CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

HolidayBuyer's Guide
Internet

I give in, plug me into the Facebook matrix

commentary CNET's Jim Kerstetter tried to be grumpy about the social site's changes, but then he saw the folly of his ways.

Facebook, I'm yours.

Whatever it is that Mark Zuckerberg wants me to do, I'll do it. A timeline of my many wasted hours spent with this fine product? You bet. Embarrassing photos of me drunk, undressed, or wearing old Bill Cosby sweaters? I'm there. Expose my personal tastes in music? Heck yeah. I am fearless.

I was desperate to get on the Facebook backlash bandwagon last week when it unveiled to a breathless planet the Timeline feature and some other stuff that got privacy advocates in a tizzy. I really was. I'm great at being a curmudgeon, the naysayer, the guy who believes the game can be blown until the very last out. "How dare they?" I asked myself. "I gave them no permission to do this!"

Timeline? Why not? James Martin/CNET

We live our lives on the Internet whether we like it or not, but we choose to live our lives on Facebook. And I have chosen to not reveal much so far in my Facebook updates: ranting about the Red Sox; promoting my co-workers' writing; even the occasional "ain't she cute" update about my daughter, dog, or wife (though she prefers "stunning" to "cute").

But then it hit me: I could really use some exhibitionism. My typical day goes like this: Wake up. Work. Shower. Drink coffee. Go to office. Work. Eat lunch. Go home. Maybe go for a run. Eat again. Spend time with family. Walk dog. Work some more. Sleep. Repeat.

No more! I am living large. I am hanging with the band after the show. I am daring my employers to fire me when I post party photos from the night before I call in sick. (Yes, that will be me in the elf clothes). Like many a Facebook executive, I am going to tell the world how far and how fast I run and when I do it just in case you want to break into my house when I'm not home.

I am going to show you through my Spotify selections that I don't believe the sins of the second half of Elton John's career make his music of the early 1970s less worth listening to. Yes, I know the same was discussed of Stevie Wonder in "High Fidelity," and I believe genius can be left behind with youth.

And I am going to tell my Facebook friends about it, and I don't care if they don't care.

This is a big change for me. I've used Facebook to keep up with old friends and co-workers, checked to see if the pretty girls from high school still look great (they usually do), and chuckled when the studly guys from high school looked like hypertensive Russet potatoes with little, dangling legs.

All good fun, of course. But that's nothing compared to the fun I'm going to have now. Somewhere along the line, maybe it was last night when I saw the litigious yet patrician Winklevoss twins (they're the tall fellas suing Jesse Eisenberg in the movie) making a cheeky dig at Zuckerberg in a pistachio ad while I was watching a football game, I decided to go for it.

We live in some sort of meta world, it seems. I don't even really know what that means, but a terribly bright former co-worker who now works for Google liked to use that term, so I'm parroting what used to come out of her large brain. Fantasy is reality. Digital and physical are the same. So I am voluntarily entering the matrix. I am asking the agent for a steak even though I know it's not real.

Sure, we've had these moments of raw exhibitionism on Facebook before: A few years ago, in a mass fit of self-aggrandizement later reserved for unhappy TechCrunch writers, the "30 random things about me" meme made the rounds. One friend even wrote hers while she was in labor with her first daughter, and it was about the sweetest (if somewhat manic) thing I ever read.

Not long ago, "You know you're from [fill in blank] when [odd trivia here]" made the rounds. For me, I guess that would be, "You know you're from Northeastern Pennsylvania when you know the difference between pierogies and halupkies." For the record: one is a stuffed cabbage roll and the other is a flying saucer-like piece of dough filled with cheese or meat and both taste great at summertime volunteer firefighter bazaars.

See that! I just revealed a personal detail. And I liked it. It probably didn't make much sense to you if you didn't grow up where I did, but that doesn't matter. It's my personal detail, I own it, I have revealed it, and there's no going back. Plug me in.