Now, let’s take the full list of 7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook, and break it down. My commentary is in (bold italic parentheses):
1) The Brag
Bragging is such a staple of unfortunate Facebook behavior, it needs to be broken into three subsections:
1a) The “I’m Living Quite the Life” Brag
Description: A post making your life sound great, either in a macro sense (got your dream job, got your degree, love your new apartment) or a micro sense (taking off on an amazing trip, huge weekend coming up, heading out on a fun night with friends, just had an amazing day).
(What the fuck – why should you have to apologize for leading an awesome life. Getting your dream job, graduating, loving your new apartment – those are all amazing things you should want to share. And if you can’t share them with your friends then WHO CAN YOU SHARE IT WITH?! Seriously, you’d think the author of this article was friends with everyone he ever hated. It’s easy to be happy for your friends…but it’s even easier to be a dick about it…apparently.)
Guess who just got her TFA acceptance letter!!!
Tailgating, Giants game, night out with Dave, Matt, Paul, and Andy. I love you, Saturday.
Core reasons for posting: Image Crafting (I’m successful; I’m happy; I have a great social life), Jealousy Inducing (Nah, dude, I think jealous is just your default setting)
So at best, you’re just really excited about your life and you need to tell everyone, and at worst you’re specifically hoping to make people feel worse about their lives and jealous of yours. (This dude has some serious issues that are totally not about Facebook at all. For someone who talks a lot about narcissism, he sure seems to think that every Facebook status is personally directed at him and designed to make him feel a certain way. News flash: chances are if someone got into med school, they’re really pumped about their hard work paying off and being able to save lives – not about how shitty it may or may not make you feel.) Somewhere in the middle would be you calculatingly crafting your words as part of an unendearing and transparent campaign to make people see you in a certain way.
Let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re just excited and need to brag to someone. Even if that’s the case, the only people it’s okay to brag to in life (Where is that written?) are your close friends, significant other, and family members — and that’s what email, texting, phone calls, and live talking are for (What is this 2004? Sending a group email or text is annoying – calling everyone in the middle of their day is annoying. Facebook was designed to connect and share – what is this dude’s problem?). Your moment of self-satisfaction is profoundly annoying to people you’re not that close with (Then you probably shouldn’t be friends?), and they make up the vast majority of people who will be subjected to (BY CHOICE! YOU ARE FRIENDS WITH THESE PEOPLE BY CHOICE!) the status.
1b) The Undercover Brag
Description: Like the blatant brags above except behind a frail disguise. This includes all humblebrags, indirect brags, brags disguised as a rant, etc. (Seriously, we’ve all done this. And if you say you haven’t then you’re a liar…which is worse than an annoying Facebooker.)
Apparently they now give PhDs to frauds and drunks. What a time to be alive! (I don’t get this one.)
I’ll be traveling for the summer if anyone knows someone looking to sublease a Soho apartment in July and August. (Don’t get this one either)
On my walk home from work, I was whistled at twice, honked at twice, and one car almost caused an accident slowing down to stare at me. Sometimes I really hate men. (I’ll give you this one but cat calling is really something that needs to go the way of the dinosaur!)
Core reasons for posting: Image Crafting, Jealousy Inducing
On one hand, these people are at least self-aware enough to cloak their brag in something. On the other hand, they have the same exact core motivations as the blatant braggers and looking at these examples actually makes the first group seem almost lovable in comparison.
1c) The “I’m in a Great Relationship” Brag
Description: A public expression of your extremely positive feelings for your significant other or an anecdote signifying the perfection of your relationship. (All right, now we’re getting to the core of things – dude, dating is fucking hard. I dated some awful people before I met the love of my life and you know what – FUCK YOU. Seriously, people should not have to apologize for being in love. You don’t know what kind of shit people have been through in their lives when it comes to the search for love. If you are lucky enough to find that special person you want the world to know so suck a dick.)
A surprise trip to Vermont for two nights in a cabin. All I can say is Wow, what a boyfriend.
Thanks, Rachel, for the best year of my life.
Excited for a rainy Sunday of pizza, games, and movies with the wife.
Core reasons for posting: Image Crafting (FYI, I have a boyfriend; I’m in a wonderful relationship), Jealousy Inducing
The image crafting and jealousy inducing motives here are transparent. The only less-appalling possibility could be that it’s an attempt to strengthen the relationship itself by showing how you feel in a more substantial way than just saying it in private. But really? You’re gonna drag 800 of us into this shit because you couldn’t find a more creative way to go over the top in expressing yourself? (Not everything is about you. Just because you’re single and apparently, a huge asshole, doesn’t mean everyone in relationships should censor their love. And the key phrase in this rant is “expressing yourself” – if you have a problem with self-expression, you should probably not use social media.)
The one very funny possibility when it’s a guy posting is that either he’s in trouble for something or that his girlfriend’s friend’s boyfriend pulled some shit like this at some point and his girlfriend has now been 10 percent mad at him ever since it happened, so he finally has to just bite the bullet. (What are you even talking about?)
The fact is, there’s no excuse for it, because if you feel the need to plaster your relationship all over Facebook, there are plenty of socially acceptable ways to do so — go nuts with couple profile photos, and enjoy three separate moments of like button and comment applause when you change your status to “in a relationship,” “engaged,” and “married.”
2) The Cryptic Cliffhanger
Description: A post that makes it clear that something good or bad is happening in your life without disclosing any details. (Sometimes you just want to let out some frustration – if you’re curious, then ask about it.)
That’s IT. I am DONE dating.
This could be a biggggg day…
Moments like these make all of the struggle and all of the pain worth it.
Core reasons for posting: Attention Craving
The fun part of these is watching the inevitable comments and then watching how the author responds to them, if at all. This process slots the author into one of four sub-categories:
The celebrity: The author stays silent, treating the commenters like gawking fans. (I don’t think anyone really does that…)
800 people’s collective high-maintenance girlfriend: The author explains everything in the comments, which means he wanted to talk publicly about it, but he didn’t want to just tell the public, he wanted the public to ask him about it. (I think you’re reading a little too much into this.)
The tortured protagonist: It’s something bad. The author responds but maintains the mystery — she’s unhappy about it and she “doesn’t feel like getting into it.” (Sometimes it’s just a relief to know that people are there for you – if you’re not ready to talk about it, your friends will understand.)
Everybody’s special princess: It’s something exciting. The author responds but maintains the mystery — it’s really good and he “can’t say yet but you’ll find out soon!” Now you’ll have an extra hop in your step as you wait for the big news with bated breath! This is a special one because it also brings Narcissism, Jealousy Inducing, and Image Crafting in. What a fun person to have in your life! (Nothing wrong with a little suspense.)
3) The Literal Status Update
Description: An actual status update on someone’s mundane day. (I’ll give you this one – it’s pretty annoying but I do it too so I’m not about to judge someone else for it.)
Off to the gym, then class reading
Finally finished my paper!
Core reasons for posting: Loneliness; Narcissism; Thinking a status update is supposed to be an actual status update
Allow me to present a visual:
“Finally finished my paper!” Okay… and? What are you looking for here? A fake congratulation from a bunch of people who aren’t emotionally invested in your struggle? Finishing your paper is green territory on the above chart, or if you had been working on it for a couple months, it might scrape the outer edges of the orange. For 90+ percent of the people who will read the status, it doesn’t come near the red territory, which is all they care about. (Um, unless you’ve spent hours agonizing over MLA formatting, don’t knock the paper status.)
Off to the gym, then class reading. Oh, is that what’s on tap for tonight? Who exactly are you telling this to? I really want to get to the bottom of this. At some point between leaving work and arriving at the gym, you had an impulse to take out your phone and type this status. Then you put your phone away. Tell me what was accomplished.
We’re talking about serious blue territory here, which means that even your mom doesn’t give a shit. A lot of annoying statuses fall far from red territory, but they all serve the author in some way, which is why they’re posted.
But info about your schedule doesn’t do anything to craft your image or induce jealousy in anyone — so it just seems a lot like Attention Craving’s sad cousin, Loneliness. I suppose it’s nice that Facebook gives a lonely person someone to tell their day to, and if these statuses didn’t come with the byproduct of reminding everyone else that life is meaningless and they’re gonna die someday, they wouldn’t have to be on this list. (Does anyone else think this dude has way too much time on his hands – seriously, who has time to craft visuals like that? lol)
The other possible explanation is severe narcissism, as if somehow, because you’re you, even the smallest details of your life are interesting to others. A weird part of the life of a major celebrity is that people are obsessed with everything about them, even their blue territory. If you’re not a major celebrity, this is not a problem you have, I promise.
4) The Inexplicably-Public Private Message
Description: A public posting from one person to another that has no good reason to be public. (Some people don’t care if it’s all out there. If they don’t care, then why do you?)
I miss you! When are we hanging out?
What a weekend with Julie Epstein and Emily Rothchild. I love my girls!
All private jokes.
Core reasons for posting: Image Crafting; Jealousy Inducing; Narcissism; You’re over 80 and don’t realize there’s a difference between a public post and a private message.
My grandmother aside, there is no good reason to ever do this. Good is the key word. There are lots of very annoying reasons to do this. Let’s list them:
– To make yourself seem cool and social and make your social life seem vibrant and fun (That person probably is cool and social)
– To show everyone what good friends you and the recipient are
– To make people jealous or feel worse about their own lives (I think you just feel bad about your life…that’s on you.)
– Because you’re acting like you’re in high school and you’re one of the popular kids whose social situation is actually an important thing for people (Aww, you were shoved in lockers, weren’t you?)
The one possibility I enjoy is that the message is written to be jealousy-inducing specificallyfor one individual who will likely be seeing it, whether it be an ex or a friend they hate. That kind of malice is so extreme it crosses over the far line and becomes awesome.
Ugh…I was going to do all 7 but seriously, this is my limit. The moral of the story is post what you want, when you want, and to who you want. Fuck this dude and people like him. Facebook is for fun…and articles like this are for losers with no real friends.