Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Don't Be That Person -- Facebook Edition

Okay, this is my post where I kvetch about all the annoying things you do on Facebook that you probably don't realize are annoying to others, and which you probably shouldn't do. And by "you" I don't mean you, the lovely people who follow this blog. Because you are all cool and not annoying like that.

No, this is a list of Top 10 "DON'Ts" for all those other people on Facebook who annoy the hell out of me. If you happen to be reading this and recognize some of your own shortcomings, don't worry. I've been known to flub a bit on a few of these points as well. This is not meant to be taken THAT seriously, now.

Needless to say, in order to "get" these references, you need to have some passing experience with Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Friendster or any other form of social networking within the past decade. This behavior has been around for as long as the Internet has existed. Even before then, in fact.

Anyway, here we go!


1) Don't fish for compliments/sympathy/belly rubs.

This is the person who posts a very vague and ominous sounding status update with the intention of goading her entire friends list into asking for more details, thus fulfilling her narcissistic needs. She might say something like: "Oh, the nerve of some people!" and leave it at that. Which inevitably leads to a bunch of nosy bodies and well-wishers flooding her with comments along the lines of: "Oh, sweetie! R u okay?" or "What happened, mama? Tell me who did it and I'll make him pay!"

Arrgggh! So annoying! Listen people, if something so bad happened to you yet you're willing to go on Facebook to talk about it -- come right out and SAY IT! Don't pussyfoot around with the deets just to be cute. Nobody likes attention whores, but sadly the majority of people on FB are just that. And this goes for men as well. I know the format of the place pretty much sets itself up for attention whoring, but geez -- can you be a little less obvious about it? Whenever one of my friends employs this tactic, I stubbornly refuse to bite the bait. In other words, and using message board parlance . . . I refuse to "feed the troll."

You should, too.

2) Don't post a pic/article/link with no comment attached.

If you spend any length of time on these here Interwebs beyond just quickly checking e-mail, chances are you read your fair share of interesting news items and opinion pieces throughout the day. Same thing with humorous photos you might come across (LOLCats, anyone?). And so naturally your immediate instinct is to share your wonderful discoveries with your friends. Which, you know, is actually one of the founding pillars of Facebook to begin with.

And this is all coolio, dudelio. But I so hate when people link to this stuff on their Facebook profile and offer no commentary or interpretation of their own about what they are asking us to click on. I mean, hello? I come to FB to learn what my friends are thinking, doing, and saying. I don't come to get linked to other sites I might have no interest in opening. I need your commentary to let me know the gist of what it is, and whether or not it's worth my time looking further into it.

I also like to, you know, actually INTERACT with my friends. If you don't provide the opening salvo in what could potentially be an engaging debate, why the hell should I read the article? What, you think I don't already know how to search the Net for my own newsworthy articles and pics? Are you my personal RSS feeder now? Technology already exists for that sort of thing, bro.

3) Don't post private stuff on my Wall that would be better sent to Messages.

In case you might not know this fact about Facebook, friends can write on your personal Wall stuff that will be seen by every one of your other "friends". This is the purpose of the Wall, and should be understood straight off the bat. But too many times I've seen you people post some really private stuff on a friend's Wall and then suffer the consequences for it. And much to the embarrassment of both the intended recipient and all her friends who have now been unwittingly involved in your utter lack of class and common sense, too.  Luckily this hasn't happened to me . . . yet. But be certain that there is no faster way to get me to "un" friend you from FB than if you make this mistake. That's what the private messages function is for. It's right there at the very top of everyone's page. Use it.

Posting "happy birthdays" or "Hey, dude, how's it going? Call me sometime!" is acceptable for the Wall. But writing: "Hey, sorry to hear about your sister's abortion. That sucks!" for all the world to see is so not.

Learn to Facebook before Facebooking, n00b!

4) Don't throw a hissy fit when I don't answer your request to chat.

I recently had to bring this to some of my FB friends' attention, so it bears repeating here just in case. Look, to be honest, I don't live on Facebook. At most I check in real quick before moving on to other things like work or writing or plain living my life. And when I say "real quick," I mean 5 to 10 seconds max. I do this throughout the day because I can do so from my phone no matter where I am. It's fast, simple, and I can stay remarkably up to date on my friends lives without actually expending much effort.

However, it also means that by the time you notice me on FB and sent out your chat query, I'm likely gone already. So please stop taking it so personal. Sheesh! Honestly, if I wanted to blow you off I would say so. Politely, of course, but you would hear from me. I would chat back something along the lines of: "Hey, nice seeing you. But I'm actually running out the door and/or just checking in for a split second. Talk to ya later!"

Under no circumstances will I just ignore you just to be a douchebag like that. Sometimes, too, I leave my desk or move on to another website without closing out of FB. So although it might seem like the lights are on in my FB profile, figuratively speaking . . . no one is home. If I missed your message to chat, sorry. But don't come back at me a day later asking me why I hate you or why I'm being so mean. Just, don't.

5) Don't use your kid/cat/favorite celebrity as your profile pic, m'kay?

This is a particular pet peeve of mine, so beware!

Now look, I don't mind seeing pics of the new baby in your life, whether she be of either the human or furry persuasion. it's all good! In fact, if you're okay posting up those pics for all to see in your FB photo album, then I'm more than happy to check them out and comment with the requisite amount of "oooh'ing" and "ahhhh'ing" as is polite.

But for the love of all that's holy, people, please don't use someone else's pic as your own! Grrrr! I understand that you are proud of your accomplishment as a new parent/owner/court determined stalker -- but that doesn't mean you have to change your profile pic to reflect this. Be yourself. Or, if you must, then a pic of you standing next to your boo or pet is acceptable. But when I see your name and then a pic of your newborn baby boy under it . . . that's just plain creepy! Please stop.

6) Don't "friend" me if I don't know you.

Seems obvious, right? But I probably get two new friends request per week from people I've never interacted with a day in my life. Now, to be my Facebook friend it is not necessary that we have met in person. I'm friends with quite a few online associates whom I've never seen in the light of day. But if the only reason you're friending me is because you randomly came across my profile, or because you want to increase your number of friends for bragging rights or whatever . . . then please move on. I can't be bothered.

Sometimes I get friends requests from people who have read The Bimillennial Man and liked what I've had to say, but may not have ever interacted with me in any form beyond lurking here on the blog. This is fine. I will friend you because, in my mind, we have even that tenuous of connections. But please, message me first that this is the reason for why you are friending me. Facebook allows you to do this. Or rather, I should say that I allow you to do this, since I've authorized such in my account settings.

Same thing goes for friends of friends. I will friend you if we happen to have other friends in common. This is not a problem since I always check first to see if we do share friends. And, heck, if I end up hating your guts or thinking you're a sociopath . . . there's always the "un-friend" button anyway. No sweat off my back.

7) Don't flood the front page with your political/social agenda.

Now, I myself have given as good as it gets on the political front on Facebook. Especially during the presidential elections. But I never get carried away with it. When it comes to my Wall postings, I use the general formula of 60%-30%-10%. That is: 60% entertainment or light-hearted drivel (including links, photos, or vids); 30% ranting and raving over some perceived injustice in my life; and 10% soap-boxing. And to be honest, that 10% may be an overestimation, as I generally don't enjoy trying to get people to do stuff they're not already doing on their own.

Some of you, however, I cannot say the same about. Some of my so-called "friends" are actually in danger of being un-friended by yours truly due to the fact that you only ever login to get on your soapbox and preach your agenda and preach it HARD!!! Look, every now and then this is fine. We all have issues we believe in passionately. But when that's the only thing you come on FB to do . . . dude, give it a rest!

8) Don't update your status in a language no one but a handful of your closest friends can speak.

This happens with my foreign originating friends the most, obviously. And I don't have a problem with you speaking your native tongue on FB on occasion. But if 90% of your friends speak English, and only 10% Swahili . . . perhaps you should save your long, rambling Swahili post for private messenger. Putting it up on your Wall makes you look like an uppity snob who's actively thumbing his nose at all his other friends who don't speak the language.

And, again, as with most of the points on this list: if you do this only occasionally, then fine. But when it happens at least once a day, it get's pretty tiring. I can count on half of one hand the number of times I ever put up an all Chinese post on Facebook. Only about .05% of my friends list can understand Chinese, so if I have something to say to them in that language, I'm better off just shooting off a message to them individually. I don't need to show off that I can speak another language, or to display that I know something the rest of my friends probably don't. I mean, are you serious?

9) Don't ask me to help you farm your vegetables.

This is one point I know for a fact that the majority of my FB friends agree with. The issue here are those annoying app games a small fraction of the entire FB community plays, but which ruins the whole experience for the vast majority of everyone else. These games exist to get the player to enlist all their other friends. They often contain rampant attack programming that scans your friends list and then spams the holy hell out of them with numerous requests to join you in your quest to find the perfect tomato crop yield, or mow down the most mafiosos. Or whatever the hell goes on in these games.

You know, it's ironic coming from such an avid gamer such as myself. But, see, I have a place and a time for gaming. And it's definitely not on Facebook! There are these nice, quirky machines called Xboxes and Playstations that can run much better games at a much faster pace and with prettier graphics to boost that are oddly enough NOT connected to Facebook. I know! I'm just a shocked as you are!

Do us all a favor, okay, and disable the "spambot all my friends to hell and back" function on your FB game of choice. And if you cannot do that . . . STOP PLAYING THE GAME! Is it really worth pissing off the majority of your friends list over a digital squash harvest? REALLY???

10) Don't tag me in ANYTHING! Like, EVAR!

Facebook has this particular annoying ability by which you can single out specific friends and attach them to some project, video, or pic you're feeling really warm and snuggly about. Most of the time you find yourself being tagged in some embarrassing photo from your high school days that you didn't even know existed. That in itself is motive for concern. But what's even worse is that being tagged now leaves you open to being notified EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. someone leaves a comment on that particular post or pic. ARRRRGH!

But, you know what? I actually have no problem being tagged in photos. It's when I'm tagged on your soapbox topic of the day that really gets my dander up. Dude, leave me out of your spittle-fueled, vitriolic preaching to the masses! I never signed up for your particular brand of crazy, and have only tolerated it up to this point out of a rapidly dwindling sense of friendship toward you. Keep on tagging my name on stuff I could give a fig about, and I will have to RELEASE THE KRAKEN of unfriendom on you as well. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Okay, so are we clear on what pisses me off on Facebook now? I hope so, for your sake. Please don't do them anymore. Or at least, cut back a bit. Thanks!

That all being said, though . . . er, feel free to friend request me anytime. :) I'm actually more laid back and accepting than I may seem on this blog. Those who know me know this fact well.


Alittlesprite said...

WOW.. why do you do facebook then? lol!
Seriously I agree with some of these. Hate people who put every little bit of drama on their status. Fight with people who I don't even know, send you countless pictures (what is with the current "Sayings" one? GGRR!!).
I've been turned off of people purely on their status's..

I have my cat as my profile pic :)

getyourselfconnected said...

Great list! I am not on FB, seems too much.

David Batista said...

Sprite -- Well, you know, this IS all written with tongue firmly planted in cheek. LOL! But you should FB me sometime. Unless you think I might turn you off with my statuses. :)

GYSC -- You're not really missing much. Although I tend to use it only for entertainment value and as a quick insight into what my friends are up to, so it works for me.

Alittlesprite said...

LOL.. you are so funny..hehee.. I'll FB you :)

Antares Cryptos said...

So glad I left.

@Sprite, sounds dirty. Lol.

Yvonne said...

This cracked me up! I agreed with all of them! Let me add that "friend" that is a mommy and feels the need to broadcast every single thing their baby does! Omg!

Alittlesprite said...

@Ant.. naughty Ant!

David Batista said...

Antares -- Yeah, right? It can get ugly there sometimes.

Yvonne -- Oh, that's a good one! I forgot all about that. I also forgot to mention all the people who constantly complain about how much they hate Facebook and its numerous alterations, yet mysteriously still log on every day to bitch and moan about it. What's *that* all about?

Yvonne said...

hahaha! yeah them too! oh my gosh, the list is endless!

Jennifer Hillier said...

I agree with everything on your list! I actually don't have the chat function turned on anymore because for awhile I was getting pounced on by family members who'd hit me up as soon as I logged in.

I like Facebook, but for the past few months I've been getting lots of friend requests from people I don't know at all, but who read my book. I can't bear to say no, so I confirm everyone. But now it no longer feels like a personal place, and so I've deleted almost all my albums (used to have over a dozen photo albums on there) and I'm very careful with my posts. I was going to start another profile just for family and actual friends (real friends AND online friends, so long as we've interacted personally), but I don't think I can handle managing yet another online social network.

David Batista said...

Jen -- I know a lot of authors I follow on FB who are in the same predicament as you. A few of them relegate all their fans to just the author page and leave their personal profiles open to only family and close friends. But, yeah, it sucks because you then have to say "no" to earnest fans asking to be friended on your personal profile. I wouldn't feel right denying them, either.

I'm not a FB expert or anything, but I think there might be a way to ensure that only specified groups get to see your photos. You first have to create a group and populate the list with only those names you want. Then, in settings, change your albums access to just that group or groups. At least, I think that's how it works. I've never actually tried it myself.

Ashe Hunt said...

;-) I likes this list. I'm not guilty on all but one I'm sure. Every once in a while I'll use a pic of Starshine or my niece as my profile pic. Usually I use a pic I'm in with my niece but sometimes not. Other than that I'm a pretty good facebook friend. :-)

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