Five Facebook Faux Pas’
It may confuse you as to why I have compiled a list on facebook faux pas, as I know it somewhat ironic (or perhaps it should be hypocritical) for a socially reclusive human being such as myself to be commenting on social conventions and social networks. But believe it or not, I actually have a facebook account and have more than 1 friend on it. This makes me infinitely more popular than George W Bush and puts me in a unique perspective to comment on this social phenomenon or abnormality.
I was incredibly bored, being a Sunday none of my usual suspects were online to annoy; programmers, posters, commentators etc all had better things to do on the weekend then to amuse me. So after exhausting some online arcade games, and with no sound on the computer I am on, I thought I would check my emails for the 100th time. After absolutely no new emails I thought I would scrape the bottom of the barrel and check my facebook to see if anyone who I am not in close contact with (because if I was in close contact I would already know whats going on) was doing anything interesting. As I suspected everyone else’ life was as boring and shitty as mine, with the difference being that they could not admit it and were happy to announce it publicly.
So I thought in an effort to improve the Internet, the world and human civilization as we know it, I would chisel down the five biggest facebook faux pas (according to Adam) on a stone tablet and place it on top of Mount Sinai and wait for an arse kicking Hebrew to find it, but realising I would have to climb the mountain decided to just make it into a blog post instead:
5 Facebook Faux Pas
Facebook Faux Pas #1. Your life is boring, we don’t care.
What really started this post was 3 separate updates from a friend/acquaintance about their dreams. Yes you read correctly, Dreams! Seeing as a dream is a deeply personal thing with vivid imagery that is nearly impossible to describe and plot lines that follow no coherent order or make any sense at all, it is a good bet that no-one else can appreciate your dream quite like you did. Couple this with the fact that the only way for someone to have any emotional attachment to your dream, is through your delivery of telling them, with exaggerated body gestures, emphasis of words and overall enthusiasm in your speech as you tell them, it becomes rather obvious that a facebook update about your dream is as exciting as watching paint as it sits still inside the paint tin (watching paint dry is far more exciting). To these updates I say “We don’t care”.
- You are reading a book – “We don’t care”
- Your cat just meowed – “We don’t care”
- You had a good day – “We don’t care”
- You wiped your ass with your left hand as opposed to your right – “We don’t care”
And the definitely worse facebook update and one of the most common is updates about the weather. “Its cold today” is not a facebook update it is an observation that no-one cares about and in most of your friends cases (who live nearby), they probably already know. I use to check facebook to get an idea about the weather but a new social trend has just emerged where instead of going online, all you have to do to find out about the weather is go outside, or barring that look out the window.
Facebook Faux Pas #2. Putting A Racing Stripe On A Turd
To coin another political phrase “putting lipstick on a pig” or “putting rouge on a corpse”. I am talking about dressing up your facebook account to reflect something that is not reality. Now, in life everyone has large mundane periods of time before they do something exciting or memorable. Its not something to be ashamed of, not something to hide, just a simple fact of life. So if you have nothing of note to report of facebook don’t try and dress it up.
“Had the best day doing nothing”. Did you really have the best day? Was a day about doing nothing really worthy of telling your entire social network about? If you had the best day doing nothing why do continually let me know when you are doing stuff when clearly this is not what you want to do? So many questions to answer.
Facebook Faux Pas #3. Its not a competition
I have heard people proudly exclaim that “I have over 500 friends”. Well I guess that is true if you use Facebooks decimation of the definition of friends as your guide. But a Facebook “friend” is only a small step up from a twitter follower. To put it simply: You do not have 500 friends! You simply know 500 people who have facebook accounts. This fact is not a badge of honour, an example of social superiority, or a testament to your personality. It is however a sad indictment of how insecure you are as a person, and your inability to differentiate real friends from one-off acquaintances. So if you add me as a friend (when clearly we are not, which is pretty much everyone other than the two friends I have already added) to increase the number of friends in your facebook profile, I will either reject it outright, or if in a bad enough mood I will add you as a friend and write some really inappropriate things on your wall, for your real friends and family to see.
Facebook Faux Pas #4. Profile Pic
Ah, the profile pic, the cover letter of the social networking world. And just like a resume that barely resembles your abilities and work experience, the profile pic has been suffering the same fete. But there is more than one crime committed by profile pictures on facebook
- The first and most common misuse of a profile picture is the false advertising used. Ever see one of your old friends or acquaintances pop up on the left and you being surprised by how good they look? I know I have. However further investigation reveals that they have chosen a completely unrepresentative photo of themselves, and you have wasted 2 minutes on a pointless cause. Now I am not saying you need to use your drivers licence photo or a photo of you passed out in a gutter, but something that is a fair reflection of yourself,not some photo shopped, obscure angle type of photo where the truth is hidden.
- The bait and switch is another common misuse of the profile pic. This happens quite a lot with the ladies, using a photo of themselves and their hot friends as their profile pic. Once again you fall into the trap of assuming the person in question is one of the hot persons in the photo, only to waste two minutes and feel disappointment.
- The last and most serious misuse of the profile pic belongs to the artsy (is that a word and if so how is it spelt?) crowd. Using stupid photo manipulation techniques they create “cool” images of nothing with stupid colors, weird graphics and indecipherable pictures. No-one (who matters) think you are clever, smart or cool, you come across a douche trying hard to be a turd.
Facebook Faux Pas #5. Everything Else
Alliteration looks so good in a title. Unfortunately there are actually more than 5 facebook faux pas so in the interest of preserving my clever title I am going to include the rest of them under facebook faux pas number 5: Everything Else
Posting private shit publicly: I don’t care what kind of rash you have, how your sexual experience went last night, and I certainly don’t want to see pictures of you having your baby. So if you are posting something for a particular group be sure that only that group has to endure your inner most personal (and usually disturbing) secrets.
Provocative post: “I am so angry” is not a god damn status update! Well I will concede that it technically is, however it is such a blatant attempt to illicit a response from your “friends” that it pisses me off. I will provide feedback, or a compliment if you merit one but to try and illicit one is despicable. However people will continually fall for it hook,line and sinker. “Oh whats wrong babe”, “I hope everything is OK” etc. How about next time you are angry or sad or even happy you let us know why, so we can respond accordingly and even provide support if necessary. Otherwise my response will be a deliberate attempt to make your bad day worse, and your good day, well worse.
Pregnancy and kids: I think this is so obvious to anyone who has a facebook friend who is either pregnant of has kids. We all know its a social faux pas to incessantly bore your childless friends about every small detail of your pregnancy or child’s life. I went away for a week and mentioned my kids just twice to my friends. One was to politely answer a question the second was to complain about going home and having them destroy any chance of sleeping in. Now I am no monster and will allow an occasional post about big milestones in your and your child’s life but anything beyond that is wasting precious bandwidth.
Imagine Kirk from star trek talking about his kids. “Captains Log, Star Date 23510.5, little Jonny did a massive shit today and it went everywhere. Tried to convince the wife to change him, but she said if I didn’t do it, good luck having sex again. With the threat of abstinence I dutifully changed Jonny and put his clothes in the wash… Captains Log, Star Date 23510.6, Little Jonny is playing with his trucks…Captains Log, Star Date 23511.1, Jonny woke up three times last night.” I assume Spock as a loyal soldier would be telling Kirk where he can shove his pointless updates about his kids and as a loyal soldier to maintaining Internet social conventions I am going to do the same. Although my youngest son Zac has started becoming very active and is now able to sit up. Its sooooooooo cute.
So there it is, the 5 (or 7) Facebook Faux Pas to avoid if you want to keep your “real” online friends. If you follow my sage advice, and avoid commiting any of the facebook faux pas commited above, you can be as successful and as happy as I am, particularly with my large friend network.