September 11, 2007

StatusSpeak - It's only a matter of time.

Dan is... homework.

If that sentence makes sense to you, you are one of the millions familiar with the ways and hows of Facebook, the fastest growing "social network" on the web. Along with "pokes," "walls," and "tags," the "Status" of a Facebooks user has become a part of the daily, nay hourly, routine of an international populus.

A Facebook Status simply states the current condition or activity that best describes a user of Facebook. If you want people to know what you're doing or how you're feeling, you merely change your status (And are rewarded for recency by being bumped to the top of the Status list on your friends' lists.). Statuses (Stati?) are stated in "X is..." sentences. For example "Deborah is reading Harry Potter... AGAIN" or "Patrick is skipping Spanish" or "Lindsay is looking for love in all the wrong places".

When usera go to change their status a small text entry box opens where they type what they want their friends to believe they are doing or feeling. Amateurs often forget that Facebooks adds "X is..." and so you'll see the occasional "Traci is is stressed" or "John is John hates working at Target." After a day or so of embarassing syntax next to their faces, newbies learn to speak in partial, descriptive sentences starting their statuses with an adjective or verb. However, after a few months, users stop caring about the "X is..." prefix that is added to their status and just put whatever the heck they want. You end up with "Meredith is headache" or "Kendall is Dude, freaking parking nazis towed my car. How lame is that?"

It used to be that the casual nature of conversation would seep into writing. Contractions, expressions, and slang that would normally be only the traffic of chatting with chums, proliferated into essays and journalism and were eventually accepted as part of both spoken and written language. Of late, we've seen the reverse occuring. Speaking is no longer the most casual form of communication. Instant Messaging and Emails rate far below F2F (face to face) talking on the list of correspondance requiring full sentences. We've heard "jk" (just kidding) and "lol" (laugh out loud) slipped into polite conversations. And no matter how much you want to kick the speaker in the teeth when it happens, IM-speak is an accepted part of our conversation.

And now... I foresee a problem. It is only matter of time before people start speaking in third person and using a superflous "is". Soon you'll hear Beki saying "Beki is tired of Dan leaving his chair out" or Graham suggesting "Graham is let's go to Chili's."

Evnetually, you might hear this conversation for example:

Stan: Stan is Are you still interested in helping me out this Saturday?
Dawn: Dawn is No.
Stan: Stan is Oh, okay.

If it makes you bristle, get it out of your system now folks. StatusSpeak is the future, like it or not.

Dan is procrastinating.


DTB said...

DeAnna is is amused by your musing.

Jake Link said...

Nice. This is one of my favorite blog posts.

Chris Hansen said...

Chris is n't.

J. Grant Dys said...

Facebook is old hat to this game. Seinfeld started it: "Jimmy's not threatened by Hank's sexuality. Jimmy's happy for Hank." Or, "George is gettin' upset!" Or, "Love the Drake (and Drakette)" or even "Hate the Drake!" And who could forget, "I declare this the summer of George!!"

Dys is nerd.