Jennifer Lankenau: Confusing parents, one Facebook Status Update at a Time

The topic of Facebook status updates recently came up between my mother and I.

I’ll get to that in a moment. Because it’s quite funny. Oh shit! And I need to blog about my communion rant also. I’ll do that on Saturday. Remind me.

So. Facebook status updates. You know it’s a sad, sad world when you are blogging about Facebook status updates. Which are something I postulated had, in some fashion, replaced blogging some time ago. They became the Cliff’s Note’s of blog entries.
Par exemple: There’s a Darth Vader helmet embedded in a hedge. Normally, I’d start mentally constructing a several-paragraph long essay, conjuring up some narrative about how it got there, possible reactions from passers-by, how Darth felt about the whole thing, “the Imperials can’t see me like this!!”, et-cetera…but no. Instead I whipped out the Crackberry, snapped a photo, and typed a caption so mundane the memory of it eludes me now. The thought of blogging about it seemed too bothersome at the time. It was on my wall, Clever Moment Captured. I had taken care of my Social Networking responsibilities, what more do you want from me, I can’t take this pressure, get off my back!!! (Inexplicable sobs, mumbling, hiccups, overtly dramatic pauses…)

Occasionally (and bear in mind this is when my Facebook account was in its fledgling stages…) I would heed the call of the blog and feel obligated to write about something amusing at work, or whatever bizarre thing was going awry with whatever pet I had at the time…once in a great while it would be something worth writing. But for the most part all of the interesting, creative, noteworthy things I encountered on a virtually daily basis were reserved for 420 characters or less on a scrolling news feed that wouldn’t catch someone’s attention for more than two minutes, depending on how vast their friend list was or how often they had something interesting, creative, or noteworthy to say. That’s ephemera.

Just recently I decided to prioritize my blog again. That’s when things got…odd. My status updates were deemed no longer worthy of the awesome and were now downgraded to rants, rages, the strange and bizarre. With some YouTube videos, Dr. Seuss quotes and inappropriate photos tossed in to break the monotony and add some flair.

That was when the following issue became ever more apparent to me:

On Facebook, you accrue so many “friends” (and I use that term very loosely), and you become so accustomed to a particular “audience”, as it were, of regulars, that you forget that you are actually posting to 280, 290, 350, 1500,+ people. Assuming that half of them haven’t blocked your crazy ass already. For instance, I’m used to a certain cluster of people posting/commenting/reading my updates. And I theirs. So despite myself, when I’m posting, I have them in mind. Rarely does it occur to me that my 16 year-old cousin might see that my friend Nina just made a comment about gagging me and handcuffing me up in my apartment. Because you tune out what you don’t see on a regular basis. Which is why, somehow, I forgot that I had “friended” my 16 year-old cousin. We feel obligated to “friend” family members and and deli owners and exotic dancers and plumbers and childhood sweethearts and pro dommes and dentists. Well, maybe not dentists.

This is why I now have a CRAZY-MAD filtering system in place and no longer accept friend requests from people unless I have met them and they have had a full background check, labs run, and a psych evaluation. Which is why none of my family is in my friends list.

(Sorry mom, that was funny…)

And of course we all love having comments on our posts though we deny it. Well, I don’t deny it. There’s the emotional types who seek the sympathy, those who like the encouragement, the validation girls who like the, “oh, you’re so hot!” and post the cleavage shots. My favorites: my friends who post the really good links to TED talks and such that start these amazing “comment discussions” and I get to witness what an amazing community of brilliant people I live in…

Me? I like the comments which make me feel clever and witty and funny and talented. Because I’m such a fucking egomaniac. So my posts usually consist of:

1) Inside jokes, math shit, movie quotes, and general geekdom
2) Photographs of my art.

I also post cool photos of stuff I see, my dog, interesting things I find online, my friends, shenanigans, tomfoolery, etc. But that’s just because I love art and beauty and life and love and sharing things I discover, but then you’ll think I’m a sentimental and loving human being and we can’t have that because it’ll ruin my street cred.

Anyway, I meant to discuss the ‘conversation with my mother’ last night but I’m running out of time so I’m going to have to give you the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version:

My mother and I were having a conversation about how a lot of my posts just ‘don’t make a lot of sense’. I was trying to understand this. Of course, I know that some of the things on my page (chiefly things that other people post) she chooses to ignore, (due to their risqué nature…) but for the most part I think I try to post things that are clever or funny or profound or just completely moronic. So, we started analyzing.

Niff Lankenau will use her powers for good, and for awesome.
Mom: Ok, I don’t get that.
Me: Hey! Who wouldn’t want to use their powers for awesome! Besides, it’s from Strong Bad.
Mom: What the hell is Strong Bad?
Me: It’s an online cartoon thing…

Niff Lankenau ‎7:31, press return.
Mom: Ok, now what’s that one?
Me: It’s from the movie ‘Pi’, where –
Mom: Ok, just stop right there…

(From here I will paraphrase)

Niff Lankenau is not water soluble.

Niff Lankenau has decided that “lol” is her new “comic sans”.

Niff Lankenau ‎1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144 233 377 610 987 1597…

Niff Lankenau was tagged in a refrigerator crisper drawer. And it hasn’t been emptied in a very, very long time.

Niff Lankenau wishes Jack would figure out his internal organs and shutup already.

These are the types that my friends would find amusing and respond to, because we’re part of a very odd and peculiar counterculture, but which causes my mother to look at me and think she has no idea who I am. It’s ok. I’m a spy for Generation X. I’d tell you who I was, but then I’d have to kill you. By tying a plaid flannel shirt around your neck and strangling you to the tune of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

😉 <– Official emoticon.

Voulez voulez vous what’s on your mind?

3 thoughts on “Jennifer Lankenau: Confusing parents, one Facebook Status Update at a Time

  1. Harpie

    >Once again proving why you're my hero. And that we occasionally share brains.I keep telling myself that once I get all this html learnin' squared away, I'm going to reintroduce my blog, my way. Could just be grandstanding, or my brain clinging to hopes that I can string together more than a sound bite's worth of words. As for whether or not your mom understands or your 16-year-old cousin's brain may get warped (and I guarantee, as a mid-teenage girl, she was there before that bondage reference hit her monitor), whatevs. Your logon; your content. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. (Not literally. That would be wrong.)Postscript: The word verification I just got was "flogn." How awesome is that?


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