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If Social Networks Were Your Family

This is a guest post from a 20SA longtime friend who happens to also have the first name Mike. We'll call him Mike 2. He's cool. You can follow him on Twitter, @wiseami. Look for more from Mike 2 in the near future. 

Social networks rule our lives. Even those that don’t Like things on Facebook, tell Twitter their deepest thoughts - in 140 or less - or spend hours scouring through the meme-generator that is reddit are ruled by social networks. You can’t stop to get a coffee without being greeted by signs telling you to follow them or become a fan. The other day, while sitting in traffic on my commute to work, I had an idea about comparing social networks to stereotypical family members and it just kind of snowballed from there. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, we can’t live without either. Embrace the metaphor.

hot facebook sister

She’s been around the block a few times, but she totally owns you. And your friends. And the rest of your family. And the world.

Facebook: Your super popular sister. Everyone likes to talk to her for far too many hours a day. You’re not even sure when she sleeps because you can hear her talking to drunk stalkers at four in the morning. Somehow she’s the catalyst between you and all of your own friends. As soon as you find a new friend she ends up stealing them from you, but you never get mad about it, because she really is that awesome. Then she must have gone a little stir crazy because she started spying on you all the time. You keep asking her to stop and she does, but only for 2 or 3 months and then starts right back up again until you ask her to stop again. Then she posted pictures of you on the billboard at the bus station. When you don’t talk to her for more than 4 hours a day, she starts crying and keeps asking if something is wrong. Nothing is wrong, you just don’t want to waste your life talking to her all day everyday.

Google+: Your very--- You know what? No. Facebook is not your awesome, popular sister. Facebook is your asshole, older brother. He’s constantly pestering you to keep up with all of your friends, especially the ones you just don’t care about. He takes cutouts of your face and puts them in ads in magazines at the library. Everything private about your life became public because of him. But even when there are times that you want to strangle him out of pure, uncontrollable rage, you still love him. Because he’s family.


mom cooking in the kitchen

Just wait until she starts selling pictures of you for AA ads.

Google+: Your very neat mom. Quiet, minimalist, not a whole lot of people talk to her. It’s not that she’s a bad person, people just don’t know that she exists. She’s been around for a while, you know getting the family started. She’s always had an answer for your questions, even if you had to dig through some of the crap to get the right answer one. Her photo albums are innumerable. You don’t even understand why she has so many and why she has some of the pictures she has. Who needs 7,200 pictures of a maple leaf? Recently, she took a liking to you and your friends. I mean, she always cared, but now she’s turned into a sort of facilitator. You don’t mind it at all. You just keep wondering how long this is going to last until she starts spying on you and ruining your life. Just like your asshole, older brother.


creepy uncle or older brother who loves WoW

Just think. He taught you everything you know about love when you were younger. This guy.

MySpace: Your creepy uncle. Every family has one. He was pretty cool like 10 years ago when you were a bit younger and more naive. He gave you music and tons of shiny things you could put anywhere in your room. Then it started looking like a family of fairies had the bubonic plague – glitter and sparkles pouring from every orifice. As you aged, he got really weird. He started hitting on your younger sister’s friends and kept trying to convince you that he was cool. But after hanging out with your asshole older brother and your mom a lot more, you realized just how terrible your uncle was. In fact, everyone just sort of wishes he would die already. Even his best friend, Tom.


internet yelling baby


Twitter: Your three-year old baby sister. She doesn’t know a whole lot of words and when she uses what she has, it comes out as buckshot. Words all thrown together as quickly and with as little regard as possible for how they look or if they even make sense. Even though she’s so young and linguistically challenged, she loves celebrities and talks about them all the time, hoping anyone within earshot is listening. But she also has a breathing problem, so can only spit out a few words before she has to start all over again. Every time she ends what would be considered a thought, she pukes a bunch of words together as though there are no spaces between each word. You don’t 100% understand the appeal of her, yet like a terrible car accident, you can’t look away and you certainly can’t stop following her around the house, making sure she doesn’t choke on her own mouth diarrhea.


dad sitting on chair reading newspaper

He’s just a hardass because his dad was. Just never, seriously never, tell him you tried coke once.

LinkedIn: Your dad. Constantly pestering you to get a job. Says he can help you out by looking at your resume and getting in contact with his friends. You spend tons of time getting your resume, past experiences, the bullshit clubs and honors you got in college all into your neat little profile your dad can give all of his friends. Then he suggests you add a picture. When you go ask your asshole brother, all the pictures he has are of you posing like Captain Morgan with 40’s in your hand or handcuffed, face-down on the back of a cop car. He even suggested the one of that time you thought it would be hilarious to take a picture of you hitting a six-foot bong and showing it to your popular sister, which your asshole brother now possesses. That will never go away. So, you search through page after page in his album, find the one you look the most sober in, crop out just your face and give it to your dad. After randomly networking with your dad’s connections for an hour, you realize that anyone you talk to will not discuss that killer party last weekend, won’t share pictures of those two girls making out and most certainly will not want to hear about you puking in the bushes outside your apartment. You connect with an old high school friend who wanted your help because he thought your old man was doing you a favor. Then he steals your job, so you bail on your dad to hang out with your asshole brother.


your little cousin or that guy from harry potter

Smug little bastard. Even his face thinks he’s better than you. Don't even get me started on that sweater.

FourSquare: Your cousin. Your one-upping, son of a bitch cousin. Every time you say you’re going to do something or go somewhere, he’s either right there with you or will go three times the next week, just to say he’s been there more than you. Even when you had to go to court for a speeding ticket, he managed to hit it twice the next day, just so he could he’s done it more than you. He keeps saying that’s he going to be mayor of the world and laughing maniacally. You really don’t know what he’s talking about half the time but he’s constantly keeping tabs on everyone you know, trying to go everywhere they go. He once followed your ex-girlfriend around for a week. He kept saying he was going to “dethrone” her. You thought he just wanted to get some, but really he just thought she was the leader of something. Leader of the bitches club, I suppose, but nothing more. You’re thinking he’s been spending a lot of quality time with your uncle and wish he would just stop. You don’t want him to know where you are all the time, yet you still tell him. Secretly because you want to be the mayor of the world.


guy smoking e-cigarette with smoke

Look at that enjoyment. Could he get any goddamn cooler?

reddit: Your brother-in-law. Let’s get one thing straight off the bat. This guy is a freakin’ chimney. He smokes more cigarettes than you can even imagine. He always says he wants to stop, but he just can’t because he loves it so much. One thing he loves even more than that is finding obscure shit on the Internet that he can show you. If you’re at a family get together and he’s around, he’ll have everyone crowding around his phone, showing hundreds of YouTube videos and funny pictures he found around the web. Just like his cigarette habit, you just can’t get enough of it. You always sort of roll your eyes when he says, “Oh man, you have GOT to see this,” and you want it to stop but you just can’t help but look. And laugh. And cringe. And then repeat for hours upon hours.


As prying, annoying and downright rage-inducing your family can be, you just can’t live without them. You even tried to run away one time a year ago but you ended up coming back after three days because your family is your lifeblood and without them, you are absolutely nothing. Seriously. Your friends would forget about you, you would never find a job and people would never know where you are. At this point, it’s easiest to just accept that your family rules your life because otherwise you will be left behind like the Dark Age dweller that you are.