Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Facebook Pet Peeves


I'm going to let you in on a secret. I've only told one other person this. You can't tell!

It's my pet peeves on Facebook.

You see, I can't post them on Facebook, because then my Facebook friends would know that sometimes they get on my nerves. I can't post a link for the same reason. I can't post any of them as my status because that would create the very real possibility that I would lose all my Facebook friends.

It's a difficult pickle to be in the middle of.

I will share them with you, but you can't tell. This has to remain just between us, our little secret. And if, by chance, you have committed, or do commit, one of the following pet peeves of mine while on Facebook; don't worry your pretty little head. Pet peeve literally means "a frequent subject of complaint", and for me is more of a redundant annoyance. And I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I annoy you too.

So, without further ado, here are my Facebook pet peeves.

1. Using Your Status to Respond to Another User
A status update is basically supposed to answer the question "What are you doing right now?" or "What's on your mind?" If you want to address someone specifically, write on that person's "wall". Go to their page, leave a message. This is how you communicate a personal note to someone on Facebook. If you want to leave a truly personal message that no one can see, use the tab that says "Inbox". But please don't update us with, "I know! I was just thinking that when we were at the mall Friday. You are so right."

2. Posting Someone Else's Picture As Yours
Your profile picture is to show your friends what you look like, give them a little reminder of who you are with each message you leave. I know your kids and your dog are "sooooooo cute", but really, I want to see your face when you are addressing me. I know maybe you don't have a current picture or are not happy with the way you look right now or are on a diet, but you know what? Join the club! ...And while you're at it, put a picture of yourself for your profile pic.

3. Incorrect Spelling and Punctuation
We are officially living in the era of text messages, Twitter, and non-stop connection to technology. I understand many people use Facebook through their Blackberry, iPhone, or other similar device. But Facebook is not a text message, it's a social networking site. And if you want people to be able to read your statuses, posts, and messages as you intended them to be understood; pick up a third grade language book and relearn the use of commas, periods, and capital letters. A few basic spelling lessons wouldn't hurt either.

4. Inviting All Your Friends to Participate in Every Application You Use and Sending Meaningless Cyber "Gifts"
When I first joined Facebook, I read over a friend's personal information and was surprised at her final message of- "Please do not invite me to join the mafia, become a zombie, or take a quiz about your favorite TV show. I am on Facebook to connect with you personally, and do not have time to dig through endless invitations to waste my time in a variety of ways." I marveled at her rudenessa and didn't fully understand what these invitations are she was referring to.

Now I do.

So Facebook Pet Peeve #4 is when Facebook Friends invite me to use every useless application that they choose to waste time on. I don't need to take three minutes and go to six different screens to accept a little stuffed dog that doesn't actually exist. Friends who excessively use these applications crowd up their contacts' home pages and litter their request boxes.

5. Spouses Writing Sentimental Messages to Each Other
Gag! Listen, I'm a big fan of marriage and love my husband fiercely. And I'm all for occasionally proclaiming for the world to hear, "I love my spouse! I'm so thankful for them. He/she is amazing." But constant status updates of "I'm waiting for my Pooky to come home, I'm so lonely without him. I'm can't wait to smother him with kisses!" And "I'm the luckiest dude on the planet- my wife is so hot! She looks great in anything- and nothing..."

Yuck. Keep it private. Please.

6. Becoming a Fan of Everything
Being a fan of something or someone on Facebook used to be cool. You could show your style and personality by proclaiming your love for a certain band, author, or television show. But it seems things have gotten out of control. I have seen friends become fans of "hugs", "sleeping", and "God".

I'm all for God, but do I really need to become His fan on Facebook? What's next, being a fan of breathing?

7. Extreme Facebook Narcissism
It's true that social networking and blogging (hmm... am I going to insult myself now?) have fed an ever increasing obsession with ourselves in the last few years. And for those who truly believe their lives are fascinating enough for everyone else to care about on a constant basis, Facebook can be an all too easy platform for self-promotion on a stage built ever higher and higher by themselves.

Facebook is an quick and easy outlet for the self-obsessed. There are status updates for them to proclaim their own brand of deep thoughts, endless quizzes for them to take and publish to show the world more and more of how fascinating they are, and even notes to be published and forwarded to display their vast knowledge and experience. The most recent culprit I've seen is a list of the BBC's Top 100 Books in which Facebook users could mark those they've read, loved, and want to read. It includes books ranging from Pride and Prejudice to Harry Potter to
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I'm sorry, but what is this except a list to proclaim to everyone else how intelligent and wide-read you are?

If you were really smart, you would know that your life is not that fascinating. And your Facebook "friends" are more interested in proclaiming their own perceived notoriety than in reading about yours.

There you have it! I've given you seven, but we all know the list could go on and on. You're welcome to comment with your own Facebook pet peeves. Let's enjoy our annoyances together!

Well, now that no one is left to read because I've offended them, I guess I will bid myself adieu!

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