Along These Lines: Facebook Pet Peeves

  • Thursday, November 15, 2012


By Nick Thomas

Facebook recently announced it now has 1 billion users. Three of them are contented with the social network’s new timeline format. Of course, the irony of complaining about a free web site service that no one forces you to use seems to escape most disgruntled Facebook users.

But even more irritating than Facebook are the users themselves. This was especially obvious during the pre-election months when numerous FB’ers felt obliged to advise their friends who to vote for, just in case we didn’t have the ability to figure it out for ourselves.

So here’s list of common Facebook abuses, together with a little friendly advice:

The Extreme Poster: These folks have an overwhelming urge to share everything they do, think, hear, see, smell, or step in, during the course of their day. The most egregious offenders will issue a screen avalanche of multiple postings in the space of a few minutes. Advice: Just stop it. Besides, you’re displacing recent vital posts (i.e., mine).

The Multiple Medical Moaner: No one likes to hear that a FB friend is ill. No, seriously, NO ONE likes to hear that a FB friend is ill – repeatedly, day after day, week after week. These virtual hypochondriacs generally claim to be suffering from odd complaints, too, such as hyperactive spleens, hula-hoop intestines, hockey rash, foreign accent syndrome, mysteriously peeling toenails, or CDAS (chronic donut assimilation syndrome). Advice: share your medical miseries with a doctor, not the entire planet.

The Food Photo Fanatic: People, listen. No matter how delicious that Olive Garden chicken parmesan tasted, unless you’re a professional food photographer don’t even attempt to take food photos with your 0.1 megapixel cellphone camera, post them, and expect readers to drool. The colors will be washed out and sickening; oils and fats glisten with a greasy sliminess; and bilious grey-colored meats resemble road kill. Advice: eat your food, don’t archive it.

The Serial Baby Photo Poster: If you must plaster the screen with baby pix, at least dress the kid in something other than just a diaper. Advice: You wouldn’t post pictures of Grandpa in his Depends; so show the same restraint for baby in Pampers, okay?

The Boring Babbler: Sorry, but I have no desire to learn what time you got up, what color socks you plan to wear, or what stubborn food fragments remaining from last night’s seafood gumbo you had to dig out while flossing. Advice: Keep dreary stuff to yourself. But if you find skeletal remains while poking around in the basement, then sure, share.

The Weary Weather Watcher: FB’ers with a climate fetish often post hourly weather updates. Advice: Good grief, if I want mundane meteorological news, I’ll turn on the Weather Channel. Or, I’ll just look out the window.

The Multiple Re-poster: Your post never got any “likes” or comments, so what do you do? Repost it over and over again, desperate for virtual recognition of its FB worthiness. Advice: delete, and go do something interesting.

Liking your own status/comment/photo: This is just plain silly. It’s like high-fiving yourself in public. Of course you like you own postings, otherwise you wouldn’t post them. Duh!

Posting photos of cool places/people/activities: Okay, so you just returned from Trinidad and Tobago, or saw Bob Dylan at a Wendy’s Drive-Thru, or swam with killer piranha in the Amazon recently. Congratulations, you lead an exciting life; but don’t gloat. There’s only one thing worse…..

Posting photos of uncool places/people/activities: No, I don’t want to see a photographic record of your car getting its oil changed, or the time you bumped into a Sarah Palin lookalike at Starbucks, or your collection of souvenir spoons from New Mexico.

The Nude FB’er: Fess up now. I know some of you leap out of the bath having just thought of a screamer to post, and race to your computer still in the buff. Advice to my Uncle Norm: Stop it; Aunt Sarah is beginning to worry.

Do checkout my FB page, because I’d never do anything along these lines.



Thomas' features and columns have appeared in more than 200 magazines and newspapers, including the Washington Post, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and Christian Science Monitor. He can be reached at alongtheselines@yahoo.com.

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