Facebook Faux Pas

January 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

You wouldn’t walk through a supermarket shouting obscenities, you wouldn’t get black-out drunk and piss yourself in front of your mother, you wouldn’t share details of the color and consistency of your shits with a complete stranger, so why are you doing it on Facebook? If you don’t use your privacy settings, if you don’t censor yourself at all, every pimple, every mood swing, every sexual encounter is broadcast to even the most casual acquaintances and archived FOREVER via the World Wide Web.

I don’t think I’m alone here when I say we need to take responsibility for our Internet actions. I blame the user, not the digital book of face. Enough of the inappropriate social blunders flying around on status updates and post comments clogging my news feed like the ten page produce mailer from the grocery store I’ve never set foot in. I’ve got a few examples of outrageous behavior publicized on the Internet by Facebook. If you are as appalled as I am, help stop it by practicing good netiquette. There is a delete button for a reason. No worries, we all make mistakes and experience occasional poor judgment.

Let’s start with the TMI faux pas. You are giving me too much information if you are an expectant mother whose dilation progress is announced in my news feed. I regret logging on that day your water broke. And truth be told, do I really need to see that graphic picture of you and your newborn? You just gave BIRTH moments ago. I know, I know, the miracle of life. By all means, share it. I just think some things should remain personal. If you wanted your mother/aunt/cousin/baby daddy to see it, why not attach the pic in an email or send it as a personal message? Facebook gives the option. Maybe if I had squeezed out one of those miniature human things, I’d feel differently about this, but for now… keep it in your own circle.

You are giving me too much information if you are self-publishing gloomy prose about your most recent break up. This is not a poetry jam this is a social network. It’s sad and pathetic and after 6 weeks, I no longer feel bad for you. In general, broadcasting your misery is not attractive, and did you ever think that saying nothing at all says a whole lot more than updating your digital friends on your FEELINGS every twenty minutes? Would you say the same thing into a bullhorn if you and your ex were at the same party? Facebook is a party, and your wall is a bullhorn. What exactly are you shouting about?

You are giving me too much information if you are posting pictures of your every meal. I don’t need a review on every piece of nourishment passing your lips, it only makes me think about how your next bathroom break is going to go. Yeah, I’m gross, but amateur photographs of food taken on a cell phone make any edible item look like shit.

Next, I want to address something in a serious manner: Sympathies. Dying is a part of living and although we have advanced so far technically, it’s still apart of our modern life. I know that the community of Facebook just wants to cheer up a member who’s down, but however you heard about it, if they aren’t posting about their loss on their own wall, should you really be the one to do it? While some people wish to publicly express their hardships, others wish to be consoled privately. Some members of Facebook may have crossed this line in regards to the sympathy wall post. Makes me feel icky. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to express your sympathies no matter your relation is to the bereaved, but again, Facebook has made the option available for you to privately send a message. Also, you might be surprised to find out that Facebook now memorializes deceased members preserving their page on the Internet. What might you be leaving behind? Maybe you have some deleting to do?

This brings me to my next point of interest, birthday wishes. The Facebook wall post really just become another notch in the lazy American’s bedpost, right along with drive thru windows and the acronym ‘lol’. Pretty soon we’ll be doing away with emails, phone calls and greeting cards as well. A while back I was surfing the “book” and I came across a friend’s page. Someone had wished her husband a happy birthday on her wall because they were unable to post to his wall. Again, it’s called privacy settings, people. And if you can’t post on his wall, he probably doesn’t want the clutter of your birthday wish. Yet again, you could send a private message, you have the power. I resolve to no longer wish a happy birthday on Facebook walls. I vow to text, because if we are really friends, I’d have your phone number. And if you’re special, I’ll give you an actual phone call, that is if we are still calling them phones.

When using Facebook we MUST begin to ask ourselves: how would this person like to receive this message? Talk about impersonal; is there some sort of high to get from seeing your name on another’s wall? Do you need the proof that you were there first? Or have we become so lazy and thoughtless that we cannot exercise the option to send a private message to our loved ones? That is not what friendship is, people.

With little to no rules on Facebook, I really think there should be at least some sort of grammar police. Some citizens diligently make corrections, but no matter how polite, they are not well received. Still I’m astonished, some users basically type in all acronyms. High school students are in essence Facebooking in another language. Then there are some people who straight up violate grammatical rules and just don’t care. You know who you are. And then there are some people who just make a few honest mistakes, typos, or they were never very good at spelling (that’s me). I’m okay with a little correction here and there. I’ll take your correction and repost, which is how you avoid making the same mistake again. It’s sad to see the English language bashed with such regularity. Also, please, can we scale back on the profanity, there are kids on here. Is nothing sacred? I’m Facebook friends with my eight year old niece who likes to look at the pictures I take of California sunsets, and in the same album I have people dropping five F-bombs in one comment. What’s wrong with you?

I’ll say it again: I don’t blame Facebook, I blame the user. Whatever happened to thinking before you speak? Or in this case: type. We were better off when we didn’t have websites asking us what we were thinking about constantly. Don’t even get me started on Twitter, that’s just a breeding ground for inappropriate posts and bad grammar. Facebook could become a cesspool like Twitter or Myspace, or we could all take on the social responsibility of cleaning the place up. You don’t need to share everything on the Internet, it’s not like it’s going to get offended, it’s not going to be mad at you an not invite you to it’s birthday party. Let’s be real.

Here are some additional thoughts on the subject:

someone elses and the news

and my own two cents.

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