Facebook Games

Two days ago, Burke sent me an attachment with this message: Please do this!

You’ve seen those weird Facebook apps. What will you look like at 75? What would you look like with makeup? What would you look like if you were hit by a train?

This one: What would you look like if you were the opposite sex?

Never. Never, in my entire life, a life filled with unrestrained oddity, weird self queries, and idiotic reflection, in all of that time, have I ever once even considered what I’d look like as a woman.

Until now.

At first, I thought no. I won’t do this. Why? Well, sharing the photo would mean placing myself at the mercy of my friends, a great deal of whom are extremely clever and witty (read: cruel bastards) who would never let me forget how I looked as a woman.

Don’t share it, you say?

Well I don’t know if you’ve read this, but recently it’s become public that Facebook isn’t keeping our private data so private. Someone has invaded the playground. Not that this is so surprising, it’s just another rung in the story of how Facebook has gone from a place to catch up with old friends and see pictures of their cats, cars, and children to a place stinking of acrimony. It’s now a virtual place where a complete fucking asshole named Donald Trump is the child king in one way or another, and it’s a place where we now hear collocations like security breach and harvest data. And it turns out that our information is being given out top be used against us, thus confirming the most heretofore paranoid people. People are terrified of their embarrassing (read: naughty) pictures and conversations going public, which other people would delight in, were they not terrified about their embarrassing (read: naughty) pictures going public.

This isn’t the first time I wondered whether Facebook’s intentions were pure. For a while Facebook has had a weird way of suggesting products that are oddly prescient (Need a stress reliever!? How about a home hotdog cooker!). And then there was the way Facebook would butt its way into conversations. Facebook advertised flights to Lisbon an hour after Burke and I talked about a possible trip to Portugal. When it happened I looked at the computer and shouted “j’accuse!”

Then we tested Facebook. Making dinner, the computer on the table, Facebook open, sitcom playing. I waved, caught Burke’s attention, and silently mouthed “Let’s talk about Rome” as if trying to surreptitiously message her while she was on the phone with someone. She nodded. We spoke about Rome, there was nothing. I was relieved until bed that night, when I wondered: Maybe Facebook knew we were testing it.

Anyway, I don’t have the confidence I once had in Ye Olde Book of Faces, so I worry that if I hide my female incarnation it and it gets out, like most things do (just ask aforementioned complete fucking asshole child king), it would be twenty times worse. And what will happen if I do? Will Facebook start suggesting makeup to make my female self more attractive to the male me? Will it start suggesting things like makeovers or electrolysis?

In the end, the curiosity was too much, thus the age old impetus of most of history’s inadvisable actions. I went ahead and asked Facebook to make me into a woman.

Turns out I look just like my sister, thus answering the question that had plagued me since about 10ish that morning. Not that my sister isn’t an attractive woman, but this is a little disappointing. I was hoping for something in a blonde, maybe blue eyes. A man can dream, can’t he?

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