Here’s the deal. Back in 2003, I invented facebook. Then I showed it off to those darn Winklevoss twins and they stole my idea. I’m not entirely sure what happened after that, but the thing got made and has become relatively popular. (Do I hold a grudge? Nah. I’ve since invented the many other things which should make me very wealthy).
So, just how popular is facebook? It currently has over eight hundred million users. To put that in perspective, imagine one person using facebook. Now, imagine more than eight hundred million other people also using facebook. That should give you some idea of the scope here. And eight hundred million users means eight hundred million opportunities to post annoying status updates.
For your convenience, I’ve broken these millions of daily annoyances into ten and/or eleven user-friendly categories –
11. The Wildly Mundane – Let’s start with the obvious. People on facebook love to let their friends and loved ones know what they’re having for lunch, that they’re having trouble getting to sleep, and how much they dislike Mondays. It was neither amusing nor entertaining when Garfield told us how bad Mondays are…do you really think you have some new insight on the subject? Here’s a rule to follow, if you wouldn’t write it in a letter (remember letters? We used to update loved ones on our lives by writing on pieces of paper that were then sealed into envelopes…Google it), don’t put it in your status update. “Dear Mom, Things are going well. Raj got that promotion. Sheetal made the swim team. And I had sandwich for lunch and hate Mondays.”
10. Picture Puzzles – Have you seen these? Where something is hidden in the picture…or there’s a mistake to find. I actually like puzzles. What I don’t like is staring at my computer screen for twenty minutes trying to find a cat hidden in a giant pile of scrap metal and then, finally, convinced that there is definitely no cat in this picture, look up the answer and see the cat plain as day and feel like a complete idiot.
9. Very Specific Grievances – Nowadays, when people get cut off in traffic or are mistreated by a coworker, they run to their computer and put it in a status update. What are we supposed to do with this information? It never seems important enough to commiserate…“Oh, I’m so sorry Rahul borrowed your stapler and didn’t return it. Hang in there, buddy.” And what is the complainer trying to accomplish? The guy that cut you off is never going to read your status update and telling us about the people who’ve wronged you in small ways is never going to get your stapler back.
8. The Seemingly Clever – Often these are reposted graphics, sometimes they are original thoughts, but they always have one thing in common – at first they look like an Oscar Wilde quote, but upon further inspection, they make very little sense. Here, I’ll make one up. “If home is where the heart is, why do I keep getting heart burn?” Give it no thought, it sounds like it might be clever. But, trust me, it isn’t.
7. Pictures of Pets – Why do I need to know what my second cousin’s cat looks like? And just because we sat across from each other in one college PDT class doesn’t mean I want to see sixteen pictures of your dog napping.
6. Random Song Lyrics – This is a bizarre facebook phenomenon. It’s fairly common for people to simply post a rogue line from a song, with no explanation. Even stranger is that people often comment as if they understand what the person is saying. Status Update – “Milke bhi hum na mila ,aise na jaane kyu….Tu jaane naaa……” Comment – “Yeah, I hear you bro, I’m totally having an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow rusty kind of day myself.”
5. Self Promotion – Bottom line, facebook is not a platform for self promotion…unless you’re just sending a friendly reminder about your self-titled humor blog. That’s perfectly acceptable. (Its because I do that, and never often encounter other’s doing so…)
4. Repost (If You Care) – Have you seen these pre-packaged guilt trips? They take a cause that only a heartless thug would oppose and then challenge you to repost some block of text. “I don’t like people that punch puppies. To show your support of the anti puppy punching petition, repost this message. Only a very few will care enough to repost, are you one of them?” It’s like a remorseful chain letter. Geez, I was just trying to see if that cute girl from high school is still cute and now I have to deal with this? Stop it already.
3. Complaints About facebook – People love to use facebook to complain about facebook. Which is sort of like singing a song about how much you hate music.
2. Anything Cryptic – I constantly see short, mysterious status updates like: “Finally, it’s finished,” “Oops, my bad,” or “Again?” I don’t know if these people assume that I follow their daily life in such detail that I know exactly what they’re talking about or if these are meant as teasers to get us to investigate further. Either way, I don’t care.
1. Virtual Updates – If you were my best friend and you owned a farm and you purchased a new wheelbarrow, this would not be interesting. So why would anyone think that the acquisition of a virtual wheelbarrow on a virtual farm would fascinate? Please stop telling me how your virtual Pot Farm harvest is doing. It’s imaginary. Your crops are as nonexistent as my interest in the whole endeavor.
You may very well be asking yourself what you should be doing with your facebook updates. I, for one, like to initiate thoughtful conversations (and just look at all the comments I inspire)…
Pose challenging questions…
And inspire the world…