My First Faceversary: One Year of Facebooking

Posted by Chris on May 11, 2011   |   Comments:  

Although it’s only a small percentage of people who usually contribute to the annoyances listed below, here are a few that I encountered on Facebook over the past year.

Attention Seekers a.k.a. Vaguebookers
These are the people who intentionally post vague status updates without providing any other details whatsoever. For example, status updates such as “Did that just happen???,” “I can’t believe this…,” “Are you serious right now?,” and “Wondering if it’s all worth it.” fall into this category. These status updates are obviously posted to prompt family and friends to ask “What’s wrong?,” “What’s going on?,” “Are you okay?,” etc, but even after people comment asking these questions, I noticed that most of the time the person who posted the status update doesn’t respond. Here’s my two cents, tell the whole story or please stop!

Urban Legends
Urban legends on Facebook saturate my feed on a daily basis and it can get very annoying. It’s almost unavoidable at this point. These fake rumors are nothing more than social campaigns designed to use fear tactics to spread awareness across Facebook and other social networks. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great when people want to bring awareness to legitimate causes or work together to accomplish a goal, but blindly clicking Like or Share on a post doesn’t help anyone. Instead, it’s spreading lameness to everyone on your friend’s list. For example, last year when the post “Facebook soon plans to charge monthly subscription fees to users” made its way to my Wall I knew it was falsehood. However, I did a quick check at Snopes to confirm my suspicion. You see, if you click Like or Share these urban legends it will dilute your Facebook credibility. These urban legends are very similar to the chain letters we used to see flooding our inbox over the last 15-20 years. It’s the same stuff, just packaged differently.

When I see my family and close friends get suckered into clicking Like or Share on these false status updates I usually find the information on Snopes and then shoot them a private message (if time permits) with a link to the article I found so they know it’s either an urban legend or a scam. I’ve been visiting Snopes since 2002 so I’ve learned not to play into these ridiculous Facebook posts, but not everyone takes the time to check things out prior to clicking the Like or Share links. My advice: take a minute, visit www.snopes.com, and check the validity of the post in question instead of sharing falsehood to your family and friends. If time doesn’t permit, move on without performing any action. It’s okay, you don’t need to leave your fingerprints on every status update anyway.

Like If You Agree, Ignore If You Want To Go To Hell / Like If You Care, Ignore If You Don’t
Truth: you won’t go to hell if you decide not to Like the photo. I promise. Look, I realize that 99.9% of the people on my friend’s list have a good heart and want to help, support, and bring awareness to causes. However, there is no reason to click Like on every photo that displays this message. It’s almost like some people feel if they don’t click Like when they come across these photos others will consider them cruel and heartless. Another truth: that’s not true, no one is judging you. However, your family and friends might think you’re a little annoying for sharing a lot of unnecessary noise to their feed. It’s just a guess.

1st: Like the Photo, 2nd: Comment (insert word here), 3rd: See What Happens Next…
Whenever I come across these status updates I laugh and then quickly move on. You should too. Here’s the thing, nothing will ever happen if you follow the instructions on the status update. You’ve been duped. The person who created this pathetic status update is laughing at the people who are clicking Like and commenting. Think about it, has anything amazing ever happened when you clicked Like or commented on a similar status update in the past? Exactly.

Facebook Redesign and Privacy Rants
Like any other social networking site, Facebook is always searching for new ways to improve the user experience. Sure, sometimes it might get things wrong – perhaps adding or removing features, but its ultimate goal is to provide the user with the best possible experience while interacting with the site. Personally, I don’t mind if Facebook tweaks its privacy settings or redesigns the site. I’ll just roll with it and get used to the changes over time. I just feel it’s a waste of time and energy to freak out every time a redesign is introduced or a privacy setting is updated. I’m just glad no major redesigns or privacy updates happened in my first year so I didn’t have to hear all the screaming Facebookers who disapprove, but there is always next year.

Despite some nitpicking on my part, I value all my friendships and would never unfriend anyone on Facebook for any of the above reasons. That would be a silly move since the people on my friend’s list are real-life friends that I’ve known for many, many years. It would take a lot more than a few Facebook mishaps to get booted off of my list. However, I still think it’s important that people understand that their family and friends are reading each and every status update and it could get old after a while if they continue to share the lameness.

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