For the vast majority of us on Facebook our roster of “friends” is brimming with people we’ve neither seen nor spoken to in many, many years. According to my Facebook page, I have 500+ friends—I mean, come on. Who out there actually has that many friends with whom they communicate on even a semi-frequent basis? That said, it boggles my mind the personal tidbits people are so willing and eager to post on Facebook; up there for all those random acquaintances, friends of friends, high school classmates from 15+ years ago and even 2nd grade teachers to see. People, it’s time to stop using Facebook as your personal diary—not because the rest of us don’t care (though, in many instances that is a valid point to consider), but for the sake of your own dignity and privacy.
OK, if you’re in a solid relationship, engaged or married, announce away; even link your page to your honey’s. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, for those of you out there with “fluid” relationship statuses, stop updating this section of your profile with each change in the wind. If you’re constantly going from “In a Relationship” to “It’s Complicated” to “In an Open Relationship” then back ‘round again, perhaps it’s best to remove this detail from your profile until the dust settles and you guys figure out what, exactly, you are. It just makes the rest of us feel a bit bad for you—then we think, should I drop her a line to see how she’s doing? But we haven’t spoken in 12 years; though, she seems to be going through a tough time and we were really close back in 10th grade biology. Then, by the time we’ve either decided to drop you a note or resigned ourselves to the fact that it’d be weird, you’ve circled through the relationship status cycle two more times. If you need to talk and are constantly updating this as a cry for help, just say so—to a close friend, family member, therapist or homeless guy on the street corner.
Do you political ranters out there just enjoy stirring the mock for the sake of mock stirring? Do you really get a thrill out of posting a radical, controversial or harshly critical political opinion? Is it actually fun to then sort through the dozens upon dozens of comments you receive? There is enough hate and negativity in this world—we don’t need this type of sought after vitriol on Facebook. If you have an opinion that you’re just dying to share with your friends, try wording it a bit more diplomatically or maybe just wait until your next dinner party; at least that way you’ll actually get to drink in, first-hand, the maddening effects you have on those who disagree. I realize politics is an important subject. And I understand that social media is playing a large role in the future of politics, but do we really need to just stir the pot for no other reason than boredom or because you have a “I’ll say whatever I want, screw the rest of ya” attitude? It’s called social media, after all. Social, as in friendly, amicable, community-oriented. Not hate and conflict mongering.
Vaguely Angsty Posts
OK folks, enough with the vague, angsty posts that clearly indicate you’re depressed or angry but that don’t actually say why. And when you receive 15 comments from concerned friends asking what’s wrong, answer them! You know you want to; I mean, why else would you have posted “sigh” or “in a dark place today” or “wish my oven were large enough for my head to fit” in the first place? We all understand sadness and hard times. We also understand the need to vent these worries and concerns, but do just that—actually vent them. Don’t merely type out these meek little cries for help. They will do you no good. Turn to your friends and family, or even your journal, and really hash through what’s troubling you. This is a far healthier and more productive tactic than posting about it on a site that offers little to no privacy and is swarming with weirdos.
And for those of you who are continually announcing your departure from Facebook only to resurface 48 hours later, just sign off and be done. You’re only posting about your need for “time away” so people will bombard your page with “whys” and concerns. Again, if you’re going through something, just discretely take your time away and use those regained hours of your life to talk with someone who truly cares, knows you and can actually help. Or, just get a diary.