in the mood to complete the spreadsheet – Facebook! Just ate two slices of pizza and three cupcakes that were left out in the conference room and now feeling full, fat and guilty – Facebook! Time for a mid-afternoon deuce a few hours after the pizza and cupcakes – Facebook on my blackberry! OH YEAH!!!!! I’ve never been a cigarette smoker but it seems like how I use Facebook is eerily similar to the dude who sits near me uses the smokes in his pack of Menthols.

Once you login there are so many glamorous and wonderful things to do to occupy one’s brain. I’ll always be sure to scan my Newsfeed first. I like to see who is now friends with who. It’s especially cool when two people I hardly know become friends with each other. Maybe that is how I don’t know them! It’s also cool when I get to see what one friend wrote on another friend’s wall. I feel like a super-secret spy or at least like a reporter at a Roger Clemens steroid press conference. It’s kind of like how I’m writing this letter to you but also posting it online for the whole world to see! Be on the lookout for what groups your friends are joining. I never knew how Philanthropic my social grid is. Everybody I know is in the Silver Lining Society and Bulldogs Care Foundation. I’m not sure what either does but you better believe I’m a member of both organizations. Finally and most importantly, you need to check out new photos. This is very exciting as you’ll get to see highly edited and carefully selected photos from all of your favorite acquaintances. My rule of thumb is that the more random the person the more fascinating the photo gallery. If you’re really having a good fb session try clicking on some of the people that are tagged in the photos. Before you know it you’ll be viewing photo galleries of complete strangers. This is when it really gets exciting. Weddings and Bar Mitzvah’s are the best because you get to see photos of random grandma’s and everybody is really happy and nicely dressed. People watching was so 20th century. Now you get to life watch.

I would highly advise that you maintain your friend requests and notifications. You don’t want to get into the situation that I am in where I have 14 people hopelessly lingering on my request list. It includes four people that I don’t remember from high school, three people that claim to know me from Sportsvite, four former colleagues that I was hoping to never interact with ever again and a photo of a wolf from a guy in North Carolina. I see these people every time I login. They haunt me every time I go on Facebook. They haunt me in my sleep and want to know why i don’t accept them as friends. They are the only thing standing between me and complete Facebook satisfaction. I’m afraid to confirm but don’t have the courage to Ignore. Our friend Vant suggests you should just bite the bullet and accept so you can bury them away on your friends list instead of having to see them in fb purgatory. Our friend Vant also thinks that “poking” somebody represents a biblical act.

You’ll also receive plenty of invitations for applications (don’t say apps or your sister will laugh at you!). These allow you to do things like throw fake sheep at your friends, join their online entourage or play a virtual game of rock, paper scissors. If you accept them all your profile will be full of cool stuff that allows you to express yourself in many different ways. I bet you didn’t know that Wally is a Michigan fan or that Steven Nosnick is in 4339975 place in the never-ending movie quiz game. His favorite movie rhymes with Blueberry’s.

Now that you have the basics down I’ll give you some of my secret tips. It’s always good to click on friends and then status updates. This lets you know exactly what everybody is up to. It’s always interesting even if they are “in Monhank” like Ellstein. It’s also important to know that Warsh is freaked out by the weather but is not going to complain, my sister is turning 29 and its really really scary or that Uncle Klein has two new nieces! Mazol Tov Daniel.

I’ll usually identify an ever fluctuating group of profiles (between 10-15) that catch my eye. It might be attractive girls, people I once knew, friends of friends of friends, really slick looking NYC promoters with awesome glamor shot that highlight their fake tans and hair gel or really attractive girls. I also like to check out cute girls. I’ll view these people’s profiles an abnormal amount of times – usually browse their photos, wall and newsfeed daily – and owe it to myself to make sure I always know what they are up to. If you every see these special people in real life, it’s probably best not to say hi, but whatever you do make sure you don’t let them know you follow them on Facebook. Then you might be labeled with the “s” word and there is no recovering from that!

I’m not much into the whole friending thing but it seems like you can have a lot of fun with this as well. It’s generally agreed upon that its good to have an obscene amount of friends. Therefore, I would recommend friending people that you hardly know. You can also friend those you know somewhat but wouldn’t say hi to if you were walking down the street and saw them. That’s because it’s more fun to view their profile and photos! Just wait till they get married and you get to see their honeymoon pictures!

If you feel the need to really interact you can write on a person’s wall or send them a message. If you write on their wall make sure it’s something really cool and witty because there’s a whole bunch of people weirder than me who will read it. It’s akin to standing next to your friend on the subway and screaming really loud so the whole car can hear your conversation. Cool, huh. If you send them a private message make sure you have some good “online game”. Last time I wrote a message to a girl I ended it with “please write me back so I don’t feel like a facebook stalker”. She never wrote me back.

Finally and most importantly make sure you check your own profile regularly. Analyze your profile photo and make sure it captures your natural beauty. Try to be objective. Sometimes I bang my head into the wall to give myself a slight concussion and then quickly look at my profile to see if I think that person is cool. Make sure your wall has really flirty messages from cute girls or your “boys” with an inside joke that nobody gets. If it’s a message from a family member make sure they have a different last name. If somebody tags you in a photo, make sure it is a good photo or otherwise untag yourself. Finally, strategically place a few videos that make you seem like you don’t care what people think. I have videos of me shaving my jew-fro, doing the soulja boy at my grandma’s 90th birthday party and playing ping pong. Beat that! I once had a girl I didn’t know come up to me and ask me if I was the guy who shaved his head on Facebook. What a stalker!

I hope this helps you better understand all the really cool stuff you can do on Facebook. It’s really going to change the world. Before Facebook, I used to read books, watch sports and wasn’t even aware that I liked people. Now I’m trying to make a living off of social networking so you know that I’m a believer. Hope this helps. Hit me up on my wall!

Your Facebook Friend,