There is no denying that social networking has evolved rapidly in the last five years. I remember (bear with me as I date myself) when someone sent me an invitation to something called The Facebook, as it was called in its early days. Half of us were scared to put our pictures on the internet at that time, and the other half didn’t have camera phones let alone smart phones that connected right to The Facebook. Yes, I realize it’s hard to believe such times existed, but they did. As social networking has evolved, it has provided new ways for people to be irritating, and it is in reflection of these innovations that I present to you The Ten Most Annoying Facebook Habits.
1. Excessive and Misplaced Affection
I’m not talking about those Facebook couples that nauseate you and the rest of the World Wide Web with their public love, that travesty can be lamented in a further point. I’m talking about those who day after day try to beat their own personal record for using the “like” button. So many people have “liked” so many things that there are presently over 5 million Facebook users lobbying for a “dislike button” on several different fan pages. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that “______ and 4 other people like” that I went to the dentist today, if that’s the kind of thing that brings you joy. But please everyone, if everything on Facebook is special, then nothing is.
2. Using Facebook as a Soapbox*
Some people post controversial things in the hopes of rousing a good debate. They find something, anything, share it on their own wall and then proceed to follow it up with comments to provoke naysayers until they have created their very own cyber argument. In some ways I admire them. These passionate souls have found a way to be oppositional in twice the time and effort it takes to have a real argument in a way that requires absolutely no courage at all. Bravo, passionate souls, you’ve convinced us all. We do not doubt in any way….that you are biased and arrogant.
3. Personal Conversations on Walls
Call me old-fashioned, but I think the internet is a public place. While I’m not offended that you’re making lunch plans that are specific right down to the time and place and I now know that you’ll be wearing Uggs and leggings and a hoodie (I actually just assumed that anyhow), I can’t help but wonder if maybe, just maybe, this might be a moment for the Inbox, not the wall. Or the iPhone, which I can see you just used to write on your friend’s wall. What? Don’t have her number? Then why are you having lunch and why, pray tell, are you calling her “hottttttttttieeeee”? But again, maybe I’m just old-fashioned. After all, I did call it “The Facebook” earlier.
4. Updating Your Status Too Frequently (and therefore meaninglessly)
“Rachel is headed to work”
“Rachel is at work”
“Rachel is drinking green tea with honey, yum!”
“Rachel is still at work”
“Rachel is drinking white tea with Splenda” (X people like this)
I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I do like tea. You’re also probably a little bit annoyed because nothing significant was reported in that series of five status updates. I have good news for you, frequent updater: you can relax. You are not a celebrity, nor are you a Person of Interest. If you were, then you would hide your whereabouts rather than advertise them. Feel free to head to work and drink your tea outside of the public eye and consequently, my News Feed. Really, I insist.
5. Liking Your Own Status*
Why like your own status? Are you afraid no one else will? Why do you care? These are the questions I ask people when I see that little thumbs up below their own status to the left of their own name. Maybe I should be glad they like it, after all, it’s their status. And if you like your own status, chances are you are all alone in that.
6. Facebook Aliases
Every once and a while I will see that someone has changed their name to “Havanice Day” or “Godbless Useveryone” or worse “City Hotcakesssssss”. I do not understand this. If you are trying to maintain anonymity, then run from Facebook all together, or at least don’t upload 1,765 pictures of yourself in front of your bathroom mirror. It kind of blows your disguise a little, Miss Hotcakesssssss. Facebook will only allow you to change your name so many times because its creators know how long a real, legal name change takes and is calling your bluff. Also, if you change your name a lot, I think you’re a different person and it makes me confused.
7. Excessive Cyber PDA
We’ve all seen it. A relationship status changes from “single” to “in a relationship” in that sacred viral ceremony that connects your profile to that of your beloved’s, parted only by a tragic click of the mouse. But before that shows up on a newsfeed, Facebook walls are flooded with the timeless and eloquent poetry of teenage romance: “luv u babyyyyyyyyyyy misss youuuuuuuu”, which you think is rather ironic since an hour ago the two love birds “checked in” at their local Wendy’s. You can follow all activities of this cyber Romeo and Juliet pair, from their mobile uploads of lip-lock to their cartoon hearts with their initials in it made with some kind of new Facebook application that you might even accidentally install and thereafter hate yourself. To make matters worse, about ten to fifteen people “like” every activity, post and comment. But fear not, eventually the dreaded cracked heart icon will appear on your feed, and the PDA couple will be replaced with someone who likes to post pictures of kittens.
8. Repost This If…
Once upon a time before email and Facebook and texting, there were these things called letters. They required stamps and took days to arrive in the hands of those to whom they are written. Yes, written, with pen and paper and in early days, a quill. People sat and wrote letters to each other and mailed them, and receiving them was very special indeed, until you opened up a letter that ended with the words “Send this to ten people or…” followed by a threat of ill will to befall the link who breaks the letter chain, like typhoid or scarlet fever or dysentery. Anyway, those chain letters have not died with those archaic diseases, they have instead been reborn in a new and more contagious form: the chain Facebook post. Much like early letter openers, you may see that someone has written on your wall. You click on the notification expecting day-brightening words only to see that if you don’t repost this, you do not care about animals/cancer/world peace/poverty/canaries and some terrible ill will befall you, or if you will then you will have good luck in love for 7 years. Perhaps I’m not a true believer, but I’ve never, ever gotten a flat tire and thought “If I’d only reposted…I’m the worst.”
9. Click Here to Find Out…
If there really was a button I could click to see when I would die, who my bridesmaids would be or who looked at my profile the most in 2011, I don’t know that I’d push it. While Facebook works on said technology, I must say I am not a fan of the “Click here to find out” invitations that pop up every five minutes. I’m a purist. I want to get on Facebook and look at the wedding pictures of people who I’m obviously not close enough with to get invited to their wedding. I want to see where someone I haven’t seen since college is having dinner on Friday nights and whom they’re dating. I want to make sure that enough of my friends are “going” to an event before I hover my cursor over the “accept” button and make that great cyber commitment. “Click here to find out”? Now that’s useless information.
10. Social Gaming
Let me be abundantly clear here. There is nothing I want to do less than join Castlemania, My Pet Shoppe, or grow some kind of internet Garden of Time. I don’t want to challenge you in whatever animated game you are currently playing, nor will I “click here to give this person a duck because they need 20” on any kind of fantasy agricultural society. Should you enjoy social gaming, you are welcome to do behind the safe net of my “hide” button on my News Feed, where all ducks, pets, castles, gardens, mafia members live in peace.
Whenever anyone writes something that might be offensive, they usually end with a plea for grace from their offended reader. I am sorry if I called you out in this rant, I was only trying to be a voice for my fellow annoyed social networkers. Consider paying us heed, and if you are truly offended, I shall understand if you decline to click the “like” button at the foot of this entry.
*I must give credit where credit is due. Habits #2 and #5 were the ideas given to me by my wonderfully intelligent boyfriend who offered some welcome assistance in the creation of this blog. Thanks dear, I you.