No offense to Jason Bateman, but I’m just about ready to unfriend him on Facebook.
Yes, I know it was me who friended him in the first place. I didn’t do it because I’m his No. 1 fan (although I will admit to a minor crush back in the “Silver Spoons” and “It’s Your Move” days). Nope, I did it because I was tooling around on Facebook late one night and saw that a college buddy of mine was a friend of his. On a lark I sent him a friend request, which he accepted, like, immediately. That should have been the first sign.
A couple of weeks ago he was all over my news feed because he announced that he was answering questions from his friends. Well, friends like me, anyway. Because apparently I had nothing better to do at that exact moment (same goes for all the moments I spend on Facebook, I reckon), I sent him one, which he responded to, like, immediately. (For those with inquiring or idle minds, yes, he’s still chummy with Ricky Schroeder, but really only when they run into each other from time to time.)
But that was the second sign, and final straw, really. He’s just too available. You want your celebrity Facebook friends to be like your OB/GYN — easy on the eyes, but in the end, all business. Promote your film, post a cheeky interview from some hipster website, or, better yet, have your publicist upload pictures of you looking fabulous on the red carpet. But that’s it.
When a celebrity Facebook friend starts doling out pearls of wisdom that, by all appearances, seem to be ripped straight from Hallmark’s dumpster on topics like marriage or how to punk other second- and third-tier movie stars, it’s time to cut the cord. I just hope this doesn’t ruin “Arrested Development” for me if I ever get around to joining Netflix. And you can bet your bottom dollar I won’t be friending Alfonso Ribeiro, Tina Yothers or Nancy McKeon anytime soon. No need to spoil the rest of the 1980s for me.
A former colleague sent me a Facebook message last year and asked if I could get Chevy Chase to autograph a “Fletch” poster for his buddy. You know, because Chevy and I are Facebook friends. What I took away from our e-mail exchange was that he assumed that, as with Jews west of the Mississippi, all Facebook friends must necessarily know one another. If that in and of itself wasn’t enough of a joke (or should have been, at least), he was including my celebrity Facebook friends among the people I was assumed to know.
Sometimes Facebook assumes I know other famous people because we have Facebook friends in common. Unfortunately, the celebrities who show up in my “People You May Know” section are mostly just B-list producers, cable TV stars or Ricki Lake. It’s never anyone that rises to the level of a George Clooney or a Brad Pitt — you know, people I’d really like to know, biblically or even just well enough to get a glimpse of their “Activities” and “Interests,” which, as everyone knows, is the Penthouse Forum section of Facebook.
There’s one geeky celebrity with a cult-like following whom I’ve met in person on a couple of occasions and spent a little time with, and who is my Facebook friend. As it turns out, he actually uses his Facebook page just for his friends. I’m not sure how I slipped in there under the radar, but I try to keep real quiet so he doesn’t notice me. I like being part of his super boring yet exclusive inner circle, and I just cross my fingers hoping he doesn’t get around eventually to spring-cleaning his 315 friends and send me packing. That would break my nerdy heart more than a little.
I’m friends with Henry Winkler on Facebook, but mostly because I get a tiny thrill from having a connection to the Fonz. He doesn’t do anything fun on his page though — it’s mostly filled with junk postings from loser fans (unlike me, who is totally part of the in crowd; see above). Say what you will, but I have a Facebook friend who is Facebook friends with Erik Estrada for the exact same reason.
There are a couple of other Facebook celebrity friends of mine whom I’ve had to hide in my news feed because their status updates are super annoying. I have enough real-life friends whose status updates need to be hidden. Don’t ruin your memorable guest turn on “Sex and the City” by posting daily pictures of your ugly dog, or making snarky comments about black licorice (black licorice digs its own grave by existing; it doesn’t need any help burying itself). It proves that stars really are just like us. And that just about ruins the last guilty pleasure I had in life.
Thanks for nothing, Jason Bateman. But before I break up with you, would you mind putting in a good word with your sister? I wouldn’t mind glancing at even just the Basic Information section of her Info page. Social media porn for idle minds. Sigh.
More at www.MeredithCarroll.com.