I had a really vain moment the other night, where I felt the need to look at my own Facebook, through the eyes of somebody who had maybe not known me very long but had met me and forayed into my social media world. “Do I look cool?” I wondered. I’m no stranger to Facebook stalking; I do it more often than not, but as I’ve made a lot of new friends and acquaintances this summer I questioned: “What is somebody’s baseline experience with stumbling upon my page, and looking into what my life entails? Are they scared? Excited? Horrified? Jealous? – A healthy combination of all the aforementioned?
While this might show signs of self-absorption I was really curious, so like the dipshit I am – I really tried to pretend I didn’t know myself and pursued my very own Facebook with the eyes of an enchanted newborn. After learning that I worked at Brewery despite obtaining my Master’s Degree in 2013, I also learned that I had 781 friends, had moved from Connecticut to Utah (twice), and didn’t specify my sexuality. I learned that my likes included: dogs, beer, bikes, babies who wear glasses, skiing, hiking, blogging, burgers, tie-dye, shiny things, sunshine, almost anything edible, cat-themed apparel, music, sarcasm, Ewoks, skydiving, jaywalking, and harassing innocent bystanders. I started to fall a bit in love with myself; I kind of felt like I was a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside of an enigma. “Who AM I REALLY?” I wondered, suddenly on the brink of an existential crisis.
“Okay brain,” I said with my hands poised over my keyboard, “What do you do when you Facebook stalk people?” PICTURES, it replied. Of course! What a novel idea. I mean, when stalking innocent individuals do you really care where they went to school or what they do for a living? No. You want to see them in their element and witness photographic proof of what they’re really about. As I couldn’t really remember being tagged or posting a significant amount of pictures over the recent past, I wondered what I would find in my inquiries. Turns out, I weave quite the story for anyone who wants to take this route in their creepings.
Findings: Tanya really likes to wear wigs. She might even live in an apartment that has an entire wall devoted to the display and wearing of wigs. If you ask her she will kindly explain that none of them belong to her and were left by a previous tenant, but note that the previous tenant didn’t leave them with a demand that she utilize them constantly. She will tell you this while voluntarily wearing a wig and then offering one to you. Secondly, she may or may not be a river guide. Perhaps her spirit animal in a previous life was a goddamn salmon because she’s always going up or down a stream. Tanya probably doesn’t have 781 friends, but she has a lot of people who she seems to love with all of her guts; and vice versa. She collects people like old ladies collect spoons and thimbles, and it’s an ever-revolving door wherever she goes; and she goes a lot of places. There are deserts and suburbia, cities and solace.
She currently lives in Salt Lake City but she’s from South Windsor, Connecticut. If you’d asked a few years ago about her New England upbringing her she’ll tell you that she grew up in a place where they cut down trees and named streets after them and probably roll her eyes but that was before 2011, when she moved back there for a little over a year and actually began to appreciate where she was from. She learned about creating a community wherever you go, and being happy whenever you go. She worked at a place called ‘Max Burger’ where she met a lot of folks that she doesn’t tell she misses them nearly as much as she fiercely does. She lived in an apartment with a girl named Vanessa who favored the styling’s of Crate & Barrel as to Tanya’s decor which had best been described by an ex of hers who compared her interior decorating skills to a “Hippie Applebee’s,” which pretty much entails crazy shit on all the walls – everywhere, but with a new age feel. This means you might trip over a bundle of sage on your way in.
Her Grandparent’s really like to tell their friends that she’s a Social Worker, which is close enough to what she got her degree in, and they constantly ask her if she is working in her field and also – if she has a boyfriend. The latter was a lot easier to answer when she was in Graduate School because she could say things like: “I am in school full-time, and work full-time, and have an internship full-time, so how could I possibly have time for a boyfriend!” The thing that saves Tanya is that she now lives in Utah again and only has to answer these questions once or twice a year. However, you can probably tell by looking at her Facebook that she’s tragically gay, the photos of her in her “This Is What an Awesome Lesbian Looks Like” tee-shirt, are a dead giveaway. She’s single but she’s happy, and when she’s alone it’s only by choice.
She likes to write. And if you’re stalking her Facebook, you better believes she pimps her blog like hoes on a street corner. Writing is what makes her blissful and while she likes doing it for you people, she really only does it for herself. Sharing her life experiences and monologues are cathartic as shit because we all feel and go through these things without airing it to the world and somebody’s got to do it. She’s not going to carry the torch to any Olympic games at this point, so she may as well carry some goddamn torch. When people actually take the time and respond to it, this means the absolute world to her. Every message, and text, about how something she relayed via the World Wide Web meant to you and touched you in some way? It’s everything.
As silly as this experiment was, and how much I enjoy writing in third person – I’m going to have to switch back to real-time for the ending. Much like a lot of things in my life, this blog entry started as a joke and got serious real fast. My mock inventory of my (online) existence actually made me pause for a moment and reflect on myself from an outsiders perspective and I realized how unbelievably grateful I was. I do truly live a charmed live in the fullest sense. I’ve got a house with a ton of crazy shit on the walls (Vanessa would be horrified), amazing people who make me tick (along with challenging my bullshit), an incredible playground that happens to be my very backyard, a job that I am proud to have and that I am good at, and just so much motherfucking brilliance that I’m not quite sure what to do with all of it.
If you look at Tanya’s Facebook and stalk her, I hope that you get that she is very happy. I hope that when you see that picture of her in a gold tasseled wig, or her standing atop a mountain holding her Chihuahua in the air – you know she’s made it. Otherwise, maybe defriend her. She’ll probably notice, but she will survive.