Wed, Feb 11th 2009 5:55pm
You've probably heard of this "25 Random Things About Me" note craze that's going around Facebook: somebody writes a note containing 25 facts about themselves, then tags 25 people who are supposed to do the same. It's pretty much the same as any other similar chain letter-type of thing that's bounced around the internet since the heydays of AOL and Prodigy, except perhaps for the fact that it doesn't ask you to send a sick kid a postcard at the end. It's hard to decide what's more striking about the craze: people's continued fascination with this sort of thing and their willingness to participate, or the media's obsession with them. It's hard to tell just how many people have taken part on Facebook thus far, but traffic to the site's Notes is four times higher than usual, according to one estimate, with 28 percent of Facebook's US users checking out a note at some point in January. As for the media, check out the "mystery" over who originated the 25 Things meme (short answer: nobody has any idea). Maybe the most interesting thing here is how the 25 Things meme plays into the ideal of social currency. For some people, they see the list as a way to enhance their social currency within a community by sharing info that will make others view them more positively. But then there's those of us who have been "tagged" 50 times already, and see any more tags as a way for people to devalue their social currency even further.
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