Sometime after my original rant about Facebook and the monsters it has created-slash-unveiled, I decided to take an unofficial break from our quintessential social network. I did not temporarily deactivate my account, as do some of my friends when they’ve had enough of The Network That Breeds Narcissism. I just avoided checking it more often than on a sporadic basis.
I must say, not subjecting myself to anything more than a cursory scan of that notorious newsfeed has improved my mental health. I hardly ever find myself snarling at my computer screen anymore, and I don’t get the nagging feeling that I’m robbing myself of precious moments of my life by wasting time on tripe. It’s win-win. When I do check my page, I barely make it past the fifth or sixth item in the newsfeed before abandoning the excursion altogether.
If ever I’d doubted my convictions – which, let’s be real, I hadn’t – those brief visits would slap me back into lucidity. The same basic truths still hold:
- The residents of Dullsville (also known as members of the Dullsworthy club, or “Dullsters”) are still as mind-numbingly boring as ever.
- The narcissists remain under the deluded impression that they are fascinating enough to warrant clogging the newsfeed with all things them.
- With few exceptions, the average number of Facebook status updates a day is still inversely proportional to how interesting the life of the person posting the updates actually is.
I did realize that there are a few Facebook friend types that I missed when we last looked at the sad state of affairs that is this social network “community”, so it’s only fair to add them to the list. When I do manage to tough it out past more than a brief eyeful of my newsfeed (I’m learning how to scan past the bedtime stories), I’m occasionally treated to posts by friends who pepper the newsfeed with hilarious statements that thoroughly amuse me – kindred spirits, if you will.
But let’s get the bad news over with first, shall we?
Bad Facebook Friend #11: The friend who ‘likes’ and comments on every ridiculously mundane status update and every single “check-in” by anyone and everyone.
Half the time, this person is not even on your friend list, but you keep forgetting they’re not because you see their name under each and every post served up by Dullsters you’re both friends with. This person seems to click the ‘like’ button on every bloody thing a Dullster has to say and is the first to add an equally scintillating comment, like “LOL” or “I love that restaurant. What are you ordering?”
If Peter lets us know that he is off to the dentist, this idiot pipes in, “Good luck!” If Mary posts that she’s got a headache, this same idiot will inexplicably ‘like this’.
I can’t decide what is more annoying about this Facebook friend – is it that they are actually stimulated by irritating minutiae or that they are encouraging the Dullster to continue to share uninteresting tidbits? These people clearly wait around all day, eyes peeled, for status updates by the townsfolk of Dullsville and, by all appearances, lead even duller lives. I’m at the point where I hate these idiots more than I hate the Dullster. You know what these people are? They are enablers. They are the reason that the Dullster continues to share the unnecessary; the reason he will never accidentally discover that 482 out of his 500 Facebook friends have removed him from their newsfeed because he is so damned boring. It’s like being at a dinner party where an obnoxious loudmouth will not shut up, and instead of someone shutting him down, nervous laughter floats through the room – so he continues to hog the floor, believing that he is entertaining his fans, not punishing his victims. To the enabler: stop it, already! The Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes. It’s time we let him know.
Bad Facebook Friend #12: The friend who posts links or status updates and immediately likes his own post.
Dude. You posted it. We know you like it. No need to fly the look-how-clever-I-am flag.
The sad thing is that usually this person is nowhere near as clever as he thinks he is. I often wonder if the goal is actually to get the “comment party” started, like kicking off the dance floor at a wedding reception…I know, I know – it doesn’t make any sense to me either.
This guy also seems to ‘like’ his own comments on posts by others. You want to believe his cursor slipped, but you repeatedly see his ‘likes’ and you realize that it’s 100% intentional. You know what I’m reminded of? Jack Handey with his hilarious self-affirmation. But these people aren’t hilarious. They’re irritating, they’re full of themselves, and doggone it, people wish they would go away.
Bad Facebook Friend #13: The friend who posts cryptic status updates and allows the curious “what’s going on?” comments to pile up only to then reply, “I’ll tell you in person” or worse, doesn’t reply at all.
Why post anything? There’s being vague, and then there’s baiting. Judging from the few times they actually divulge the full story, it’s usually a red herring, a ploy to make their life seem more drama-filled than it actually is. Honestly, if I’m uncomfortable with my general Facebook public knowing about something in my life, I will not post a status about that something. What are you, twelve? It smacks of the tween who whispers a secret to one friend while a third looks on in misery. Actually, that’s not fair. Most tweens know better.
Bad Facebook Friend #14: The friend who follows world news religiously, and has apparently decided to update her Facebook page 40 or 50 times every hour to…what? Keep us abreast of the events as they unfold?
I have news for you, friend. I don’t go on Facebook to stay informed. If I want to know what is happening out there in the big, bad world on a by-the-minute basis, there is this thing called Twitter, and most news outlets tweet. That is clearly where you’re getting your bites from, anyway – so your updates are redundant, if not outright irritating.
What is that about, anyway? This friend actually acts like she is breaking this news herself, as if she is a reporter in Tripoli with protesters, or is hanging out alongside workers in a Fukushima nuclear plant (the friend doesn’t live in any of these places, by the way – she is snuggly comfy in North America, sipping tea as she trolls the web for news that she can “report “), and she seems to believe that no one will know about the atrocities unless she imparts her knowledge. A sense of self-satisfaction seems to engulf her posts. For reasons unknown, she feels as though she owns the news, as though she is personally educating you.
From me to you, newsmonger: when something truly important or frightening happens in North America (or wherever you live) and people need to spread the word, you go ahead and post away. Until then? DISMISSED.
Now the good news: there are people out there who get me! People who kind of enchant me with their status updates on Facebook (the following are real status updates from some of the brighter friends in my life):
“Does anyone else feel like this whole Facebook habit is zapping brain cells? Why am I on here, again?”
“It is now 4:37 PM. Boring post in honor of all the boring posts that make it to facebook.”
“I really don’t care where you are every 10 minutes. I wish your phone would implode from overuse of the check-in feature.”
I’d just like to take a moment to say “thank you” to the people who so valiantly speak the truth – and put it out there, sans apology.
Since I spend very little time on Facebook nowadays, none of the “friends to hate” annoy me quite as much as they did before, but I still can’t view the newsfeed without an eyeroll or a sigh. I also couldn’t resist revisiting our last look at this trainwreck we all continue to be riveted by. People clearly use it as an opportunity to make believe they are celebrities (I can only hope that 10 or 20 years from now, they will look back and feel humiliated and ridiculous for thinking that their every thought was a diamond). Personally, I love to hate these people, which is why I think it might be nice to make this list an ongoing thing, similar to watching a bad reality show week after week, in order to make fun of it.
And hey, who doesn’t love a good sequel?