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Shit That Needs to Stop : Facebook II

In case you missed it, we posted the first set of Facebook atrocities earlier this year.  You might want to start there.  Or do these first.  It’s not like there’s a plot to follow.

1) Using a Photo of Your Child as Your Profile Picture

Yeah, so, I didn’t ask to become friends with your 4-year old.  I’m sure he’s a great guy and everything, probably a wonderful conversationalist, but I was actually  more interested in keeping in touch with you.  Kind of like, you know, the reason for being on Facebook to begin with.

“But he’s such a big part of my life!  It represents me!”

Yeah, well, I watch a lot of porn, but you don’t see me using Sasha Grey as my profile picture.

Ideally, we want to see what you look like; you should know that 90% of the reason Facebook exists is to see how hot or ugly our former classmates and ex-girlfriends and boyfriends have become.  Do your part.  If you want to throw your kid in there as an accessory, fine.  Want to have the occasional graphic or logo to celebrate or protest something?  Go nuts.  But we don’t need pictures of someone else.

 2) Sharing “Tests” That Are So Ridiculously Simple, It’s Embarassing To See You Answered It.

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Yeah, actually I can name a state that doesn’t have an “E” in it, and so can everyone else over the age of four with at least two functional brain cells.

I can also name a technological malady with a “V” in it – as in “Virus”, which is what your dumb ass just downloaded on to your PC when you shared that post.

3) Posting Stupid Motivational Sentiments as Photos

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Tell me if you can picture this scene :

A man walks in to his psychologist’s office.  The therapist asks him how he’s been doing lately, and he replies with “You know, if you would have asked me that a few days ago, I would have told you I was near-suicidal.  But then, yesterday, someone posted a picture to their wall on Facebook that said “Fuck Those People!”, and I thought ‘Yeah! Fuck those people!’  So, I’m totally fine now and I’ll be going home now, thanks and bye.”

You can’t, right?  Because no one’s problems have been solved or their mood improved by a trite, overdone and overused cliché slapped over a pastoral .JPG file.  If you want to try to inspire people, put in a little more work than cutting and pasting something from a wanna-be Oprah – or even worse, someone less creative and inspiring, like Oprah.

4) Bragplaining

This one is closely related to the Gratuitous Humblebragging in the first set of rules, but with a key difference : whereas the Gratuitous Humblebrag wants you to know that their everyday mundane activity is more fabulous than yours, the Bragplain is an even greater level of douchiness that still manages to let you know how wonderful their life is, only under the guise of an attempt at eliciting sympathy.

“Well, I guess I can’t make it to the Regatta this weekend…   The engraved platinum tiller that was SUPPOSED to be delivered today won’t get here until MONDAY! FML!”

5) Status Updates of Obvious Sentiments

It’s a good thing that you posted “I loooooove my kids soooo much!” as your status update today, because prior to that point, I had assumed you were at best indifferent to your children, and at worst you hated them and were secretly planning their contract killing.  I had even gone so far as to pre-plan my response to your seemingly inevitable solicitation to off them myself – although I wasn’t sure if I was going to go with “I’m not really a ‘hitman’, per se, so while I might be able to bring myself to whack your spouse, I don’t really think I’m cut out for child contracts,” or “I have spin class that day.”  I mean, the former opens the door for them to try to reason me into it, but the latter just seems kind of dickish.

Also in this category, “I love my husband”, “I love my wife”, “My kids are awesome!”, and “I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes”

6) Talking About How Busy You Are

Listen, we all have shit to do.  Well, not me, not now anyway – I’ve got all the time in the world, actually – but everyone else is busy.  They’ve got jobs, they’ve got families, they’ve got medical problems, they’ve got kids with problems, parents with problems, STDs, Comcast as their cable provider, and hemorrhoids.  You’ve got a full time job and two kids at home that have to get to soccer practice, Toddler Crossfit, and their Tagalog tutor – and you are still planning their Frozen-themed birthday party this weekend?  Wow, let me get the Nobel people on the phone for you.

There’s a very good chance that one or more of your friends reading that spends virtually all their free time outside work caring for a terminally ill parent, or a special needs child, and they’re not saying a goddamn word about it.  So before you want to schedule a Pity Parade because your minivan is going to go WAY over miles on your lease because you’re so gosh-darn busy, think about people with actual hardships, who might be a little put off by your sentiment.

7) Cryptically Vague Status Updates

“Having the worst day ever.”

“I really hope he’s ok!”

“When will this ever end?”

Would you ever walk up to a person and start a conversation like this?  No, you wouldn’t, because it lacks all context and they have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about.  So why throw it out to hundreds of people without further explanation?  Because you want attention and you want people to engage and ask questions, that’s why.  It’s kind of obvious and kind of annoying.  Stop it.

To fight this scourge, I encourage everyone to answer in a manner that feigns knowledge of the situation, and embarrasses the poster.  For example, to the above three updates, you could comment :

“I told you prostitution wasn’t as carefree as it seemed!”

“Don’t worry, herpes isn’t curable, but it is treatable”

“As soon as you accept your penis size.”

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