You might have noticed that the whole ’25 facts’/ ’25 things about me’ trend has turned into a full-blown Facebook craze. It got me thinking. And since a valued muse once told me that the list format is “zippy…”
1. I’m so meta right now.
2. It’s only a matter of time until somebody screens an ironic ’25 facts’ t-shirt.
3. This is going to be an interesting footnote for socio-cultural historians years from now: a fad that took place entirely inside the fabricated, digital realm of another, larger fad. They will use phrases like “cultural zeitgeist” and hoist robotic mugs of future-coffee. And finally, in this brace new world, they’ll get harassed by Biff Tanner’s great-grandson and his gang of hoverboard hooligans (1).
4. The ‘25’ facts is kind of a second chance for us all to define ourselves, now that nobody reads lists that merely include favorite books or music. It’s not as though any of us are listing vital statistics or CV’s, right? No, these are the facts that we actively want people to know about us – ostensibly because we want to shape that perception in some way.
5. The fact that you can tag people in your ’25 facts’ lets them know that they were specifically chosen out of all the people you know. This sort of meta-flattery more or less ensures that at least 25 people will still read about how your favorite book is something classy, like The Da Vinci Code.
6. One way to approach these lists is to read them, laugh encouragingly, and tell the author that they so crazy, girl.
7. Another way is to analyze why this person chose these specific facts to write about. What does this say about their personality and motivations?
8. A third way is to write down every last thing you know about the person, and footnote the entire file with insights and analyses – this is your a posteriori set of data. Next, read their ’25 facts,’ which you accept as they are – this is your a priori dataset. Compare the datasets.
9. Unfortunately, the second two approaches (respectively) are pretty good predictors of people that don’t get along well at bars, and people that end up on the 8 o’clock news because SWAT had to take them down with stun grenades.
10. The things you learn from these lists will be, for the most part, cutesy. For instance, no matter how much you want to, you’ll never read:
“11 – My family skis in Colorado every winter!
12 – I killed a dude. Straight up.
13 – I won a spelling bee when I was 8!”
11. If Keanu Reeves wrote one of these lists, he would have a bunch of repeat facts. I saw “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, ok? He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that has a lot of facts.
12. If Dr. Phil did one of these lists, I like to think that he would actually type out all of his “umms,” “hmms,” and “durrs.”
13. ’25 Facts About Me’ lists are loaded with cholesterol and transfats; they’ll ruin your South Beach diet for sure.
14. Considering the impact that Facebook can have professional (i.e. schoolteachers getting fired for calling their places of employment “ghetto,” people not getting hired because they posted pictures of themselves passed out next to Willy Bongka, etc.), it’s only a matter of time until people wise up and start using these ’25 facts’ lists as sort of faux-resume. Example:
“16 – I love working hard for mid-sized to large corporations.
17 – One of my biggest flaws is that I care too much! … Especially when it comes to multi-tiered consulting projects, designing text for ad campaigns, or being proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and all major types of accounting software.”
15. Including any variation of the fact “I’m shy until you get to know me” is belied by the fact that you wrote 25 personal facts down and published them on the internet.
16. I don’t know why I think this is so funny, but I’d love to see a penguin do a ’25 facts’ list. It would just peck random keys with it’s beak, getting more and more confused by the second. Then it would probably throw up some partially digested fish onto the keyboard, just in case my laptop was some new shape of baby penguin.
17. Considering so many of these lists have been written and posted, I think it is statistically safe to say that somebody farted while writing one, thought about it, and then left that fact out on purpose. Which is sort of s shame, really.
18. Every time you write a ’25 facts’ list an angel loses its wings. And then joins a gang. After that, it’s pretty much like “Get Rich or Die Tryin’.”
19. It would be great if somebody listed nothing but quantifiable, testable facts about themselves. Examples:
“7 – I am wearing a faded blue shirt.
8 – I can hold my breath for a maximum of 1 minute and 19 seconds.
9 – Seriously, I killed a dude. Straight up.”
20. ’25 facts’ lists are, on the Doubtful Eyebrow Creasing Scale (DECS), somewhere between WWJD bracelets and being the only person to sing happy birthday after everyone else said they’d do it. But I still love them.
21. So far, nobody I know has tried to wedge in one of those zany Chuck Norris facts about roundhouse kicking cancer in the throat or anything when they write about themselves. But it’s just a matter of time.
22. I’d love to see a really bitter list, written by somebody that just came out of a messy breakup.
“4 – Contrary to what some people say, I’m actually very funny, and my entire repertoire of jokes doesn’t just consist of “That’s what she said.” Even though, godammit, sometimes she actually did say that, ok? But you never thought of that, did you?
5 – I pay my half of the rent on time. I don’t squander it at the nail salon and then still bitch at others about toilet seats or eating hot wings in bed.
6 – I’m so much happier now.”
23. If a ninja wrote a ’25 facts’ list it would have to be written in invisible ink.
24. I love how everyone (myself included) mentions that they were tagged, so now they “gotta do it, right?” Let’s all leave those lies behind, and just revel in the attention we’re getting from each other before this becomes passé!
25. I want to do another 25 facts about myself. And on some level, I secretly hope that it results in a movie deal offer.
(1) Please get that – I don’t want to be that guy. In fact, you know what? It’s Back to the Future III. I’d rather be the tool that likes old sci-fi movies than a culture snob that revels in macchiatos and obscure pop culture references.