"We all have these so-called friends out there..." begins twee, earnest photographer Ty Morin in his Kickstarter pitch for an art project we hope none of you gave money to.
"So I thought, why not bring them all together and show them doing what they love..."
Morin raised $7,000 of his $5,000 goal to travel the country and photograph each and every one of his 788 Facebook friends for this project, dubbed "Friend Request: Accepted." And because he's just that kind of guy, he's going to photograph everyone using an old-timey, 8x10 polaroid camera, meaning that the 788 photos will cost at least $4,000 to produce. This could have all been done digitally, without a Kickstarter campaign, but we digress.
It appears Morin finds it novel, or somehow awkward, that so many of us should have these peanut galleries consisting of many people whom we know to varying extents, some not at all. (He estimates he only knows 50% of his Facebook friends.) However, this is kind of the point. It's a Facebook, like the one you used to get in college before books became extinct, used to help identify complete strangers you might run into in a chemistry class.
Also, it's become a way of promoting ourselves if we are in a creative profession of some kind, and a way for people to network, and a way for keeping tabs on long-ago exes just to add a little more unnecessary pain to our lives.
Facebook is not, and never has been, a place for just your real friends or people you need to meet in person once or ever again. It's about being passively in touch, probably with too many people at once. And about seeing where everyone else is on vacation while you toil away and fret about your taxes.
But we remember what it was like to be in our early 20s, to feel so earnest about things and about exposing shallowness and hypocrisy. So, we empathize with young Morin and his passion for all things passionate, even if it all sounds really embarrassing and pointless to us now.