The Social Network: Proving Your Old Friends Are Boring and/or Pathetic

-“Anthony just pooped on the potty!”
-“Making dinner and spending the evening with my ❤ 🙂 “
-“Well tonight was his night and he didn’t even show up. Again. All that time and money with lawyers and court and now your not even going to show up and get your kids?”
-“Head hurts. :-(“
-“Molly is doing better her back is almost healed but now Eric is sick again which means another trip to the doctor that the insurance wont pay for. He is a trooper with all these tests and hopefuly well find out soon what the exact problem is we’re just hopping its not cancer.”
-“I try to treat everyone how I want to be treated, but once again someone has hurt my feelings. It gets so discouraging to try to follow Jesus this way. But I will keep walking.”
-“Going out tonight!”
Oh, shut up already.
Am I the only person who has incredibly dull and self-centered Facebook friends?
It took me years to sign on to Facebook. I was razzed by real-life friends while I staunchly defended my position, telling them that I believe Facebook makes it too easy to boil friendships down to 400 characters masquerading as quality interaction simply because of the potential quantity of exchanges. When I finally caved and joined a year and a half ago (because it was apparently the only way I was going to get to see pictures of my godson), I decided I wasn’t wrong, but it was kind of fun to catch up with people and/or see if they got fat after we graduated from high school (they did).
And then a funny thing happened. Facebook made me start wondering if I was a bad person.
The vast majority of my Facebook friends are smart, funny, interesting people. But at least three times a day, I would come across status updates like the ones listed above and roll my eyes.  It’s not that I’m a cold, uncaring person. It’s that I find something undignified in sharing your dramas (like the fact that your daughter’s father just got out of prison and might actually become a part of her life… and the subsequent profanity-laden realization that no, he won’t… and then the apparent hacking of your account so that there’s some sort of status update argument between you and him about his value as a human being, and it’s all being broadcast over a social network). 
Self-awareness, my old friend. Find some.
<Click>  Remove as a friend? <Click Remove From Friends .>
(That’s the only friend I’ve done that to. I just couldn’t take it.)
And if your sad self can’t spell or use contractions correctly, that means more points off for you. (See previous rant.)
Yes. I’m an intellectual snob. Shocker. I mean, I recognize the value of your life and your pain. I do. I just think you probably shouldn’t be telling an entire, you  know, cyber-universe about it.
Don’t get me wrong; Mark Zuckerberg intended exactly this kind of interaction (though I seriously doubt his friend list contains people who write things like, “Haircut, then lunch w/Mom!”) I’m just really disappointed that so many of the people I once thought were interesting have turned out to be totally… well… not. And that people I was good friends with 20 years ago turned out to be fodder for an episode of Jerry Springer.
I know, I know, I’m totally mean.
But tell me you haven’t thought it about your Facebook friends, too.
The corporate beauty of Facebook is that it can be used in whatever way the user him- or herself wants to use it. And those folks at Apple were brilliant to name everything an iSomething. We’re totally self-absorbed these days.  I happen to choose to use my status updates to either make people laugh or make them think. Not everyone has to do that, and I don’t think I’m a better person for my defined purpose. That’s just me. But I really do enjoy learning more about old friends from what they post.
But let’s be honest. If you can’t be interesting, don’t be part of a social network like this. Take, for example, this post:
“The kids are playing in the yard.”
Oh my God, you’re boring. Every update is similar to that one. You. Are. DULL.
Another example:  “I’m speechless.” That’s it. Well, if you’re speechless, don’t post that. It’s intentionally obscure and is meant to bait people into asking you what’s wrong, and I flatly refuse to ask. So pltltlpbltlplpt.
(That’s a tongue-out raspberry.)
I find myself getting kind of disgusted by these people, the people who post these self-indulgent things. And then I feel bad, like I’m cruel for judging people whose lives are much more difficult than mine. For example, the “My Ex Didn’t Come Get the Kids” poster. I liked you in college. I truly do feel bad that your life has come to a point where you have to have an apparently protracted legal battle over custody and visitation of your children, after which their father still fails to behave like a father. It’s’ terrible and painful for you, and for your children. But posting a status update about it? That’s not going to help them or you. It’s just going to send a message to all your Facebook friends that you are angry and seeking validation from literally any and all of the 342 “friends” you have.
My point is, there are people you can and should share these things with. Your entire Facebook friend list? Not so much.
Let’s talk about the self-pity party people. “My head hurts. ” “I’m so sick.”  “I cut my finger.” Who cares?! Put on your big girl panties and deal with it! (And yes, I’m saying “big girl panties” for a reason; guys don’t post that kind of stuff on Facebook.) You’re making yourself look like a big whiner who just wants all her friends to say, “Oh, you poor thing!” Do you not have real-life, non-cyber friends who can serve this purpose? Whine to them.
I hereby declare my Facebook news feed to be a No Whining Zone. I am empowering myself with the right and ability to hide all of you people who decide to feel sorry for yourselves in a public way.
But I don’t de-friend you. There. I’m not so mean.

4 thoughts on “The Social Network: Proving Your Old Friends Are Boring and/or Pathetic

  1. This post is brilliant! I’m always reading facebook status updates and thinking “what the…..?”

    People put the strangest things. Information overload and not enough real-life content for people to talk about.

    I’ll be back to check out more of your posts later, love it.

    • Thank you! I do think FB proves that most people are wrapped up in their own lives instead of paying attention to the world around them. Not saying it’s wrong, when you have children, etc… but I do think it’s interesting. They must have no idea what I’m talking about half the time! Please do come back!

    • I don’t mind the photos as much as I mind the constant potty training updates or posts about how tired the kids are making them. I get that sometimes FB friends can be a support group and I think that’s great… but maybe try to post something on a different topic every now and then. (I’m mean.) Not sure what drew you in, but you’ve read a number of my old posts – thanks for bringing them back to life!

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