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An updated guide to social networking

Several of you may remember this adorable little bit of fanart floating around the webs a few years ago, called “Internet University Cast”:

Very accurate. At the time. But the internet’s not just a young kid’s game anymore: what the 90s used to hilariously dream of as the “information superhighway” has become a subway full of cranky, perhaps violent infocommuters, stepping all over each other and copping a feel in the process. And social networking is the awkward get-together we all have after during work. Who invited all these idiots, anyway? Oh, we did. Or maybe Al Gore. Here’s a handy field guide to inform you, as of almost 2013, what each social networking site has become… and what we’ve become in using them. (BUTTHURT CREAM: I myself have maintained a presence on almost all of these sites, so no worries; I’m as shallow as you are. Enjoy.)

(Since so many people enjoy acting like stock stereotypes, I’ve used stock images to represent them. You. Us. These were all found at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

You know that overenthusiastic aunt who shows up at the family reunion and spends her whole time trying to get everybody to talk to each other? Even the people who hate each other? Especially those people? That’s Facebook. She used to be cool when she was in college, which she just can’t seem to stop talking about. Now, she’s very, very desperate, and if this get-together doesn’t go just right, her bout of nervous trembling and crying will create the kind of deep, heavy, passive-aggressive silence that’ll hang over future gatherings for decades. So you better talk to your mom, your ex, your old boss, everybody. Look how much work she did bringing you all together. You ungrateful little shit.

See this guy? Looks like a celebrity, doesn’t he? He isn’t. He works at AutoZone. But he acts like a celebrity, in the mistaken assumption that this will a) make him famous somehow and, in the process, 2) make him interesting. I mean, there he is, standing right next to Ashton Kutcher! Sure, Ashton doesn’t know him, and isn’t talking to him, but he’s right there. And in America, proximity=importance, which is why this guy Twitter, irony of ironies, is popular, having gotten there by creating the illusion that nobodies like us are somehow of the same value to society as celebrities. Ashton’s greatest contribution to society lately has been replacing Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men. And if he stands next to you, or RTs you, guess what? You’re contributing almost as much to society as that. (Except not really.)

Hey you! Cutie! Did you hear about that thing? Tumblr did! And she’s here to tell you about it! This is a party y’all, there’s no time for deep and thoughtful discussion. She’s also got ADHD, which is why she’s just stopping off here by the kitchen long enough to freshen up her drink and ask you if you saw last night’s Glee, or that HP avi, or those Bollywood icons, or the collection of sad puppies, or that Neil deGrasse Tyson quote, or any number of incredibly specific shiny things, or… hang on, brb. HEY YOU!

No one goes to a party to enjoy themselves. They go to network. Everybody’s really just networking, if you think about it. And LinkedIn is doing just that. He has no time for personal relationships, especially after what happened last time, and he just wants to concentrate on work right now, and he certainly isn’t looking to do anything dumb and irresponsible like have fun. Besides, have you seen what it’s like out there? People are stealing each other’s plasma. He didn’t work up 100K in student loan debt just to wind up working at AutoZone with Twitter. Hey, it’s his old boss! Awesome! Oh, he’s not working either. Shit. And Mr. LinkedIn here can forget about sex, too, if the pleading look on that girl’s face is any indication. Maybe he should have told her he liked her eyes first, then asked if she was hiring.

OkCupid is not talking to you. That’s okay; she doesn’t talk to anybody. You can get her a drink, sure, but that’s it. She owes you nothing. She’s specifically here to hook up, but you should be lucky she’s here at all, because everyone here is obviously gross, which is why she’s not talking to any of them. Why doesn’t anyone like her? She’s a good person. She just thinks you’re beneath her, which is why you never get invited to any of her parties. But you shouldn’t care, for several reasons: Her parties suck, she’s very lonely, and if you look closer, she’s not that hot. Also, there’s the whole herpes thing.

Failbook is fail. “Oh, talk to your cousin! Talk to your co-workers! My niece is so cute, you should meet her!” Fuck a bunch of that. I may be Google+, but just because I’m new doesn’t mean I can’t change the game. We should totally go out back, just you and your friends, and get high, you know what I’m saying? Fuck this bullshit. I know how to throw a party. Only the cool people. We keep it simple, and we let everybody be who they are. No bullshit games. Who goes to a party to play games? Like I’m 12 or something. I’m throwing a party next week, you should come, it’ll be sick. How many people? Uh, I’m working on it. Do you have some sisters or something?

Yeah, LiveJournal is still here. For now. No, it’s fine. She’s just been… just been going through a lot. Which she would like to tell you about. In explicit detail. For hours. She could just join the party, but that’s not what she needs right now. She needs some alone time. She doesn’t even know why she came here, but she’s glad you’re here. It’s good to see you again. She’s really sorry about what happened. She never meant to say those things. Enough about her, how have you been? Better than her, she hopes. It’s just been really hard. She’s been going through a lot…

This awkward little dude is Foursquare. He’s got a Blackberry. And an iPhone. And a Samsung thing. Because they have different coverages, yes? He can’t miss anything. You should totally be hanging out with him, bro, for he is knowing of all the epic places. In fact, he visits them all, every night, ostensibly to “check in,” but mainly to try and chase down that elusive inner peace he is sure waits for him around the next corner. (Bar.) Embrace life, my friend! He is not ready to return home yet! This is when all lame people go home, is best time! When he starts to annoy you — and he will — get rid of him by asking what he’s running from. He is tired. So very tired.

deviantArt usually doesn’t come to parties. Or leave the house, really. She much prefers to spend time with her real friends, fictional characters who never judge her or ask her to leave the house. It’s hard sometimes, trying to explain your love for Riley Biers, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Sakura Haruno, especially when Riley’s a woman and Sakura is fat for some reason and Sonic is in a dress. It’s even harder to draw them all, or write about them making sweet love to each other. These artistic expressions of admiration will all be very very horrible. But she will insist on showing them to you. And you will be repulsed. Because you, poor boy, have no soul.

where doid everybody go/ fucking lame ass motherfuckers i don’t give a shit!!!! youc ant handle my kick ass fuckihg myspace website with the unicorns and the glitters because you ALL SUCKK!!! fuck all u hatas face it i;m stoo sexy for you retards so stfu plus oi think i just peeded in your bathtub so HA HA B(TCHES SEE WHAT U GET when u FUCK WITh THE bEST