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Silver Threads: Facebook motivations

Bettye Anding

Bettye Anding

The other day, I was playing Scrabble on my Kindle, on an app that’s not very good -- because I sign in at intermediate level, win every game, and when moving up to “advanced,” lose 100 per cent of the time.

Both levels allow words I’m not familiar with, such as "qi" and "skito" and "apecne" and "orsi". I’m making these up -- or at least I think I am, but you get the idea. Still, I can beat the computer with words that other Scrabble games have always allowed me; I‘m too old to remember any new ones.

That’s not the point though. The point is that after completing each of these games, the app invites me to share my success on Facebook and offers a link with which to do so.

Come on! Who even -- in Facebook’s much-ado-about-nothing world -- could possibly give a flying frisbee when I win a Scrabble game on my Kindle? It might let people I haven’t seen in years know that I’m not yet senile, but somehow I doubt that they care.

All of this is to tell you that I’m becoming more and more astonished when people put online about themselves. And so is a Huffington Post correspondent, whose name wasn’t included with his or her thoughts on the subject. I’ve borrowed his five motivations for going on Facebook, but the sample postings are mine:

1. Image crafting. The author wants to affect the way people think of her.

- Mornin’ everybody! When I jumped into my beemer to go to work today, I splashed through a puddle and got mud on my Jimmy Choos. Late for my desk at the ad agency and then late for lunch at Galatoire’s with Harold, who persisted in pushing that trip to Cabo this spring. (Hope we don’t run into Reese Witherspoon again, but I do like that bracelet she sent me after last time!)

2. Narcissism. The author’s thoughts, opinions and life philosophies matter.

- Wahoo! Did you read this morning’s Times article about the Ukraine? I honestly think we should declare war on Putin! Who does he think he is?

3. Attention craving. The author wants attention.

- Yipee! I won eight out of 10 Scrabble games I played on my Kindle today. And to top the morning off, there was a recipe for shrimp and grits in the newspaper. Wait til I tell Stanley.

4. Jealousy inducing. The author wants to make people jealous of him or his life.

- Went to that new club on Esplanade last night and met at least a dozen hot chicks: After all these years the single life is everything it’s cracked up to be, take it from me. The venue was pricey, but when your portfolio is producing like mine, you can afford it. Checking out the new Lexuses on the lot; stay tuned. I’ll soon be taking you guys for rides -- if you aren’t too busy babysitting!

5. Loneliness. The author is feeling lonely and wants Facebook to make it better.

- My oh my, I’m on a roll today. Just won my 18th Scrabble game and am up for more victories. Will keep you posted …

Bettye Anding is a former editor of the Living section of The Times Picayune, for which she wrote “Silver Threads” until her retirement. Email comments to her at [email protected]