Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Facebook Ettiquette 101

This will probably offend people. Most people, actually- but it has to be said. 90% of the posts that people have the audacity to put on facebook are inappropriate. For years I have watched status updates on my news feed go from "last night was soooo crazy omg lol lets do it again tonight" to "i am pushing out my 12 pound baby; want to see a mobile upload of my dialated cervix?"
It's time to take a stand. Something has to be done.

Let's first talk about facebook as an entity. It all began back in 2004 as a website for people in college to check out other people in college without feeling totally creepy (we've all seen The Social Network, right?). It was essentially a virtual yearbook. You sign up, post a profile picture of yourself, insert some kind of "tell us about yourself" quote ("Live, Laugh, Love" for the girls who wanted a boyfriend, something about booze for the rest of us), and stalk the hotties in the frat/sorority next door. Boom. Facebook had served it's purpose.

Therein lies the problem. All of those young, carefree, fun kids who joined in 2004 have grown up. Most of them seem to forget that at the inception of facebook, people used to black out and wake up with 9 new facebook friends. Which was (and still is, in my opinion) totally acceptable. The problematic fact is, unless you have taken the time to go on a facebook defriending spree, these people still have access to your profile and are therefore subjected to sick updates about your strange little life.

It amazes me the private things that people have NO PROBLEM posting on facebook. Things I wouldn't even tell my own mother, people are putting out there for all 900 of their "friends" to see. There is a reason that the good lord invented email, and that is so that you can share all of the pictures of your giant, veiny baby belly with people who actually care. Better yet, pop those pictures into a blog. Post THAT on facebook if you must. At least that gives people the choice to look. By clicking on your blog link, I am consciously subjecting myself to this information- it's not being forced on me while I am drinking coffee and looking for incriminating pictures of people I used to get drunk with circa 2007.

Disclaimer: I don't hate babies. My best friend is currently pregnant and I love getting pictures of her baby belly, her sonograms, and general updates about her pregnancy. You know, the pictures that she sends to me in a PERSONAL TEXT MESSAGE because she knows that I care... and to the same degree, I am almost certain that guy she hooked up with sophomore year after a particularly rough night in Broad Ripple is fine with NEVER seeing those pictures. But I digress.
Honestly, the baby updates are the least offensive- they just come to mind first because they are the most common. At least those are positive, happy updates that generally just contain a bit TMI. (minus this lovely little tidbit that an ex-sorority sister thought was appropriate just this morning: "Damnit. This is not the day for my son to have 4 bowel movements in an hour. Very very busy.") She should obviously have her facebook privileges revoked for a week.

The updates that really get me are the attention whores. These people commit 1 of 2 crimes, and have therefore been placed into 1 of 2 categories outlined below:
TYPE 1: "I love my life and and my job and my baby and my family and my friends and my pinky fucking toe so much that I have to post about it on facebook every 30 seconds to show the world how blissfully happy I am."

These people post things like "Heading to Dinner with my Hubby! <3" ... "On vacation with the fam! Look at these 9 pictures of a seashell!" ... "my little man is so funny, he just farted! mommyhood is the BESTEST" ... "i love my friends, best night EVER, now off to brunch at some trendy and expensive venue, then i'm going to spend the day being fabulous, xo!" etc. etc.
Now- I am a pretty happy person, and I happen to love my life.. which is why I personally choose to spend my time LIVING IT, not updating casual acquaintances about it. Call me crazy, call me cynical, call me a bitch.. but if you were that happy/having that much fun/that in love with your "hubby" (a word that should be banned, by the by), would you really feel the need to tell everyone you've ever met about it? Just a thought.

TYPE 2: "I want sympathy and I'm obviously not getting it from the people that I see and talk to on a regular basis so I'm going to turn to my facebook friends."

These people post mundane, boring updates about their health, general well being, the state of their day (it was usually TERRIBLE), opinions on the news/weather/current events/issues. They also tend to post every 20 minutes or so. Below is an example of a girl facebooking about her headache. This was over a 24 hour period, and YES, these are only the highlights because not even I could handle repeating myself that much, even to make a point:

2pm on a Thursday: "Headache from Hell..."
2:52 pm on that same Thursday: "Just took medicine, now time for bed... I hope this works, I feel awful"
8:26pm that SAME god damned Thursday: "Still feel like my head is going to explode... back to sleep."
11am Friday: "Day two of my headache meds.... I hope this works!!!"
3pm, you guessed it, Friday: "My migraine has subsided to only a headache..."

Nobody commented on these updates.. because nobody cares. And to be honest, aside from her physician, I can only assume that nobody ever will.

I can honestly say that I am sure that I have been guilty of these crimes before. I think after a particularly rough Wednesday night, I was still pretty tipsy and I posted something to the effect of "just threw up in the bathroom at work, DAMN YOU WHISKEY WEDNESDAYS!" That is probably TMI for some people.
I remember doing this because that prompted me to join twitter. Posts like that are much more appreciated in a land that exists solely for status updates.

I don't think that this blog entry will change the world; if anything it will just enrage the people that are guilty of these facebook crimes and they will probably say mean things about me behind my back. However, I wrote this because I care about the economy. I've come up with a new division within facebook that Mark Zuckerberg should create: The Facebook Police. This could literally create THOUSANDS of jobs. I'll volunteer to be the chief. We can do things like suspend accounts that give too much information about their birth canal, issue warnings for people that are spamming the news feed with updates about how 'omg i just cooked a piece of chicken and its so good let me show you a pic and then another pic omg dinnerrrrr <3,' charge fines whenever someone breaks the cardinal rule of facebook (misuse of Their/They're/There or You're/Your), etc. etc. The list goes on and on. So lets do it- let's put America back to work! I will gladly spearhead the Facebook Police Initiative. Just say the word.
Anyway, back to facebook I go.