Twenty-five things I could do without

Feb. 18, 2009, 11:51 p.m. | By Rose Wynn | 11 years, 8 months ago

It has taken the online social networking world by storm. The "25 Random Things" note, which asks Facebook users to list 25 interesting, bizarre, fun and often surprisingly revealing facts about themselves, is part of a new and strangely addicting phenomenon. Blazers with too much time on their hands have increasingly indulged in this excuse to share information that is often either blatantly unexciting or uncomfortably personal. But, for some reason, it's catching on.

Perhaps it's because there are only three simple things one needs in order to begin a "25 Random Things" note: boredom, a pinch of creativity and the openness and anonymity that lead one to post some very personal facts on the Internet.

But, more likely, the note craze has become popular because Blazers find it entertaining to read about the strange idiosyncrasies of their fellow classmates. After all, it can be amusing to discover that one of your friends often pretends to be a wolverine in the privacy of his own home. But there is often a fine line between humor and peculiarity, and unfortunately some Blazers go too far. When hundreds of classmates are able to read "I am actually a very awkward person" or "I have this reoccurring case of ringworm on my elbow," they will never be able to pass the author in the hallway at school without awkwardly eyeing the ringworm elbow with curious disgust.

Not everyone lists strange quirks or deepest darkest secrets. Most are more inclined to include simple, boring facts and general interests that are more suitable for a dreary get-to-know-you game on the first day of kindergarten. Too often, readers come across ordinary comments like "My favorite color is green" and "I love Gossip Girl," which are always a disappointment to readers expecting facts with more flair.

Furthermore, most friends who are tagged in these notes already know the author on a more personal level, and do not benefit from being reminded that "I love Britney Spears" or "My favorite animal is a meerkat." Because of this, most lists are rarely enlightening; if the writer makes any effort to be creative at the beginning of the note, the originality is usually lost by the tenth "random thing."

Admittedly, the note does not require that every "random thing" about the writer be entertaining - and there's no way of enforcing it. But if Blazers have so much time on their hands that they are able to waste several minutes of their lives writing facts about themselves to be posted on the Internet, they might as well put a little effort into making them interesting.

Some students have succeeded in creating fun, amusing and truly random lists that remain entertaining without passing the oh-so-fine barrier of T.M.I. (along with which comes the eternal question - who to tag?). More often, as an unfortunate result of the casual and thoughtless manner in which they are written, the notes are either too dull or too personal to comfortably enjoy.

Rose Wynn. I love piña coladas, getting caught in the rain and the ladies of the Blair Pom Squad. More »

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