Saturday, November 24, 2007

Playing Favorites

Someone needs to explain to me the fascination of people with ranking your friends? It certainly seems to be the cool thing to do, but I just don’t get it. If you’re on MySpace, you have a “Top 8.” Depending on who your wireless phone company is you may have a “Fave Five.” The evil empire of marketing manipulators seems to want us to choose and publicize who are most favorite friends and family members are to the entire world.

Want to know where you stand in someone’s life? Check to see where you’re ranked on their MySpace page. If you’re lower than number eight, the powers who be have deemed you second tier at best. And where does this number of eight come from? Was this decision made arbitrarily? Does it have some kind of significance? Why not seven? Why not ten? What’s the significance of eight? Surely it can’t just be a matter of web design aesthetics, can it?

A few months ago when I got onto MySpace I started adding friends as they asked to be added. Wherever they fell is where I left them. I refuse to rank my friends. If you’re a friend, congratulations, you’re in the fold. Your membership in that fraternity grants you the full rights and privileges as all the rest of the schmucks who I like to refer to as my peeps. We are fam-i-ly! All for one and one for all! I go, you go! I love you guys!

What about all these people who feel compelled to rank their friends though? And what about all of these people who care about where they are ranked? Is this really necessary? What’s next? Will we start ranking co-workers on the job? Customers? Will we start ranking family members?

“Sorry, Grandma, I can’t come for Christmas, you’re number nine on my favorite family members list and Crazy Uncle Cleetus, who’s number seven, is hosting a lil shindig, so I’m going there instead.”

“Hey Aunt Muriel, I’m moving you into my top eight family members for giving me that great Christmas gift!”

“Mr. Larson, I’m afraid I can’t work the shift you asked me to, because you’re not in my top eight managers list. Next time, you may want to think about having Mrs. Bell ask me instead. She has candy on her desk which puts her at number four.”

I don’t mind when ESPN ranks different teams. I don’t mind when criteria is set and schools are ranked, or any other tangible entity for that matter. When it comes to the people in your life who mean something to you though, try this revolutionary thing called telling them that they matter, instead of assigning them a number.

When it’s all said and done, if you’re the kind of person who can rank the people in your life who mean something to you, you’ll deserve it when the ones whose feelings are hurt by their ranking find new friends. What a sad day it would be for me, if I could ever separate eight people from those I know as more important than all the rest. So rest assured friends, you’re all number one to me.

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