Are you a self-indulgent, arrogant, attention-seeking or annoying Facebooker? Find out here!
Is it just me, or does everybody have those select few friends whose addiction to Facebook transcends merely checking it, and spills over into constantly posting pointless stuff to the point where the Facebook servers are self-destructing? I’m talking about people who impulsively feel the need to post constantly over the span of a few minutes or hours about what they’re doing, feeling or thinking as if to remind everyone that they’re still breathing. Then there are those people who might not post frequently, but what they post about is so cringe-worthy because anything that transpires from their keyboard onto the screen is something that makes you want to scrape your eyeballs across a brick wall. (Funny how a lot of my rants are Facebook-related … just goes to show how much of my life I spend on it).
There’s a difference between expressing one’s feelings and just blatant attention-seeking: if you want to vent and let out your feelings, there’s a thing called a diary, word document, brick wall or maybe a HUMAN BEING that you can talk to/type into – especially if these feelings are of no significance to anyone else (people might give a shit the first time but I’m sure after the 22nd post about the same topic, wallowing in self-pity, or blatant self-indulgent advertising of oneself, people will stop caring). When you bring your thoughts to a public domain, it can only be for the sole purpose of being seen by others or getting a reaction out of others. Whinging on Facebook or Twitter is fine, as long as it’s not every waking hour of the day to the point where it’s just spam or a desperate plea for human attention. I think a better approach to life is to find someone to talk to on a personal level rather than making the whole world constantly aware of your problems.
Talking about yourself is also fine, but there are some boundaries you should draw in how much you promote how great you are.
I can’t stress enough that there is such a thing as ‘smart’ posting – I’m talking here about using your own discretion and common sense as to what you’re going to post on Facebook and how frequently you do it. Therefore, I’ve compiled a general guide to what I (and probably the general population … okay maybe just me) find acceptable when it comes to Facebook statuses…
|Subject matter of the activity||Acceptable||Unacceptable|
|Whining about how shitty something is||Short, concise rants are effective. Some degree of cleverness is always a plus. Sarcasm and putting others down in jest is also a good but not necessary. I love rage statuses and I’m sure everyone else loves them too.||When the topic of shittiness is your life in general and how confused, depressed or angry you are about where your life is going or about the people in it. Verbose and long expressions of hatred of one’s life are particular disgusting. Emotive language such as ‘abyss’, ‘turmoil’, ‘vicious’, ‘alone’, etc is highly frowned upon.|
|What you’re doing or what you’re going to do||There’s nothing wrong with telling people about what you’re doing if it’s enjoyable. I encourage rubbing how good your life is in other people’s faces as long as it’s in moderation. If what you’re doing is not enjoyable (working, lecture, in the process of getting murdered), this is also okay because other people can laugh at you.||Waffling on and on about what you’re doing in excruciating detail. ‘Excruciating detail’ here means every possible feeling you may have about what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, why you’re doing it, what might happen when you do it, and the possible effects on society it may have when you do it. Here’s a tip: if you think nobody cares about the details of what you’re doing, then chances are they don’t. If you think people do care about every tiny detail of what you’re doing, you’re wrong.|
|Asking for people’s opinions about something or asking for help on something||Just don’t expect anyone to actually answer you.||When nobody answers you, don’t keep posting more of the same question, perhaps paraphrased a bit, in the hope that someone will answer you. If no one answered you the first five times, it means nobody has the answer or nobody wants to answer you. Deal with it.|
|Quotes||Funny quotes, quotes that challenge one’s thinking, philosophical quotes (to a degree).||Anything that you came up with that you think is funny, challenges one’s thinking, or philosophical but isn’t really. This involves putting quotation marks and then ‘– Me’ at the end or ‘–Your name’ afterwards. You don’t need to quote yourself – we already know that you’re the one who’s saying it and you won’t look like a douche, either.|
|Any status to do with how popular/attractive you are, or perceive yourself to be. For example, ‘X amount of people are trying to pick me up’, ‘Person X keeps staring at me’, ‘person X used a pickup line on me’.||This is never acceptable. Get over yourself.||See left.|
|How much you love someone||Only if done in moderation (i.e. maximum of once a year).Otherwise, it is acceptable if it is clever or sarcastic.||Constantly posting how much you love someone. It’s even worse if there are justifications and reasons attached to the love-proclamation, such as ‘because he’s so wonderful’, ‘such a good friend’, or something equally as vomit-inducing.|
Here are some other things to keep in mind:
- Don’t constantly post about the same thing. Sure, you might not have felt satisfied enough the first few times you wrote about it but constantly posting about it isn’t going to make everyone else care any more than they already do. Ever notice that the more someone harasses you to join their cult or give them money to save a whale, the more annoyed you are and the less you care about it? Yeah. That applies to everything.
- If nobody likes or comments on what you post, don’t post it again. Don’t think “oh no, nobody’s responding to this … maybe nobody saw it. I better post it again several more times until someone acknowledges my existence.” Stop kidding yourself – people did see it and chose to … *gasp* … ignore it.
- Don’t subsequently tag a bunch of people in multiple posts over a short time period, because you’re effectively creating some kind of moral obligation for them to respond. Don’t even bother tagging them in comments of your own post.
- Don’t comment on your own post and repeat what the original post already said. And don’t resort to talking to yourself if nobody comments on your posts. Talking to yourself is no more acceptable on the Internet than it is in real life.
- Don’t like your own posts. Liking your own posts is pretty much stating the obvious – you like your own opinion. Okay genius, what person doesn’t like (in the literal sense) what they say? If you didn’t actually like what you said, you would’ve deleted it. Nobody says, “I dislike my own opinion. I think I’m wrong but I wrote it anyway”, so you don’t need to disclaim yourself of this by pressing ‘like’ on your own status. When you’re liking your post, you’re effectively saying: “Man, I’m a genius – this deserves a ‘like’ from myself because it’s just that great and perhaps people will realise how great it is if they see that I liked it. Oh yeah, and nobody else is liking my post so I have to make it look like somebody likes it.” Too bad that when you’re the only person who likes your post, it just makes you look even lamer.
Anyone who offends any of the above principles and/or falls under more than one category of ‘Unacceptable’ Facebook behaviour usually gets filtered out of my news feed. I’m not saying that people should feel threatened by me putting them on some kind of virtual list where I’ll never have to deal with their incessant whining again, I’m just giving out a friendly warning that people aren’t afraid to press a ‘mute’ button on everything you say, so you might want to think more about what you post on the internet. Now if only there was something like this in real life.
The point is: Facebook and other social media is an avenue for sharing short instances of information that a multitude of people can appreciate, so you should accordingly share things with this purpose in mind. On the other hand, there are some things that you should only tell specific people. There are other ways of communicating with people privately so that the whole world doesn’t have to see your dirty laundry, and this is where we should all draw a line! Together, we can make the internet a more liveable place! You have the power!