Scholars say Facebook is a powerful manifestation of narcissism. I want to disagree. I want to see the social media outlet as a way to keep in contact with others, to spread comedy, joy, to empower and encourage. I also see it as a tool for activism and progress. However, it’s hard to argue with the accusation when we all encounter massive navel-gazing repetition as we scroll through The Wall every day. Tell me you aren’t disappointed when your smartest friends suddenly fall prey to bad Facebook behavior. Are we all seeing it so much that we start to find it acceptable? Are our friends saying, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em?”
Warning: You will probably be offended by at least one thing you are about to read. Be advised that if you have overly-exhibited any of the following behaviors, you have already offended me. So, we’re even. Or, you can delete me.
Things I could do without seeing on Facebook on a daily basis (Please note the “daily basis” part. Moderation is marvelous, darling.):
>Your workout schedule
Congratulations on living a healthy lifestyle (genuinely). It’s true that you may influence others in the process of posting your progress. It’s possible that you hope to tell the world about your workout routine regularly so that your friends will hold you accountable when you slip. But please know that they won’t. They will simply be glad that you stopped posting status updates about how many miles you ran or which trendy marathon/ mud run you’re in (So, you’re a philanthropist? Then how about volunteering or donating instead of running? #firstworldfundraising). Don’t get me wrong; now and then, these things serve the noble intentions they stem from. If you still feel the urge to post statuses of this nature, consider starting a blog that serves only as your fitness journal. Those who want to follow along can. It’s just a click away.
>Status updates about how miserable your life is, or how sick you are (especially when you’re a healthy individual with minor maladies)
You have baby-daddy drama, you hate the job you’re working, the city you live in, fill in the blank. You have regular headaches, toothaches, bellyaches- hold that thought while I dial the wahmbulance. Have you ever considered that the more often you talk about something negative, the worse it will get? Also, what do you think your Facebook friends can/will do to make said “issue” better? We all have bad days and go through low times, and it is completely valid to spit it all out in the most relevant way possible. However, if you feel the need to write about it daily, you probably need to A) get a therapist and B) make some life changes. If you are undergoing a serious medical procedure, you may want to consider the suggestion for the first offense and start a blog to chronical your journey.
>A selfie a day
Take a look at your photos. Do they tell a story? Do they showcase who you are and where you’ve been? Or do they all tell the viewer that you spend most of your time alone, in your bedroom/office/bathroom and have no one to take pictures with? New hair, new makeup, just being silly? Fine. BUT NOT DAILY.
>Exaggerated faux news stories shared and believed by gullible masses
They exist on both the right and the left, though in my experience, the majority of “news” stories that you simply must share with all of your friends are the sensationalized versions of stories that the biased liberal media is obviously not telling you. If you really are outraged by a “story” you see on Facebook, do a little research. Try Googling it. See if the media really did cover it somewhere, and dig to see what the true story is. You look extremely unintelligent when you share something that is not true (I speak for every Facebook friend you have when I say this and I couldn’t think of a gentler way to say it, so please don’t imagine I am using a condescending tone when I say that. I am not the enemy. Your stupidity is, but we can get through this together…KIDDING.). You say to your friends, “I believe everything I read. I can’t be bothered to research this matter on my own.” We have all made the mistake of sharing something incredible only to realize it’s not true. This is the nature of the Internet. But fool me once, you’re the fool. Fool me twice and I just might be the Facebook tool. (And if you honestly think the media “isn’t telling us the whole story,” you don’t know how the media works: WE GET BETTER RATINGS WHEN WE TELL YOU EVERYTHING. So put your conspiracy theories to rest.)
>Your private discussions with your significant other played out for my viewing pleasure
You’re in love. I’m happy for you! After all, we are friends for a reason. I will take positive over negative any day! Show me in pictures where you two love birds went. Show me songs or poems that express your mindset. Utilize the many opportunities you have on Facebook to share with your friends what’s going on in your life right now. Writing direct messages to your significant other on his or her public wall, however, invites us all into your life. If you are sharing something we can all be in on and enjoy, great. If you are sharing an I miss you-love-you-this-weekend-was-amazing-can-you-picture-us-naked-yet status… know that your friends are not enjoying reading it and it would be better left for a private chat. Remember, each function on Facebook serves a purpose, and you know that guy who randomly writes, “Hey Bob, it was great seeing you at Outback. How are the kids? Are you still working for Dunder-Mifflin?”…yeah, you look just as clueless on how to use Facebook functions as that guy, only in your case, we know you’re doing it on purpose.
>Invitations to play games (We all agree on this one and yet, the invitations continue.)
>Pictures of your food (though people are starting to get the hint on this one)
Is what you are cooking/eating/drinking something out of the ordinary? Is it something I really must see to believe? If not, as Cecily Strong says to Seth Meyers on SNL’s Weekend Update, “Maybe don’t, Seth.”
Please consider this my way of taking you aside and telling you, “You’ve got a little something right there in your teeth.” Friends don’t let friends fixate. Now go! Post something you haven’t posted in the last 24 hours!