Jeremy explores many topics as he juggles his passion for writing with his career as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
The Age of Facebook
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Love it or hate it, this is the day and age of social media. It's easier than ever for us to see what our friends (and random attractive people) are up to. Though Facebook faces rivals like Twitter and Instagram, it's still a networking behemoth that most of us are integrating into our lives.
And, being the sneaky individual you are, you know you can't show your pettiness on such a site, where it would be chronicled for all time. Thus, you utilize mind games and unspoken "rules" or "truths" of Facebook to help cement yourself in cyberspace as an astounding, moral citizen.
So, you cunning weasel you, here are five more unspoken thoughts we all have regarding Facebook!
1. Respond or Die
Woa, okay, maybe not die. But we're talking about when you, in all your beauty and wit, take the effort to post something hilarious or profound on someone else's wall. Not just a general status update, but something you're targeting at some poor sucker.
Ball's in their court, and they have an obligation to respond now. Here's what their three possible reactions mean:
- If they respond, great! They actually liked what you posted.
- If they simply like the post, meh. They didn't love it, but at least they weren't a huge jerk and didn't leave ya hanging.
- If they didn't respond or like the post, they are a soulless mink sack who deserves to be ridiculed for eternity.
Bottom line: respond in some shape or form, or we'll hate you.
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2. Cartoon Profiles Are Social Suicide
Look, fellow swipe-lefts, I get it: we ain't models. We crack mirrors and make crying babies weep. But the beauty of Facebook is that you can untag yourself in the bad pics and upload only your favorites. Thus, even baboon-faces likes us have no excuse for not finding at least one picture where we don't look like we just sucked three Warheads.
So, stop putting your profile as something weird. Love the Ninja Turtles as much as the next 90s kid, but you don't need Leonardo or Dora the Explorer as your profile. People form judgments about this stuff without even meaning to. If they see a profile that essentially doesn't show your face, their natural reaction is "ah, that person must be ashamed of the way they look."
A girl I know once said she would never accept friend requests from a "cartoon profile." It kinda makes sense; if we can at least see someone's face, they become that much more human and less intimidating.
If you've transcended social norms and genuinely don't care what others think, you can ignore this tip. But for the vast majority of us, we want to showcase a strong, confident appearance (i.e. lie) and Buster Baxter just doesn't fit the bill.
3. Your Ex: Stalk or Block?
Again, I understand. Kevin was so tall, handsome as hell. He was so bad but he did it so well. And even though you guys didn't work out (you couldn't move past him putting olives on pizza and hating Starbucks), you might still want to remain friends. At least virtually.
Or maybe Kevin can burn himself alive for all you care, that conniving apple-john.
In other words, when it comes to exes and Facebook, people opt for one of two approaches:
- Stalk. You remain Facebook friends, but don't really communicate anymore unless you're gonna be doing a Ross/Rachel. While you don't unfriend each other, you'll never publicly acknowledge the other for fear of appearing desperate. Despite this, you frequently creep on their profile, especially when you see them getting a little cozy with someone else.
- Block. You hate your ex's guts (everything bad in the relationship was of course their fault), so you unfriend them before they unfriend you. Icing on the cake: you block them for added spite, and remain archnemeses for all time.
Alternative approach: You can always remain friends, but unfollow them, so you never actually see their posts unless you manually go sleuthing. Which you will, you dirty backstabber.
4. No One Cares About Your Diet/Workout
We can probably agree that exercising and eating healthy are both great things, right? Good. Now don't ever post about either. I know we want to share aspects of our lives, and we're proud of ourselves whenever we reach for a salad instead of a doughnut-burger.
However, like our last entry, people typically fall into one of two categories for posts like these.
- They don't care. Who wants to hear a detailed report of someone's caloric intake for a day? Yawn. And on Facebook, where people are expecting high-quality cat videos and relationship drama, there's nothing more boring than having to scroll past your gorgonzola salad.
- They like you less for it. Even if you don't say something obnoxious, you still run a high risk of someone finding your display arrogant. They won't say anything, of course, (this is Facebook), but chalk up one more hater somewhere out there.
Well if they don't like it, that's on them, not me, right? Yes, but you're still down a legion of virtual fans (and what's the point of Facebook if not to convince ourselves people love us?), so think before you post.
5. We Hate Posts That Ask For Shares
You know the ones. "Share if you love your mom." "Share if you miss your best friend." "Share if your left nostril has ever had a booger." They can be about anything, and they strike everyone as both desperate and annoying.
Asking for one's own post to be shared just seems pathetic; we'll share it if, and only if, the content is worthwhile. And because the post itself doesn't even believe that, why should we?
The worst ones are the those that not only ask to be shared, but try and guilt-trip you if you don't. "Share if you love your dad, keep scrolling if you're an ungrateful wretch who hopes he dies." Wow. Not only are you hopeless enough to ask for shares, you're now shaming those who don't. This is the Facebook equivalent of asking someone out then throwing a tantrum and insulting them if they politely decline.
So remember, expressing your enthusiasm for someone or something is fine. Begging for others to spread your content (and berating them for not doing so) isn't.
Impact of Facebook
In all seriousness, despite its imperfections, Facebook and other social media are convenient ways for people to collect more bonds than ever before, and I'm grateful for them, even if we still abide by unwritten social rules.
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