Wednesday, December 22, 2010


We all love sharing our lives. Facebook has given us wonderful ways to stay in contact with friends that did not exist. With this new technology, though, it's difficult to remember that some things aren't as cool on facebook as in our heads. I don't engage in wall posts very often, so I'm almost purely an observer. I don't get the flow of wall-to-wall interaction to put any of this stuff in perspective or make it relevant to me, so I see all of this stuff in it's most possible irrelevance. Without doing it with a stalker mentality, I watch people post and go back and forth. And it makes me rage. The problem may be the absolute convenience, but if that is true, why is Twitter actually fun? Maybe it's the fact that I mostly follow famous people? Not sure.

 Because she's famous

Nah. The people I follow whom I know in real life are fun, so that's not it. Facebook at large isn't so bad, but I feel like sometimes, people post things without considering that 500 people will see it. Because I look at a lot of stupid causes as my duties, I will now make fun of Facebook in retaliation. You must understand that in the closed-off environment of my head, I'm Don freaking Quixote. Riding a lion. While most of the time, the sentiments behind a post are completely innocent, translation to a facebook post does ... something to it. Outlined below are the most ubiquitous Facebook crimes you can commit in this regard, all suspects guilty until proven guilty. Oh you better believe this is a BREAKDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(For fun, I'll star the ones I'm blatantly guilty of myself)

1.Claiming to be so busy it should be a crime, despite having time to post on Facebook*

Most of the people on Facebook are people in their twenties. They have to balance jobs, life and school. As such, sometimes they're going to get tired. Because most of them grow up in middle-class suburbia and have only recently moved out (to be fair I still live at home), naturally the first few times they get exhausted are going to feel freaking epic to them. Most are "finding themselves" for the first time and damnit, it makes everything they experience important and you've got to hear about it. Posting on Facebook "I HATE WRITING ESSAYS. I feel like I'm going to fall asleep at the computer!!!"  is like a subtle declaration to the world. It says I have stuff to do, and not only that, it's a lot of stuff, see? They say this without realizing the reason it's going on so long is they are dicking around on Facebook and playing Farmville well into 2 AM. If my own reasons for doing this are any indication, it's because in college nobody really pats you on the head as much for having stuff to do, too, and it's kind of weird to not have that encouragement. It's also a very veiled fishing attempt for comments from friends like "hang in there!" or "you can do iiiiit!". The more egocentric friends will flip this around and say something like "Nice. I'm still working on this 7-page one right now" which is a total breach of etiquette. Both parties have time to post on Facebook, and do not realize that if they actually have time to do that, they're not busy. They're tired. The busiest people don't update their Facebooks. They're too busy.

2. Showing off some acquisition or achievement*

It's Apple iPad launch day. Bazillions of people are lining up to purchase that item because owning a first generation Apple product these days makes you like that guy who listened to the White Stripes "before they got famous". Or you just plan to sell it on eBay at first-gen inflation price when  upgrades. Naturally, because you have 500 friends, invariably you are going to know someone who stood in line. This, sadly, is the single coolest thing he's ever done, so there is no freaking way he's not taking a picture and posting it. We're choosing to stay in bed instead of camp out for one, but danged if we don't wish we had one. The post is usually accompanied by some smart-aleck comment like "jealous?" or "look what I found :-)". We understand that having a gadget in your hands is pretty cool, but unless it's in our hands, frankly we don't care. In fact, your picture will probably have the unfortunate side effect of creating envy in us, causing us to dislike you for the next 10 seconds. Acquisitions and accomplishments include but are not limited to: pictures with celebrities, day-one gadgets, getting a job that will make you filthy rich, and changing your relationship status to in a relationship with anyone but us. 

3. Reference to something that only 3 people saw*

We all love in-jokes. Truly awesome stuff does, in fact, occur when only 3 people are around as well as when 759 people are. Therefore, if you had a Tosh.0 fail moment involving barbeque sauce and your two buddies, there's no reason you shouldn't post something on Facebook like "I looooooooooove BBQ sauce!" just like you would post anything else, right? Wrong! 500 people are going to see it. 500 people are going to be confused if you post that. And not everybody is going to message you just to find out what that meant. You knew that, and you knew people would ask you what the hell you're talking about, so don't answer with "it would take too long to tell you". If you've ever seen a few guys joking around and laughing, and when you asked what was so funny they just said "it's a long story" or "you had to be there", you know that's really annoying. Only on Facebook, you have to choose to post it. You have to put it up for everyone to see. It's not like you were just joking around with your bbq sauce friend, then somebody walked by and asked what was funny. Know your audience. 

4. Trying to inspire you from out of nowhere

This one can be effective sometimes. I read a post from a friend a while back and it genuinely elicited a thoughtful "huh..." from me. 90-plus % of the time, though, these are facepalm-worthy. I can appreciate trying to improve someone's life, like inspiring 1 person out of 100 is worth it, but lots of times these things are just so ... I dunno, lame, I guess? This is a bit cynical even for me, but you can't deny that you've done one of these when someone posted "failure is just an opportunity to do better" right after you happened to fail a math test, regardless of how true that sentiment is. What the poster innocently doesn't realize is that there's a fine line between inspiring and patronizing, and an even finer line between inspiring and "slam my head on the desk". Most of the time, you have to be "in the mood" for that sort of the thing, or "in need" of it. 99.9% of the time, we just aren't. I suppose the good outweighs the bad here. Let's call this one even.     

5. The short reference to a TV show from the 90s (aka the Nostalgia Bomb)**

It's 2010, and all the little 90s kids are grown up. Nostalgia has become a sort of commodity as of late because while past generations would have loved to revisit their childhood media, it's only been possible recently. Because media is changing more quickly, references to the past become possible more quickly too. "The past" is no longer 20 years ago; these days it's more like 5 years ago. I'll give you an example. Doesn't this feel like so long ago?

I can't make this funnier with text

It was cancelled in 2005. That's 5 years ago. This is the YouTube age. You can pull anything up with ridiculous ease, provided at least one person caught it on VHS. If you were in your 30s or 40s in the 90s, you had to wait until a TV network decided to do a retro marathon or something in order to see stuff from your childhood. Today, people 20 years old can pull stuff up from '97 and "feel old", which I think is giving themselves way too much ... something. This perfect storm of on-demand recall, ADD and attention whore-age leads to what I will refer to as the Nostalgia Bomb. Posters will put out something like "YOU BROKE MY GRILL?" or "Recruit a team of teenagers with attitude" like it makes them the baddest mother effer of all time, because there's just no getting around the fact that childhood rocks and being grown up sucks. There's no problem with enjoying a piece of nostalgic media, but let's not oversaturate it. I would hate to see the day that we're creeping toward: the day when we are literally sick of our own childhoods. Keep it special.     

6. Pimping your weblog*****

...........................Shut up

This one comes to us via Matt.
7. Song lyrics

The takeover of the world by high schoolers has left us with some nasty side-effects, particularly the assumption that everybody is a tender, sensitive person who has a lot to say provided the world would just allow them to. Movies have made it so that everyone thinks they're a poet, so when it comes time to express themselves online, it just has to be done in an artsy fashion, but when it comes to the ability to produce, they've got nothing. Solution? Return to the movies. Steal it from someone else. Not only does this put your feelings into the words you wanted (right?), everyone else who sees is sure to nod in agreement, like "Whoah. You just said what needed to be said, buddy".  

Aaaaaand scene. 

1 comment:

  1. My biggest peeve is drama posts. They bug the ever loving crap out of me.

    Jenny Jenkins is so pizzed at u, f*ck u, and f*ck my life.

    Carly Carlson: O noes! wutz wr0ng hunnnnnnie? luv u!

    Jenny Jenkins: i dont want 2 tawk about it

    Matt: * aneurism*


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