Anti-Social Network

I can’t decide if Facebook is particularly annoying today or if I hate all people in general.

Which is the kind of thing I’d rather like to post as a status, but I can’t. For obvious reasons.

Seriously, though:
1. (disappointment emoticon followed by FB explanation that we’re looking at a disappointment emoticon, which, to me, indicates Facebook’s failure to design sufficiently emotive emoticons) “What an unbelievable day at work. Not appropriate for Facebook discussion but I just had to vent for a minute.”

^Okay, you know what? This is not a valid status update.^

Also? You just got that job. Stop complaining about it.

2. A. Night. With. NOTHING. Feeling so happy. 

That last part was actually spelled out. No emoticon with accompanying emoticon explanation. Also no interesting content whatsoever. Nor am I interested when this person tells me what she’s doing on all the other nights.

3. Time for some more work after a lovely evening. 🙂

That was a plain old smiley face, no explanation needed. And I know this guy, and I know what “a lovely evening” means, and it’s to do with the guy he may or may not be dating. He wants someone to ask what he did. I’m not doing it. I’m not.

Throw in the usual baiting (today it’s about George Zimmerman and Toronto’s charming mayor); today’s selfies from the same people who posted selfies yesterday; excessive use of exclamation points; some Map My Run shit from a few people who apparently think the rest of FacebookLand gives a flying flaming turd about them going for a run, taking a particular route and running a particular distance in a particular time; an occasional fitness system sales pitch from someone who hasn’t been able to talk about anything but her weight loss since some time in 2011; and a snarky person-to-person-for-everyone-to-see oblique attack on another person with whom they’re no longer friends (but I am) and you have a day on the social network.

And then there are the grammar horrors.

recognize the irony in a blogger deciding that social media “status sharing” is the lowest form of self-serving narcissism, and I realize that I can’t exactly impose my personal Facebook rules (make people laugh or make people think – do not, repeat, do not complain or seek attention – that’s what the blog is for) to everyone on my news feed. I also recognize that the logical reader might, at this point, suggest that I remove myself from Facebook, or remove these particular friends from my list of personal contacts. Well, I can’t remove myself from Facebook because it’s like Communist Russia; you either go along with it or you die a lonely death in cold, cold isolation with nothing but a quarter-loaf of stale bread. And I can’t remove these folks from my list because sometimes they do offer something amusing or useful or interesting and I would feel bad ignoring it. One of them may or may not be my sister. Who may or may not often post things from Map My Run or summaries of funerals she’s been to that day. But often shows me my nephews doing something adorable. Oh, I’m torn.

Wouldn’t it be great if, instead of apparently un-self-explanatory emoticons, Facebook had an algorithm that would allow it to filter stuff you just don’t have the time or emotional energy to see? Maybe you could set it daily. The first time you take a look at the feed each day (if you’re a frequent FBer), you answer a quick series of questions designed to protect you from the people you know and love:

1. What is your mood today?
A. Fine, why?
B. I’m great!
C. Meh.
D. None of your goddamned business, asshole.

And Facebook would note that, if the answer is D, you should not see any posts like this:

FB post 3

 

 

 

(Granted, you might appreciate the comment. But the narcissism of the person who took a screen shot of their own comment would probably cancel that out.)

2. How do you feel about insert today’s political phenomenon?
A. Brilliant!
B. Horrible.
C. So horrible it’s brilliant!
D. I don’t even know what you’re talking about, but I vote.

And Facebook would note that, if the answer is D, you should not see any posts like this:

fb post 2

 

 

 

 

 

3. Which characteristic are you likely to exhibit today?
A. Relatively even tolerance.
B. Hysterical laughter at satire/irony/stuff about horrible things happening to people.
C. Rage.
D. I love Jesus!

And Facebook would note that, if the answer is C, you should not see any posts like this:

fb post 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Rate the strength of your opinion on the following statement: A user’s status updates should contain that user’s original thoughts most of the time.
A. Strongly disagree
B. Somewhat disagree
C. Neither agree nor disagree
D. Somewhat agree
E. Strongly Agree

And Facebook would note that, if the answer is D or E, you should not see any posts like this from that guy who always, always posts things like this, like, five times a day, for crying out loud:

FB post 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Of the following people, who will probably piss you off/annoy you the most today?
A. Your mother, who really should not be on Facebook anyway and definitely should stop Liking all these anti-government pages
B. Your ex, who probably shouldn’t be your FB friend but we’re not going to go there right now because clearly you’re still sensitive about it
C. Your boss, who probably shouldn’t be your FB friend but he asked you and what… you were going to say no?
D. Your kid, who, despite the attention you’ve paid to his/her education, still doesn’t seem to understand that “OK” is not spelled with seven Ks
E. That friend who posts totally senseless stuff that nobody ever clicks Like about, but she still hasn’t taken the hint

And Facebook would filter your news feed appropriately.

6. What is most likely to set you off on an uncontrollable tirade today?
A. Poor grammar and/or punctuation
B. Willful ignorance
C. Self-serving pith
D. Public displays of affection
E. Someone else’s total lack of self-awareness
F. Stuff that, I swear to God, doesn’t even make any fucking sense.

And you’d be spared the worst of possible provocation.

BIL 2 once summarized FB etiquette/non-annoyingness like this: Don’t post anything you wouldn’t literally yell in a room full of people numbering the same as the number of FB friends you have.

Sometimes, though, it’s a pretty great way to spread the word about a pretty great thing. Here’s my favorite of the last few days. I’d be more than happy to shout that one from the rooftops.

 

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19 thoughts on “Anti-Social Network

  1. Yes, yes, and yes, even though I’m sure I’ve posted more than a few updates to rival the bad examples, above. I’m working on my next assignment, a piece about netiquette, particularly on Facebook. Wish I could plagiarize you. (Insert smiley here.) This part is NOT plagiarism, but I’m probably going to have to change it, anyway — the working title is “Anti-Social Networking.” Boo!

  2. The only thing worse than Facebook abuse is Twitter abuse. There should be an entrance exam or something before people are allowed to have either account.

  3. There must be something in the air, because last month I went on a rant on my blog about “Stuff that’s been annoying me – Facebook edition”. I’m not posting a link because that seems self-serving. It seems almost everyone I know is on the other end of the political spectrum from me, and I have to read their posts. And like you, some of them are family and you can’t just un-friend them (IRL or online).

    BTW, really hilarious post! I subjected my coworker to me reading large sections of this, while trying to contain my laughter.

    “D. None of your goddamned business, asshole.” So good.

  4. I go through phases with FB. When everything anyone posts start to annoy me I know its time for a FB hiatus. Sadly though, after a month or three off the FB train I can come back and be even MORE annoyed that nothing has changed. Sometimes I feel like its hundreds of those awful Christmas letters all neatly in one place. Even though I am guilty of some of those running related staus updates you mentioned, this was still very funny. Thanks.

  5. I’ve had to block people and even unfriend. There is just so much stupidity I can take. The grammar is what kills me. Oh, oh and the inspirational messages/memes! I want to kick somebody when I see all of those things. Grrrrrr.

    • I don’t unfriend, but I’m getting more liberal with the hiding. I actually hid my boss (who is one of those people who always posts quotes from other people and articles about various sports organizations with which he has no affiliation but just likes a lot). Isn’t it funny what people’s self-created social media rules are? I’ve seen unfriendings online go way bad in real life. The only people I’ve unfriended were Jack and a girl I grew up with who was having actual arguments with the recently-sprung-from-prison father of her teenaged daughter via public view. Unnecessary viewing.

  6. That is a world class rant … my Inner Curmudgeon salutes you. I think I’ve come to peace with Facebook, not because it doesn’t sometimes annoy me … the very things that annoy you, actually … but because it is what it is but occasionally, someting like the favorite you posted shows up. I original thought it might help promote my blog but that hasn’t happened. The people who’ve liked my page are regular readers of my blog. It does help keep touch with a few old friends and family.

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