Anyone who knows me is aware of the complex, love/hate thing I have with Facebook. We’re like that redneck couple whose fights wake the neighbors. Weekly break-ups. I-never-want-to-see-you-again... WAIT-yes-I-do! proclamations. Police involvement.
But we stay together. I mean, it’s not all bad. There are good times. The hilarious observations. The Girl Scout cookie drives. The shared articles and (normal, socially appropriate) photos. This thing that my cousin put up that made me spit out my coffee.
I mean, what if there WAS no Facebook... I never would have seen that.
The thing is, the bad times are, well… they're bad. There’s no arbiter of hilariousness for status updates, so anybody can get through. There’s a lot more crap being peddled than Girl Scout cookies, and don’t…. don’t…. don’t get me started on the photos. Let's just put it this way: thank you, Dad, for all those times when I was 12 and sunbathing by the pool that it never occurred to you to pause and say, “Hey, hold on. Let me snap a pic and put it on Facebook for my friends to see.”
FB and I are in couples therapy now. It’s going okay. Actually, badly. Instead of a) focusing on its positive side or b) quitting him as recommended, I decided to do something way less healthy, far more amusing. I asked 20 or 30 people to tell me what they consider to be the worst Facebook faults, the biggest pitfalls of their relationships with this serial charmer. Let me tell you, responses poured in as quick as you can find a disturbing fetus picture in your news feed.
So here you go, the first half of our countdown of wrong, wrong, wrong.
13. Facebook Gaming: Worst Hobby Ever? Folks, if you’re playing games on Facebook, you’ve already lost. Aren't there something like 409 sites on the web that allow you to test your poker, farming, coin-counting, career-killing skills without alerting all 500 of your “friends” with how you did. Why not play those?
“I don't have any gold coins to sell you, live on a Farm, or belong to a fantasy mob. If I came over to your house, would you ask me to play Candyland? No. So let's just keep the little games we play to ourselves.”
12. The hypochondriacs, the non-sleepers, the personal wellness updaters, the bore-me-to-deaths: You have to stop.
My throat feels weird. =[
I think I’ll have an apple for a snack.
Ugh… can’t sleep.
“Simply put, these shameless, gratuitous pieces of non-information are the social equivalent of someone standing in the middle of a crowded room screaming "LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!" while jumping up & down.”
"Status update: These seem like things you should be telling your cat. Not hundreds of other people daily. Fair?"
11. Gasp! OMG, What Happened?: Um, most likely, nothing. You gotta love those vague posts expressing annoyance/devastation at someone or something, but that strategically withhold all pertinent information.
I can't believe this happened.
This will not change me. I will press on.
What? Okay… Did you get wrongfully charged with murder? Did your boyfriend cheat on you? Or did you grab the wrong cup off the Starbuck’s bar? Either way, yes, press on. Meanwhile, the same 15 ass hats who always fall for your attention grabs will litter your wall with dramatics equal to yours. WTF? OMG Gwen, what happened? Again, probably nothing... well, except that in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg handed out megaphones to a nation full of drama queens, and said, "Here. Use this every day."
10. Death by Status Update: So it’s three in the afternoon and I’m scrolling down my Facebook page trying to pass the time at work. And there, sandwiched between news that Emily pinned a yellow Chesterfield sofa on Pinterest and Tommy ate too many M&Ms is a breaking story that Roy unfortunately got hit by a car today and died. Man, R.I.P. is right.
“Death has no place in the status update, whether it’s immediate family or you’re passing along the news. As in: No matter when it happens, you're never prepared. My mother died this morning. Or…. Very sad for the family of Ben Bush today. Another good person lost too soon. Bonus, the name of the deceased "Ben Bush" is usually a 'tag' link—so I can directly link to the dead person's page if I want. No…. Two rules of etiquette that will always reign: the handwritten thank-you note is more appropriate than an email, and a personal phone call to inform of someone's passing is more appropriate than writing it in the sky.”
9. The Humble Brag. You know what these look like, and they're far too annoying to discuss why they're annoying.
Hey, Martin. Remember last year when we went to the French Alps, and we ate at that five-star Michelin rated restaurant. What was the name of the coffee shop next door? I'm kinda jonesing for their dark roast...
17 miles today. 20 tomorrow. Feeling pumped.
I love being a journalist!!! (But sometimes it takes over my life.) I have been firing on all cylinders for the past 12 hours. Now, transcribing an interview for a story I have to write first thing in the morning, then meeting Diana Morrow and Kris Channon at Leon's Full Service. Oh yeah: interviewing Nate Berkus at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow then having a business lunch at The Four Seasons!
Let's just agree that when you get a promotion, for example, it's okay to say "So excited about my promotion." Couching it in "Whoa, being the youngest person ever to be promoted to vice president of Vandelay Industries is kinda overwhelming" just makes you sound like the most ridiculous person ever to be promoted to vice president of Vandelay Industries...
8. The Serial Food Sharers. There's growing discussion in the media that Facebook has created something of an alternate universe. The people who think they need to show us their food are more evidence Facebook is a weird, weird place. And we're not talking about the chefs that post a well-photographed dish to tempt us or a food blogger posting a great recipe and photo. We're talking about the ham sandwich you made yourself for lunch. The sausage you put on the grill last night. The pasta you were served by candlelight. How did this happen? How did we go from a society who sits down to lunch with a newspaper or friends to people who... show hundreds of other people their food before (or while) eating it? What are we, five? Are we trying to trade with our neighbor?
"To the people who post daily pictures of a plate of food. We get it, you like to fucking cook...."
"I don't care what's for dinner tonight at your house."
"Why is your lunch our news?"
I know, I know, it sounds harsh. But a) That pasta you ate probably looked delicious in person, but in your photograph, it looked like ceiling insulation and blood. That's how it is with food photos—I didn't make the rules, they just usually come out shitty. Oh, and when you post the raw meat you're about to put on the grill? Stop that. We saw it in the grocery store yesterday, butcher's aisle, front and center. It's not a floral centerpiece, it's flesh. And nobody knows why you're sharing it.
b) Think about it. Us critics, we're not assholes. We're just people who eat—it's what we do, too. And we don't understand why your pork chop is our business. Can you stop playing with your food... and eat it?
7. Religious Conversion via Old Elementary School Friends You Haven't Seen Since They Were Doing Very UnChristian-like Things at Recess. I'm going to go ahead and guess that if you're banking on Facebook posts to help convert brothers and sisters in Christ, you've got a long road ahead. And I'm also betting He might question your methods when it comes time to answer for it. "Facebook, Peter, really? You couldn't knock on a few doors?"
Then again, nobody said His work was easy... or without humor. The following is a real status update. Seriously, it's real... and kind of awesome.
I want to be so full of Christ that when a mosquito bites me he flies away singing a hymn.
6. Selfies. Maybe a good rule of thumb for Facebook is before posting anything, think: would this make sense in the real world? For example, would you tell people on the street about your recent engagement? Yes, that makes sense doesn't it? Then post it. Next question: Do you normally alert friends and family about what you're eating and what it looks like? No, okay, maybe then maybe leave that crap off. And when it comes to pictures... would you walk the halls of your office, your school, local restaurants, and hand out pictures of yourself? That you took yourself? No? Seems kind of weird, doesn't it?
Okay, maybe that's... something... to just think about... You know, next time you get the urge to snap a photo of yourself doing mostly nothing but snapping a photo of yourself.
"Hands down, most annoying is people that take pictures of themselves... whether it's in front of a mirror where you can see the camera in their hand or the worst is while they're driving... No one else around they're just snapping photos of themselves...my cousin does it and I'm about to defriend her."
"One of my least favorite things to see on Facebook is people posting a zillion selfies. Narcissistic much? Cause I'm pretty sure we all know what you look like already."
"Bikini pics. No matter how good you look, don’t do it."
"I can't stand flesh and bathing suits—people posting photos of them and/or other people in swimsuits. You are forcing me to judge you and I really don't want to."
NEXT WEEK! I'll post the top 5 Facebook offenses. Stay tuned! In the meantime, share yours below... (It's not too late to add to the list.)