The day the House Zuckerberg first decreed that high schoolers needed their own Facebook was a classic “what the fuck” moment: the outrage was pure, the anger irrational. We hated it, initially, for no reason other than that it existed and that it was just…stupid. It was an eyesore, too; who likes to go to their Facebook homepage hoping for a new friend request only to see a little graduation hat grinning up at you and asking you to invite kids to join high school Facebook?
Times changed; the little graduation hat went away, and the high schoolers remained carefully hidden in their own network. But still I wondered: how does the other half live? Are there kids who friend their entire class? Is it cool to have Facebook but to pretend not to care at all about it? Are there “I Went To a Public/Private Middle/Derek Zoolander School…Bitch” groups?
I registered for high school Facebook to find out. The registration process was surprisingly simple; the only requirements for registration were a name, a state, a high school, and a graduation year. One confirmation email later, I was officially a sophomore at my old high school again.
The place was empty. A quick headcount revealed five kids from class of ’05 (power tools, all of them), six from ‘06, seven from ’07, seven from ‘08, two from ‘09, and one from ’10 (more on this clown later). For a public high school of over a thousand kids, something had to be wrong; further investigation showed that my high school was listed twice under two different cities, meaning there was another Facebook listing for kids from my high school. One more registration and confirmation email (at a different email account) later, I was once again sophomore at a school, only a hyphen separating it from the one I first joined.
But the story was the same—even more pathetic, in fact. There were only fourteen kids at this school. Truth is, why do high school kids even need a Facebook when they hardly know anyone from other schools and sites like LiveJournal, MySpace, and Blurty provide that same social masturbatory kick? What the hell is Xanga, anyway?
But it’s not completely barren. The greatest thing about high school facebook is that you can friend yourself, as I did as soon as I got the second high school Facebook account. In essence, I was my first (and only) high school Facebook friend. Put that in your blog and smoke it, Zuckerberg.
Nobody has more than eight or nine friends—seven at their own high school and a chance one or two at another. Groups other than the obligatory “Dave Matthews Is My Hero” are completely unheard of. Walls are barren, except for records of poking battles (“i’m bored so im poking you. k, bye!”). Most kids’ profiles are woefully unfilled, with only a birthday and a gender to their name. Those who have profiles completely filled out and decked with unnecessarily descriptive personal information look like total tools…Maybe it’s not too different from college Facebook after all.
Of those who have profile information filled out, a surprisingly broad variety of Facebook stereotypes are represented. There are the creative types who have listed “Sports and Girls” as their only Interests. There are the “Godfather” and “Boondock Saints” worshippers whose profiles are swallowed with lengthy quotations. There are the artsy ones, the ones who are too artsy for a Facebook picture that doesn’t cut off half their face. There is even a glimpse of Princeton ’10: “Interests: politics mainly. but I also looove meeting new people.”
One plucky lad has created a photo gallery consisting solely of shots of his abs. There is even the token celebrity, an eighth grader named George Bush who, under “Clubs and Jobs,” has listed, “Idiot In Cheif.” George only has nine friends at his own high school, but about fifty at other high schools, including Joe Dirt, Osama Bin Laden, God Almighty, Bill Clinton, and of course Mike Jones (not kidding). Har dee fucking har. But how can you blame these kids? They were born in, like, 1991.
Having been there and back, I can safely say that high school Facebook wasn’t created for high schoolers—it was created for us, for our amusement. Again, Mark Zuckerberg is a genius.
In conclusion, go make yourself a high school Facebook account. It’s easy, guilt-free, and, most importantly, gives you an excuse to go by hilarious aliases like “Herbie Stempel.”