Up until recently, my friend Llandon described himself as “just your average teenage girl” on the “About Me” section of his Facebook. His relationship status was “widowed.” At one point in time, his profile picture was of an anteater. In reality, despite the occasional oblivious moment, he’s a pretty perceptive guy who likes to play video games, listen to music, knock things over (oftentimes leaving an unintended path of death, terror and destruction in his wake) and enjoys eating just about everything but carrot cake, for some reason. I think he might be allergic.
Facebook. It’s like your internet calling card. I love it because, with a few short clicks, you can get at the very least a general overview of what someone is like – their likes, dislikes, interests, etc. While most of my girl friends tend to be pretty upfront and honest about these things in their profiles, I’ve noticed that my guy friends (affectionately referred to as my “nerds” or “mantourage”) tend to go in the opposite direction, which I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by. My friend Omar lists one of his interests as “driving in reverse with my high-beams on down the freeway.” While this is not an activity he and I partake in together (as a matter of fact, Omar, if you’re reading, I am officially forbidding you from doing that ever again), we do share a love of video games, hustling (everyday, if possible) and being graduated from college. Which are all things that you can gleam from his profile, right along with his being a part of “The Omar Rocks Foundation” and his interest in “challenging Wal-Mart shoppers to sword fights,” which is an activity that he and I should definitely partake in together. So is it possible to get any real insight on a guy from his Facebook profile, even if the majority of said profile is ironic? Totally. Consider the following:
One of the first things most people notice when a new friend request pops up in the inbox is the profile picture. Looks aren’t what’s most important, but let’s just be honest here – we’re all visual creatures. With my friend Dallas, for example, the first thing I noticed about his profile were his clothes – because I’m fairly certain that we wear the same size jeans. In fact, if a pair of my jeans went missing one day, my list of suspects would include my kleptomaniac little sister, and Dallas. Even if a guy doesn’t have himself as his profile picture, the picture he does choose to represent himself can say a lot about him. Case in point: my friend Casey is a master of psychological warfare. 10 minutes with this guy and he could leave you doubting everything you’ve ever known…while simultaneously scoring with your mom. So when he uploaded a picture of a spy on his Facebook one day, it made sense. And then I wondered if he just wanted me to think it made sense, when really he was trying to trick me. And then I wondered if he was counting on the fact that I would think he was trying to trick me, when really he wasn’t and I was just missing something. And then my head exploded.
Sense of Humor
Omar told me once that one of our mutual friends (and I use the term “friend” very liberally here) Dan once drowned a puppy. I was horrified. It wasn’t one of those things where I wasn’t going to hang out with him or anything, but I damn sure wasn’t going to leave him alone in a room with my shih tzu. Though not necessarily because I was worried about my shih tzu. Currently, Dan’s “About Me” says that he “did not drown that damn puppy.” He’s such a kidder…and a dog killer. Puppy homicide aside, if you’re anything like me then a similar sense of humor is a basic requirement for not only your romantic relationships, but your friendships as well. Which is why anyone who might be taken aback by Casey’s penchant for “smacking kids who wear Heeleys in the mouth with a flaming lead pipe” (a cause I am 100% in support of) or Parker’s interest in “not shaving” probably wouldn’t get along too well with my guy friends and me. Knowing when a guy is kidding on his profile is important. For example, one of Dallas’ interests include “being cooler than you even though I play Dungeons and Dragons.” Which is hilarious, because Dallas isn’t cooler than anyone.
Mutual Interests, Mutual Friends
Similar friends usually suggest similar interests, and almost always provide more than a few conversation starters. For example, I met my friend and co-worker Pickens through a mutual friend. He’s a sweetheart, who is interested in video games, zombies and hating customers at work. You wouldn’t know that from his profile, however. Because for whatever reason, Pickens has chosen to share with the world that he is interested in “standing in the vegetable aisle with a can of KY, looking contemplative.” I didn’t even know KY came in cans. You learn something new every day? Plus, having mutual friends makes it easier to get the inside scoop on the guy before you decide whether or not to take things to the next level. I’ve run tons of options by my guy friends, because they tend to know the person I’m asking about for who he really is, not for the facade he’ll put on to get the girl, so to speak.
Music = Serious Business (?)
While they may have been willing to play around with every other section of their profile, every one of my guy friends stopped joking around when it came to the “Favorite Music” section of their profiles. I don’t know if it’s just my boys or not, but I’ve noticed that guys tend to take music very, very seriously. I’ve got one friend who the others constantly ridicule over his love for Metallica, and another who was victim of a pretty vicious Halloween prank involving Hollywood Undead. (Names have been censored to protect the innocent) Personally, I’ll listen to just about anything (unlike Parker, whose “Favorite Music” section simply says “anything not country or rap.” Parker is a man of few, yet carefully chosen words.) so while musical influences aren’t the most important to me, for the more musically inclined ladies in the audience, this might be something to pay attention to.
Yes, much can be told from a guy’s Facebook profile – even if said guy has a picture of a foul-mouthed rooster or his interests include “your mom.” Hilarious, telling or non-informative as it may be, remember that a Facebook profile is just that – a profile. There’s no invention that the electronic age has given us that takes the place of good old fashioned face to face interaction, so remember that before you get too excited (or not excited) about a guy just based on his online presence. You’re only seeing the tip of the potential iceberg. I mean, you never know – there may be more than meets the eye to that average, widowed teenage girl who vaguely resembles an anteater.
…that anteater is single, by the way.