Saying Facebook has become ubiquitous is like saying the sun is bright or Carrot Top is annoying. In the last couple of years, it seems that almost every facet of human life has been channeled, chronicled or promoted through the social networking megalith.
The basic unit of Facebook existence is the profile, that collection of sayings, photos, wall posts, game feeds and general mayhem that gives your friends (and random strangers if you don't know how to work your privacy settings) access to a slice of your online life.
While the basic elements of everyone's profile are the same, what you do with those elements says a lot about you, quite often more than you know or would care to reveal.
Let's take a look at five things your Facebook profile might be saying about you.
No. 5: The Gamer
Is your profile picture a shot of your "FarmVille" farm? Your "Covert Ops" character? Do you have more than 2,000 friends because you relentlessly post yourself on "add me!" message boards looking for random people to join your gang, mafia, farm, town or zoo?
Do you have more photo albums full of screenshots from games than you do of human beings?
You, my friend, are telling the world that you have entirely too much free time. If there are more than three Zynga games showing up in your feed posts, if there are no actual messages from real friends on your wall, you might want to consider doing something wild like getting a life. If you spend more time harvesting "crops" than you do playing with your kids, get help.
Weaning oneself off Facebook games can be harder than giving up heroin, but your family will (hopefully) enjoy getting to know you again.
No. 4: The Superfriend
If you've got more than 100 friends, it's likely you have at least one of these folks among them. They're the ones whose wall is covered with notations about all the teddy bears, hugs, wishes, rainbows and other symptoms of neurosis they have shared with their friends.
Their relationship status is almost invariably single, and they have at least one photo album of cat pictures posted prominently on their profile. If they're slightly cooler than normal, it might be an album of LOLcats. These are the folks who have two or three "birthday reminder" apps installed, and concoct elaborate greetings made of clip art and odd fonts to post on friends' walls for various occasions.
One sure sign you've met a Superfriend: Their profile picture has more than one stuffed animal in the background. If the profile picture is of a cat, they're too far gone to help.
But even a Superfriend isn't as Facebook-obsessed as our next category.
No. 3: The Matriarch
There may be a male counterpart to this one, but we've yet to see it. This is the profile with a family picture as the profile pic, usually one crammed full of so many relations that individual faces are completely indistinguishable.
This is a foreign concept to many of us, as the statute of limitations hasn't expired over the happenings at our last family reunion.
Family tree apps? Got 'em all. Greetings from family members, usually referring to the profile owner as "Memaw," "Grammy," "Mommy" or something similar? Got 'em.And don't forget the photo albums! Somebody bought gramma a scanner, because there are albums full of every family picture taken all the way back to tintypes. None of them is tagged or has a caption, though, so looking at them is for any but the most in-the-know family members like walking through a train station and looking into the cars.
Warning: Going near this profile on the owner's birthday may tank your hard drive with an overload of cute.
But at least they're not selling you anything ...
No. 2: The Seller