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The value in Facebook's new craze

'25 Random Things About Me' might be just what we need right now.

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Anyone who's even dabbled in social networking in the past few weeks is surely familiar with the Web's latest phenomenon. It's a chain letter for the Facebook set called "25 Random Things About Me," in which participants assemble a list containing exactly that, and post it online, often with a request that 25 other friends return the favor.

Given that Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter pages are already collections of random facts about each account holder, the exercise seems a little absurd, if not downright redundant.

But the fad has spread like wildfire across the Internet – with people detailing everything from mundane likes and dislikes to touchingly sincere revelations about their dreams and insecurities. Even California's attorney general, Jerry Brown, has taken a spin at it – who knew that the 70-year-old former governor was crazy for Flax Plus Multibran cereal?

Most people use those two timeless excuses, boredom and peer pressure, as justification for submitting to the craze – various spins on the title by people on my own list of friends include "FINE. 25 things you didn't need to know about me" and "By demand and via procrastination, 25 instances of navel-gazing."

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