I can sort of understand the ones who define themselves in terms of what they do, I.e. "I play drums in the hardest-working metal band EVER out of Waukesha, Wisconsin! When not practicing, I study graphic arts at Enormous State University. I've made gig posters for a bunch of local and national acts and looking to do more, so feel free to contact me for all your promo poster needs!" Ok fine, networking yo. The ones I Don't get are the personal descriptions. "I'm funny and kind. I'm a loyal friend unless you lie to me. Every day I work hard to make the world better in some small way. I love backpacking and cooking. I have a mysterious side, but you won't see that unless you truly put some effort into getting to know me."
My first reaction to these is always "Who the hell cares?" especially since the person asserting their great specialness or mysteriosity usually works in a shoe store in Pittsburgh or some such rot. I mean, my curiosity is way more piqued by someone whose profile is a picture of a cat with a joke phrase in French next to it, than someone TELLING me they are yet another speshul snowflake.
My second reaction to self-descriptions is to wonder how the people could write them with a straight face. As they are usually significantly younger than me, I tend to think back to myself at their age and wonder what I would write. Would I have truly written,"I'm very quiet till you get to know me, then you can't shut me up. Someday I want to tour the USA and write a book." ?? I somehow doubt it. I fail at self-description. Any sort of bounded definition feels confining and ick. I'd rather just make a joke, see who "gets it..." Or make something up! And then you make something up too and our made-up somethings can go fly bright-colored kites together. Part of the joy of that lies in how sneery or upset the people with "Real" profiles, "Real" selves get when they run across someone just having fun on the 'net. The unrealness dishturbs them, makes them feel out of control in some way...they act like you might steal their virtual wallet.
Plus, I have no idea if I'm funny or kind or honest or a true friend. Even things like "I love to read and take a book everywhere I go" don't work even tho it's true, because then I would have to explain that no, I don't read bestsellers or literature, more like hit and miss whatever the hell I feel like reading, which right now is "Sex, Suicide and the Harvard Psychiatrist" for about the 10th time.
The only thing I know for certain abt myself is I'm apparently smrat due to IQ tests and grades. and physical stuff like the fact that I'm fat but not to the point where I need a "fat" clothes size; even that is debatable since lots of ppl might think anything over size 10 is a "fat" size. And no one writing a serious description of themself to try and make friends would write "I'm smart and fat." I would write a description like that because it's true and the idiocy of it appeals to me, but I wouldn't expect anyone else to dig it unless they too appreciated how dumb it sounded on a social notworking site. Which, perhaps, are the type of ppl I belong hanging around with? Srsly, I dunno if I'm funny or kind or a good friend or a walking contradiction and you could prolly take a poll of ppl I know and see where their opinion score comes out on me being all these things and it would be all over the map. And I would ask you to plz NOT show me the result cuz if there's one thing I hate it's other ppl telling me their opinions or impressions of me, because they might be Bad which is upsetting (although I'm used to it) but also they might be Good which in some sense is even more disturbing because I might think they are Wrong or I might do something Wrong to fall out of their good impressions or they might stop talking to me even though I'm a Good Person or I will be tempted to do something Bad or at least Out of Character just to see if they'll still like me and really this is getting too tiring to think much less write about and let's just say fuggit and go have some tea.
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On an unrelated note, I've been getting relatively few comments on any entries lately, which on the one hand doesn't bother me as I have a limited "comments pool" on purpose (I don't let non-friends comment and I keep the f-list fairly small) and because I don't blog to get comments (I blog because I like to, it's helpful for me)---but on the other hand it Does bother me in that it reinforces the sense of general isolation I have lately. I am thinking of just disallowing comments on all my posts for the foreseeable future so as to moot the issue.