The 12 Steps of Young Adult Development as Presented by Facebook

Look, I’m not ignorant. I know there’s shit I’m spossta be doing after 6pm on weekdays other than writing self-righteous entries for a blog nobody reads, chit-chatting on the phone with a vibrant, beautiful woman I won’t tap till I meet and analyzing poorly-delivered NFL information from ESPN Podcasts like Canadians assess Arctic Sovereignty.

But it ain’t anything I’d rather be doing. I’ll tell ya that much. At least … not yet. Not when I can spit out this sweet-tasting verbiage below.

I think we’ve all had access to Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Friendster, Napster, Blaster, Tweetspace, YouThong, iMeem, iKnow, iBlow, Zing, Bing, Sing and Ling-Ling) long enough to notice inevitable patterns in human development that were heretofore only haphazardly discovered by SCIENTISTS.

Now, we don’t have to rely on their putrid “vacuum studies.” Life isn’t lived in a Vacuum. It’s lived out here … in the real world … and what’s more real than broadcasting exclusively and only your life’s highest highlights to an approving public of only people with whom you’ve already accepted into your own little world but don’t know well enough to drag them through the depths of your despair? Nothing … that’s what.

And we ain’t that unique. We all tend to do the same things in the same order during roughly the same given time period. This is what happens when people stop being polite and …

1. Graduate High School

Sunshine. Smiles. bEsTiES!!11!!**~** Yo bros. Yo hoes. Underage dranking. Me n my boo will b 2getha 4eva. “bEsT sUmMeR EvEr.” Soooo excited 4 college. omg. Txt me wit planzzzzz.

2. Go Off to College

Amazingly, you don’t really hear a peep out of the college dudes until like Stage 4 (see, after 2). Presumably underclassmen men don’t exist. There are no known photos of them. But, holy christ, the photos of girlzzz. Muh girlzzzzz. Soooo crazy. Usually involves nekkidness, passed-out-drunkenness, lots of kissing their bEsTiES!!11!!**~** and calling their bEsTiES!!11!!**~** BITCH, HO, SLUT. Coz it’s sweet and all. May or may not involve relationships on both sides that will will b 2getha 4eva … but not with same 2getha 4eva from Step #1.

3. Go on Spring Break

See “Go off to college.” Make it 30 degrees warmer and move the beach closer. Also, suddenly all men and women look like slightly less emotionally stable rejects from a casting call for Jersey Shore. Mix in photos of funneling, shot-taking, grinding and lord knows what else. Everyone claims to have hooked up with 25 people they don’t know. For women, that number is grossly under-reported … for men, that number is inflated roughly 1000%.

4. Have the GREATEST Senior Year EVAR

Boys return. Ostensibly because they’ve now become attractive mates to the girls currently in Stage 3. They’re gangbangin’ wit their bros. Tha girlz are rooming with “THE CRAZIEST GIRLS I KNW. OMG” and everyone pwns the bar or club they frequent. They get the good spot at the Steer. Every album is descriptively entitled “Season Year.” Congrats on reaching the zenith of existence.

5. Secretly Move Back in With Our Parents for a Summer and Don’t Actually Get a Job, or if we do, it doesn’t interfere with Concerts and Festivals

Every photo from this stage was taken at 107.1 THE URGE’s SUMMER SPECTACULAR featuring recording artists including but not limited to: Lil’ Wayne, The Fray, John Mayer, Lady Gaga, 3 Doors Down, Nelly. All of the sudden, all the bands we liked in college (real deep intellectual shit like Ben Harper and Jack Johnson!) are cast aside for the acts we would have liked in High School had they been big at that time. We go to these events with our somewhat serious significant others. Who suddenly appear in profile pictures and get tweets with precious little hearts in them.

6. Move to a New Apartment. Passing mention of a new job. Maybe. Possible relocation back into slightly more upscale city life than the University District. Grad school.

In our neverending attempt to stay younger, longer, we get another apartment. We get a job that’s part-time and “rewarding” and “challenging.” We all become libertarian. We’re all pro “reform” and anti “global warming.” Coz, it’s like, right. We go back for our MBA or Law School or Pharm School. We student teach. We still somehow take summers off. Repeat Stage 5. Our boo suddenly shows up in every photo we take.

7. Take that One Awesome Trip to someplace Tropical or European

Except nobody would know we went. Because we took only pictures of ourselves.

8. Go Off and Get Engaged With the First Person with whom we have spent at least two years with and reached said threshold with after Age 23.

Involves 29 pictures of a ring. And pictures of an engagement party. We are so GROWN UP. And those wedding-planner websites where people who weren’t invited to the wedding can eavesdrop and monitor the progress of the very arduous task of throwing a more elaborate party than any of your other friends whose weddings you are monitoring on their wedding-planner websites. Woman often throws 97 pictures of her hugging her future husband in profile picture. Man does not reciprocate … unless she’s fucking STACKED. Every status relates to wedding planning somehow, usually mentioning how “we are so far along! This is easy!” followed by “This is so hard … so much left to do” roughly nine months later. Inevitable flood of congratulations from friends you barely know, and advice from friends who totally raced to get to Stage 8 first but won’t admit to that tactic until after Stage 12.

9. Get Married!

OMG BACHLORETTES R SO FUN XCEPT THE BRIDE NEVER POSTS PHOTOS BUT EV’RY OTHER GURLIE DOES. Bachelor parties go largely undocumented. Presumably because blowing coke off a stripper’s tits doesn’t make for very respectable theater. Even if it’s really the only part of the wedding we want to see. 9,765 photos taken. Wedding GUESTS tagged in every one. Not pictured: Actual wedding. Except in photos done by the pros. Of which there are another 1,451. Another 3,497 pictures of the honeymoon. 70% of which are beachside photos of the bride and groom, 30% of which are sunsets. Dinner is being eaten in roughly 85% of all photos. Photos continue to leak out months after said wedding … usually from wedding guests … who take pictures of themselves. Wedding photo is profile picture until #11.

10. Buy a House. Close on a House. Decorate House. Throw Housewarming party.

Check out my refrigerator! OMG and this doorway! And these blinds! And they are all mine! Even this dinette set! And this bathroom rug!! Here’s our housewarming party! Look! Our friends come to parties in blazers and cocktail dresses now instead of sweaters and sweater-dresses!! OMG! We are so GROWN UP. (Usually lumped under an album entitled “Our New Home” or something.

11. Get Pregnant.

My other profile picture is an ultrasound. Countdowns on Twitter and various Social Networking websites specific to the Future MILFs only. The inevitable “I’m a week out and still beautiful” photo. (Not pictured: beautiful). Hospital photos. Crying baby. Photos of baby. More photos of baby. Still more photos of baby. Baby baby baby. Baby.

12. Turn back into our 18 year-old selves.

Somewhere around age 28-32 … THIS happens:

“Sunshine. Smiles. bEsTiES!!11!!**~** Yo bros. Yo hoes. Me n my boo will b 2getha 4eva. “bEsT sUmMeR EvEr.” Soooo excited 4 happy hour! omg. Txt me wit planzzzzz.” OMG when did we become so GROWN UP?!

It’s inevitable, yet true. The more we change, the more we stay the same.

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