Social Media: My Beloved Nemesis

My cousin Lindsay posted something on Facebook the other day (not to be confused with the much more entertaining Failbook) that got my brain going:

some of the things that people put/say on facebook really makes me realize that I need to make some serious deletions.

She could have been talking about me or something I wrote. She could have been talking about Uri The Third Guy On The Left, or maybe Stella Who Smells Like Cabbage. It didn’t actually matter WHO she meant; what mattered was she was reiterating something I’ve thought many, many times about Facebook and social media programs like Twitter. At some point in my life, Tweets and status updates became part of my daily regime. It was like “Get up, eat, scratch a basset, Tweet about Pantsless Wednesday, let dog out, spin in circles, go to work, make words happen, Tweet about that thing on Gorbachev’s head, check Facebook, read tweets, post something droll on Facebook, smear wallpaper with poo.”

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Confession: I don’t actually like reading Tweets or Facebook. “Why’s that, Hillary? Did Mark Zuckerberg attack you with a rabid squirrel?” Nope. There are just far, far too many fucktarded posts and updates out there. And before I get into the meat and potatoes of what I mean by that, let me say I realize I contribute to the fucktardery. I’m guilty of at least three of the following bullet points, possibly four. I try to be conscientious about it, of course, but sometimes the emo crybaby manifests. Sometimes something SPLEN-FUCKIN’-DIFEROUS happens and I need to tell everyone. Either situation can be construed as “Shut the fuck up Hillary and post something worthwhile.” So yes, I point the finger at the guilty, but I also recognize I’m guilty, too. No calling me a hypocrite, folks. I’m well aware I have this egg all over my face.

Anyway, without further ado:

Social Media Fail One: The Angster

The Angster never has a positive status update. Ever. Okay wait – they might say something positive after a string of eight or nine days worth of “I hate _________”, “_______ sucks”, “I can’t understand why __________ unfollowed me after 68 thousand bitching posts”, “Sad”, “Feeling unloved”, “I smell like a dung beetle”, “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’m going to eat some worms.” Don’t get me wrong – everyone needs a hug, digitally or otherwise. Everyone needs support from their peers and friends. The occasional cry for help is FINE. The perpetual cry for help is not. It’s indicative of a much bigger problem that cannot – and should not – be “healed” in 140 characters.

Social Media Fail Two: Angry About EVERYTHING

No really, everything. “Someone had the nerve to stop and ask me HOW I WAS DOING TODAY.” This person will find something to get angry about regardless of circumstance. “Yeah, so I was sitting there and she TOTALLY BROUGHT UP APPLE PIE. LIKE, OH MY GOD. DOESN’T SHE KNOW I HATE APPLE PIE?” Something that perplexes me about this particular brand of poster person is that they actually wake up this way, and freely admit it. “Totally woke up in a shit mood. Beware, world.” Again, just like the angster, if you’re waking up with a fresh day ahead of you and you’re mad before anything actually happens, don’t you think that’s, you know, a problem that needs addressing? And seriously, how much fun do you think it is to hear about you hating everyone and everything? What’s there to inspire people to read the next string of venom coming from your fingers? I’d have more fun hugging a cactus, thanks.

Social Media Fail Three: The Mundane

“I just breathed oxygen. Again!” “I walked up the stairs!” “I made a sandwich!” This person’s over sharing takes a prize. Apparently, putting on socks is a noteworthy occasion for them, because they tell us every fucking time they do it. Unless your socks have grown carnivorous and will actually eat your feet off? I don’t -care-. Don’t share that. It’s a waste of digital characters, and don’t you know that those are precious in this world? Ask the angry poster. They’ll tell you YOU ARE WRONG AND STUPID FOR WASTING THEIR TIME WITH THIS INANE SHIT. They’ll even tell you loudly.

Social Media Fail Four: The Braggart/Story Topper

Julie: “I won the lottery!”

The Braggart: “OH YEAH? I DID THAT TWICE! ON TUESDAY! But good for you.”

Julie: “It’s a girl!”

The Braggart: “I HAD A GIRL ONCE WHO WEIGHED 47 THOUSAND POUNDS AT BIRTH AND I WAS IN LABOR FOR 819 HOURS.”

Julie: “Feeling icky and have a cold. ;_;”

The Braggart: “I HAVE EBOLA AND MY INSIDES ARE LIQUIFYING AS WE SPEAK. MY SPLEEN JUST CAME OUT MY PEE HOLE.”

Social Media Fail Five: TMFI

This particular fail might look similar to three, but it’s off the charts different. Three thinks having a pulse is revolutionary, and a worthwhile update. This poster tells us the stuff we never wanted to know about them. You know, like the fact that they have that growth on the end of their schlong, and that sometimes they wear diapers to curtail that rampant anal leakage issue. “I got a huge callous on my thumb from masturbating to Weird Al videos!” Thanks dude. Seriously. I did not need to know that. Nor did I need to know you have a granny banging fetish. CHECK PLEASE.

Social Media Fail Six: Morality Hammer

This person likes to make others feel shitty about being human. Sure, every once in awhile they make a valid point and say “Gee Timmy, you really shouldn’t have beaten that baby seal. It’s mean.” (Killjoys.) Normally, though, they’re imposing moral values on others about completely inane conversation pieces. “I just had my son’s school pictures done!” The morality hammer sees this status update as an affront to mankind and, to save us all, steps up to point out that “it’s nice to know that money that could have gone into feeding forty underprivileged children was spent on an 8 X 10 for Grandmal.” This is twice as much fun when it’s a religious argument, like they have God’s ear and they conferred with Him to let us know what a vile pile of bullshit sinners we are. Sanctimonious pricks.

Social Media Fail Seven: The Devil’s Advocate

No, I’m not talking about a person who stands up for something they believe in and wants to talk a subject through. I’m talking about people who’d argue with Jesus Christ all day every day for shits and giggles. They’re probably just trying to make others look stupid because that’s what gets their nipples hard. The worst part? They don’t even believe the points they’re arguing most of the time, they just like to “debate” or “play devil’s advocate”. Debating with this person is about as entertaining as a gasoline enema. They aren’t in this to prove a point, or to support a cause like The Morality Hammer. They just want to be on the opposite side of an issue because they can be.

Social Media Fail Eight: Ambiguous Need

This one drives me the craziest. Text does not hold tone well. This has been a no-brainer factoid since email became a popular communicative medium. This poster will put something up, expect a certain reaction to it, but because they were unclear about what they were after (a hug, a discussion, an enraptured audience nodding their heads) . . . they get pissed when they don’t get EXACTLY THE 140 CHARACTERS BACK THEY WANTED. So this poster’s first status update is followed by a second that expresses how half of the reactions they got were inappropriate or “not helping”. Newsflash: the onus is not on your followers to read your mind, or to try and decipher what tone you were actually aiming for with your tweet. It’s on you to not be ambiguous. The second status updates bitching about those who answered you? Usually make you look like a douche bag. It also makes everyone who did answer you appropriately scratch their heads and wonder if you’re complaining about them. Stop this. Seriously. Just fucking stop. I can guaran-damn-tee that ninety percent of the time that second snarktastic tweet you’re about to post is completely needless.

HeeRee SMAAAAAASH?

Some folks would argue they use social networking sites for their own pleasure, and who gives a shit what their readers think. To that person, I kinda want to point out that they clearly don’t get that whole online community thing. It’s a social network, not a “I’m going to say things and all of you have to listen to me now!” site. We do in fact have the option to ignore you, drop you from lists, and find other people to friend who don’t drive us fucking crazy with their self-serving drivel.

The challenge is this, then: if you find yourself delving into the unfortunate territories listed above, step back and count to ten before you post. If you don’t curtail the alienating behaviors, you may find yourself less a follower or twelve. Or someone might psychically bomb your motherboard.

Remember kids, only YOU can prevent random acts of internet violence

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