To me, Facebook is like a cocktail party. Sometimes, you engage in mindless, idle chatter, and sometimes you find yourself deep in a great discussion. You may catch sight of me there, sipping my gin and tonic looking all classy, or stuffing my face with cheese and crackers and dropping crumbs down my cleavage, depending what’s going on that day. I like to think that my social networking persona is pretty much on par with my actual person. What you see is what you get. That may or may not be true, but I like to think it anyway.
A recent Facebook post in the Brazen Insiders group got me thinking about our public and private personas, and how we may curate our online profiles to the point that they are almost unrecognizable to those who know us in real life. While chatting with my husband about this, we immediately thought of one friend, someone we find totally likeable in person—but would never befriend based on FB posts. Then I got to thinking about all those statuses people compose in order to create a specific impression—I am fabulous and you should want to be me—that in fact have the opposite desired effect—I am annoying and should be blocked.
So I composed a little list of the types of posts that cause me to hover over the Unfriend button.
CHANCES, ARE, I WILL UNFRIEND YOU ON FACEBOOK IF YOU ARE:
1. Constantly posting about your workouts. While the rest of the world is discussing earthquakes in Nepal, you’re talking about your amazing Crossfit WOD. The only exception: You are doing burpees to raise money for the Red Cross.
2. Creating endless posts about your kids. If they are amazing (Braedon knows his ABC’s!), and everything they do is amazing (Here’s the 20-minute video of Kaedean riding her bike!), it only follows that you are an amazing parent, does it not? No, it does not.
3. Be you vegan, carnivore, paleo, or otherwise, documenting every meal you’ve ever had as a major life event, from checking in at the restaurant—Having a Big Mac attack!—to the requisite drool-worthy photo—Mmmm yummo! Um, everyone eats. Get over it.
4. Sharing poorly written memes about bullying, and then daring others to share them, even though the meme clearly states that that 99% of people won’t. The meme percentage is correct, but not for the reasons you think.
5. Related to #4, “liking” and “sharing” a photo in order to cure cancer, support the troops or help someone’s dad quit smoking. This does not work; not sure why you thought it would.
6. Thinking that vaguebooking—sample: Pray for me…, Worst day ever—and the ensuing concern OMG what happened? means you are loved. The ratio is 1:3. For every one person asking what’s wrong, there are three people who have blocked you.
7. Sharing every thought that crosses your mind (note: they are not all gems, not by a long shot), every selfie on your phone (yes, we are all gorgeous after 76 takes) and every charitable act you perform (if no one knows about it, does it even count?).
8. Telling people your “friends” list is so huge and unwieldy that you must pare it down, and then making people pass some kind of friendship retention test by commenting about how they met you. Save us both the time. Go ahead and unfriend me.
9. Taking a makeup-less selfie and/or posting a nonsense status to raise awareness for breast cancer. We are all aware of the illness already, and no, I will not participate.
10. Mistaking your essential oils shipment pack-list for a medical degree, and then using that degree to dispense treatment advice and sanctimony. Thanks, but I’ll stick with my current physician. Wouldn’t want her to think all that money spent on formal education and training was a waste.
11. Posting lists of things people are doing wrong/should be doing/should never do, ie. 20 things you should have done by 30. What never to say to anyone, ever. Or, of course: What not to post on Facebook, under the guise of helpful sharing, obviously written by some smarmy bitch with a superiority complex covering up her deep feelings of inferiority. (I bet you unfriended me already! But if not, I’ll take the share—with thanks.)
This story was inspired by a post and ensuing discussion in our exclusive Facebook group, the Brazen Insiders. Click here to join the conversation.
Sharon Berman is a sometime blogger, infrequent jogger, but mostly a suburban mom who enjoys spending time with people who see the world with the same skewed perspective. She loves her kids, husband, dogs and wine…Not necessarily in that order.