Social Networking Lies We Tell Ourselves

Admit it: You're lying to yourself about why you use Facebook, or any of its myriad kin. Debunking the top social-networking delusions:

1. I only friend people I know. Stop pretending you have standards. You will friend anyone. I accept all sorts of people I haven't seen in 20 years and couldn't pick out of a line-up.

2. Facebook flirting isn't cheating. Stop sending your assistant cute virtual gifts. In fact, it's not appropriate for you to be friending her, or that cute summer intern, in the first place.

3. I use Facebook to keep in touch with people. No, the truth is you're nosy. We scour the profiles of people because we want to know their shameful business. The oversharing thrills us.

4. I'm so over Facebook. I'm not falling for that ironic distancing pose. I know you spend hours looking for former girlfriends, or that guy from your freshman psychology class. I tried to act all Margaret Mead when I first joined ("It's a classic example of mass hysteria, inspired by our collective need to be famous, blah, blah") But everybody knew I wasn't there to do social anthropology.

5. And I am so not competitive. We don't just want more friends than everybody else; we also want the highest score in Word Twist or Scramble because we can hide the self-satisfied smirk behind the Internet. By the way, if your Scramble score is higher than 147, don't even think about friending me.

6. Facebook is my friend. Let's get this straight: Facebook is a business (albeit one that has yet to make money.) Just as casinos hide the exits and pump oxygen into the air to keep you gambling, Facebook wants you to linger within its dotcom walls so that it can attract advertisers to target your dazed little eyes.