about my obsession with… facebook

Don’t try to talk to me about facebook.  You, who joined facebook just because you wanted to keep up with your friends and you realized this was the only way to do so.  You are talking to someone who joined facebook in the fall of 2004.
That’s right.  The only people who joined before me were those snotty facebook friends who went to the bigger, more prominent colleges that were privy to the blue and white Mark Zuckerburg-run social network first.
That’s right.  I was there before high school students were invited to join.  I was there before all the rest of you who just had to be 13 and up decided to join. 
That’s right.  I was there before the photo albums.  Before facebook statuses.  I was there when, if you didn’t put a profile picture up your image was represented by a blue question mark rather than a gender neutral head silhouette.  Before networks delineated by city existed. Before the news feed.
I was there when it was thefacebook.com…  and there was random text at the bottom of one of the pages that said “what does a quail even look like” and another that said “I’ll think of something to put here.”  (seriously, anyone remember this???)
So don’t try to talk to me about facebook.  But I will certainly talk to you about facebook, and I will tell you the top 3 facebook rules. 
Rule 1- no passive aggressive vaguebooking.
Vaguebookers put some kind of vague and indirect status on their profile.  I used to hate this, until I realized that vaguebooking is not actually the problem.  It’s when the vaguebookers get passive aggressive.
Acceptable vaguebook: “I’m so happy right now!” It’s vague because we don’t know why you’re happy, but that’s ok, because it’s good that you’re happy.
Unacceptable vaguebook: “I’m so happy right now because all the bad things in my life are finally gone.  Good riddance.”
Great, so now all the people in your life are wondering what the bad things are and are commenting and throwing you a pity party.  Also, anyone that you may have recently had a run-in with (be it major or minor) gets to wonder if you are angry at them.  Don’t be passive aggressive.  If you have something to say and it’s directed at someone else, be direct about your statement and address them directly. 
Other examples of passive aggressive vaguebooking (that are unacceptable because you are either getting back at someone using your facebook status- because you’re not brave enough to say it to them directly- or you are trying to get people to ask you what’s wrong… which is really annoying.) include:
“Susie Smith doesn’t know if she can handle this.”
“Jack Thompson wishes people would mind their own business.”
Rule 2- no negative mention of workplace or co-workers.
I know you need to vent, but annoying comments about where you work or who you work with have a really good chance of getting back to people, bosses, etc.  Doesn’t matter if you delete, it still has the potential to exist online FOREVER! (cue supremely awesome Sandlot clip).
Seriously though, you can get fired and/or ruin work relationships over this.  And it’s way different than someone hearing you say something disparaging, because this is in writing.  Yeah, you can do all kinds of privacy protection things but do you really trust facebook to be foolproof ?  Isn’t it easier to just not say it online?  I submit that it is.
Rule 3-  don’t use me as a facebook pawn.
We haven’t talked in real life for a long time, we’re barely acquaintances.  But I happen to be fb friends with you and one of your ex-fbfriends (probably and ex-significant other) so all of the sudden you’re posting on my wall and commenting on my photos?  Don’t think I don’t see what you’re doing.  You are trying to make it so that your ex-fbfriend will see your fb activity on MY fb stuff.  You are trying to make it look like we’re in real life bffs – and we’re not even fb-bffs – to get your ex-fbfriend’s attention. 
Whoa, I almost lost my train of thought. 
Any other super-important, must-be-followed facebook rules??


10 thoughts on “about my obsession with… facebook

  1. I remember the blue question mark! I wasn't as cool as you…but I was one of the first high schoolers invited in late 2005. And those sayings! “James Bond just stole my gun!”

    Another rule: don't send farmville, mafia, restaurant or sorority invites to people who are not already playing. There's a 99% chance that they already know about the game and still aren't playing.

  2. 1. I read “forever” in my head the way that it intended to be read, and then smiled when I read what was in parenthesis.

    2. Thank you for the Brian Regan reference.

    3. Facebook used to be way cooler.

  3. i miss the blue question mark. it was so much better. i remember way back in '04 when i was checking my facebook in the dorm room (WHOA) and my only fbfriends were like… you and marti. so retro.

    another rule i would like to impose… some people might do well with a limit on how many things they can “like.” not to stunt the spread of happiness but when someone “likes” every single picture in a photo album or every status update for every friend they connect with on the 'book… it's not only totally suspect but it's just bad facebook form.

  4. Oh my goodness, I remember the “quail” quote at the bottom of the page! I miss old facebook.

    I really hate the following:

    1) Inviting people to causes. I think it's awkward when I get an invite to a political rally or something like that. Seriously, if you don't know if someone shares your beliefs, don't invite them to everything related to yours.
    2) Relationship status updates when you're upset with your significant other. Like telling us your girlfriend is being a “ho” because she did something you didn't like. It's like watching an intimate moment in a relationship, and it's quite disturbing to the rest of us.

  5. Bahahaha I loved this! Purdue was one of the first schools to have it. I remember reading about it in our school paper thinking, “Why would I join something like this??!”

    I get annoyed with the people who have annoying status updates. I also hate seeing people divorce on facebook. It's sad. Especially when the couples are young. Or recently married.

    Lately though, I've been thinking about how much I hate the changes to Facebook. I do not want any of my things connected to other sites and I shouldn't have to continually update my privacy settings to “Friends Only”.

  6. I agree with all of you about your facebook rules and annoyances.

    But, more importantly, do you remember when you could change the facebook language and you could read it in Pirate English??? argh! awesome.

  7. I thought of few more things to add:

    1) I really wish someone would explain to older folks that everyone can read their status updates and nothing is private unless they make it so. My mom's friends especially have this problem of posting drunken photos.

    2) I really miss the feeling of facebook being this quirky, enclosed thing where you felt safe posting pictures and quotes without feeling like everything would be picked apart by parents, future employers, etc. because it was just for college students.

  8. My FB annoyance…

    Don't suggest that become a fan of whatever it is that you're pushing. If I'm a fan of said item/organization, I believe I'm intelligent enough to realize that without you pointing it out to me. If I'm truly a fan, I'll “become a fan” whenever I darn well please.

    On the other hand, I think everyone should become a fan of Texas Dance Theatre….and Booty Pop shorts!

  9. As I continue to read your blog, I see many a Thanksgivings in our future which will be enjoyable and filled with these types of awesome conversation topics. Plus, Cooper and Bravo are bound to be friends.

    I too remember the quail comment, question mark, etc. and was a member when you had to have an email address ending in .edu to join. Also, groups were specific to your particular university back then. But I have to say, I think status updates are an improvement to FB, as I love knowing what is going on from the small things to the big things in the lives of my FB friends. Even if they are someone I didn't even really talk to in high school.

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