Sunday, July 11, 2010

I'm a Facebook Curmudgeon

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Facebook is an odd "place".  People I've known from various parts of my life, are all there together.  Back when it was just a few friends I know from current, real life, pals from a parenting playgroup I've been posting on for 10 years now, and a few old friends from school, Facebook was fun.  There were loads of games to play, silly memes to participate in, and so forth.  But now? It's kind of overwhelming.  I don't "friend" just anyone, either, but now I'm friends with cousins I barely know, if at all, people I "knew of", but didn't ever really "know" from school, church friends, parents and siblings of friends, friends of friends, etc. It's not that I don't want to keep up with most of these people in some way, but it's just sort of odd for me.  Kind of like George Costanza's "my world's are colliding!"

Because of this, I find myself second guessing every status update I post. My audience is too varied now.  I worry that either some people won't get the humor of what I post, or won't understand it, or will be offended by it in some way, or even that it will be more information than I want some people to know.  I'm sure I'm overthinking it, but I do have some Facebook friends who could stand to do some "overthinking" of their own before they hit the old submit button.

One friend, an acquaintance from several years back, posts frequent, closeup pictures of himself/herself-at least once a day.  This person either has a very healthy self esteem, or a very low self esteem, because he/she is often posting comments about how attractive, or special, or talented or fun they are, along with posts that detail every.single.thing. they do.  Driving.  Shopping (complete with dressing room pics). Drinking. Everything. All of their loyal followers always post back in agreement of how amazing this person is. Gag.  Not that this person isn't attractive, talented and fun, because I think he/she probably is, but c'mon! Stop being so self absorbed! Says the blogger who writes about.....herself.... Oh, Pot? Kettle, is that you? Nah-I'm not like that.

Another friend is constantly posting things like "I love my beautiful wife", and "I'm the luckiest man in the world", or "My life is great".  You know, I'm genuinely happy that he loves his wife and has a nice life.  That's wonderful.  I love my husband and I think my life is pretty swell, but I really don't think my Facebook friends want to be bombarded with constant, gushy sentiments.  To me, it kind of smacks of "Envy me, my life is better than yours".  Or, "Please tell me how sweet and/or positive I am-I need your constant validation of what a nice guy I am."  Am I cynical, or what? An occasional post such as the above would be fine, but when this is the only type of post you can ever come up with? Keep a journal instead. Buy your wife a Hallmark card. Or start a blog, maybe...

Then there are the friends who are either fanatically involved in games like Farmville, Cafe World or Mafia Wars, or vehemenitly against ever seeing any mention whatsoever of these or any other games on their feeds.  One friend has posted scathing, long status updates that she will not send anyone "gifts" for these games if they use cheat codes, and she "knows who you are!"  A relative never posts anything but reminders about games, gift requests, or what not on her statuses.  Really, I'd rather know how she's doing than the status of her fake farm.  I play Farmville, and I have been in some Farmville addict phases, so I kind of get it.  I pretty much just shrug and overlook these posts, but some people just can't seem to overlook them, and post their own, hate filled,  "anti-Farmville/Cafe World" type stuff.  Seriously, if you are getting that angry over a stupid game on a website that really doesn't even matter, then maybe it's time to step gently away from the computer and the evil, farming monsters will go away..  (Or, you know, if it's a laptop, put it down and scoot over, whatevs.)

One aquaintance has apparently developed some very bizarro beliefs in the paranormal world since I last saw them.  I really don't care to hear about the ghosts living in your house, and I don't want to see the supposed photographic evidence of them, either.  (Btw, it might be a good idea to stop watching Bravo and TLC late at night, too....)  I don't need to hear about your psychic gifts, unless, you know, you see me about to win a million dollars, or something.

The soapbox rants are another thing I find annoying. It's great to stand up for what you believe in, but is Facebook really the place for this?  I come to Facebook for fun, not to be drawn into a debate about politics, religion, etc.  We all have our own beliefs, and it's ok to share them, but when it's done in an angry/offensive/intolerant way....not cool.  (I'm talking to you, Uncle Stan.) Ever thought of starting a blog instead? Oddly, if the soapbox rant is funny or witty, then it's all good-those are fun. Even if I don't agree.

Why don't I delete these friends, you ask? Well, they're "friends"! I also don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  Facebook rejection is hard-people notice when their friend number decreases-it's happened to me.  I wonder what I did wrong?

What are your Facebook pet peeves? You know, so I can try not to do them and get even more uptight about what I do and don't post there?

This post was inspired by Courtenay from Soup's post Negative Nelson: A Facebook Fable .  I've also been having fun trying out Blogger's new Zemanta Assistant plug-in that helps find content related pictures and links-fun!
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  1. I agree. Facebook is a bizarre world and I feel very much the same. I kinda hate it, but don't want to hurt anyone. I loathe those games and the people who have the picture perfect lives 24/7.

  2. I agree that Facebook is a bizarre world. So bizarre, in fact, that I have never joined the bandwagon. I'm not entirely sure what it's all about and I kind of like it that way. My hubby doesn't want me to join and I'm a really private person. There are some people who I don't even want to know I exist anymore---like from high school and college. I guess that's why I blog under a made-up name!

    Speaking of my blog, please stop by sometime this week. I'm having a giveaway for Christian fiction!

  3. I just got on FB about 2 months ago and I am so ready to skin those people who post all their game stuff!! I don't care about your pigs, mafia, farm, etc. LOL but I'm kind of hypocritical, I guess, because I DO play some of them by myself, but I'm not going to post to the entire world my awesomeness about winning a game that the only movement I have to do is my right index finger. Um... not impressive. I have gotten back in contact with some friends I "lost" over the years and I am happy about that.

    Oh, there's a blog award for you over at my blog. :)

  4. Love it! And I'm sort of intrigued by your psychic friend... How crazy entertaining would it be to mess around in his/her psychic brain?


  5. Oh, how I so agree with you ~ I wonder very often what all the church members think when I post things about night's out with the girls, or my some what obsessive addiction to the Twilight Saga. I always feel obligated to start a snarky status with a clause, such as "This is meant as sarcasm", just so my humor is not taken incorrectly. I've been shying away from posting status', myself, but am way too nosey to stop facebook all together - I really laugh at some people!! Great Post!


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