Ten Things You Should Stop Doing On Facebook

Every now and then, I like to get on my soap box and complain about Facebook etiquette. It’s been a little while; so I’m back with a new list of pet peeves. Some are retreads of previous complaints. Others are new. There’s certainly a chance I may alienate some of my own Facebook friends by merely posting this, but in my defense, I’ll say that this article is for their own good. Don’t be offended. Use it as a tool to grow. Constructive criticism is all it is!

After the jump, the top ten things you should stop doing on Facebook:

10. Farmville, Mafia Wars, or Any Other Game
Never mind that Famville and its ilk pose major security breaches for its users, the real problem with these games is that they flood everyone else’s Facebook feeds with useless information. Do I really need to know you just bought a bushel of corn from Shanice, the temp worker in your office? No, I don’t. Of course, over-use of Facebook apps is nothing new. We’ve been dealing with this sort of junk for years now. The annoyance lies in the users who simply refuse to adjust their settings and stop publishing their updates, or even worse, think we actually care enough to want to hear about Farmville (sorry, Farmville. I’m really hanging you out to dry). Now, I get it — there’s a lot of useless drivel on Facebook that no one wants to hear about, and I’m sure I certainly contribute my healthy share, but game updates really are the pits. Sure, I could hide app updates from my feed (and I do), but isn’t it kind of obnoxious to ask your hundreds of friends to adjust instead of you? Consider this high horse gotten upon!

9. Requesting Someone To Be Your Friend Without Making Your Photos Available
It’s a ballsy move to add someone as a friend you don’t know, but if you’re gonna do it, at least make your photos available. Why on earth would I ever add someone who only shares their profile picture — a profile picture which more often than not is something dumb like a wheat field or a ribbon or a hand drawn image of a sheep. Total waste of time.

8. Posting About Sadness
No one wants a downer. If you write “Another bad day” or “Work sucks” or “This is the worst day of my life,” I guarantee you that NO ONE actually cares. In fact, the only people that leave comments are doing so because they’re so nice that they feel obligated to take whatever bait you’re dangling. But even they, I assure you, don’t care. They’re just nice. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but even though Facebook is a place for sharing, no one wants to hear from a downer. So what do you do if you really are sad? Well, maybe rephrase into a joke. That pretty much works for any situation. People will empathize more with you if they feel they won’t be drawn into a web of depression and pity. Similarly:

7. Baiting
Don’t bait. If you ran into a celebrity, don’t say “I just ran into a celebrity I never thought I’d run into.” Just say who the person is. Don’t write “Not the diagnosis I wanted.” Just say “I have herpes.” (Although, truthfully, no one wants to hear about medical maladies unless they are funny or phrased in a funny way. “I have herpes” = bad. “Lookout world! I gots me some herpes!” = funny and good, albeit still gross). The point is that being intentionally vague to attract comments is kind of lame, borderline pathetic, and always annoying.

6. Saying “Thanks For All The Birthday Wishes!” Prematurely
This really bothers me. I hate when I log in to Facebook for the first time at like noon, see that it’s someone’s birthday, and then before I can write “Happy Birthday!!” that person has already updated his or her status to “Thanks for all the birthday wishes!!” It’s too early! Wait until the end of the day (or the next day). It’s like getting up in the middle of a tribute dinner and thanking the room before half the speakers have reached the podium. Weird analogy, I know. Either way, leaving a birthday note after someone’s already thanked everyone for the birthday notes feels weird. Can’t describe it. Just trust me.

5. Liking Your Own Status
Seriously, there’s nothing douchier than liking your own status. Even if you have the bessssst status update with 100 comments attached, you just can’t like it. Sorry. Plus, it’s especially egregious when your status is this:

4. Writing Your Own Literary Quote
People, I implore you. Please don’t do this. There are many bright people in the world, but very few of us are actually articulate. That’s why no one should use Facebook as an opportunity to audition for Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. You’ll never look smart. You’ll always look dumb. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. And if people leave comments like “Beautifully stated” or “I love having you in my life!!” just remember that those people are probably a) related to you, b) trying to sleep with you, c) perhaps mentally challenged, or d) the types that write “Books? What are books? LOL” under the “Books” tab (another thing people should stop doing). It’s not to say that you can’t write something profound on Facebook — my friend Leah is a master of thoughtful status updates, for example. It’s more that when people try to sound profound AND erudite, then we have a problem. Even worse is when they sign their own name at the end of their bombastic status. Yes, that happens. Why anyone would want to take credit for their piece of turd status update is beyond me. It’s like they think it’s so brilliant that they wouldn’t want other Facebook users to confuse it for a gem by Mark Twain or Sir Winston Churchill. God Forbid. I hate to break it to everyone, but none of us are literary geniuses, and if we were, we probably wouldn’t be using Facebook to dole out our gifts.

3. Poking
‘Nuff said.

2. Killing Banter
Imagine this: you’ve uploaded a mobile photo, and now you and your friends are thirty comments deep on some random tangent, cracking jokes and bantering away like there’s no tomorrow (as one often does). Then, out of nowhere comes a random interloper that no one really knows who posts a joke, a comment, or a question that totally DESTROYS the flow. It’s the worst. It’s like the cops came and busted up the party. I can’t tell you how many times good comment banter has been ground to a halt by some person suddenly asking “Hey Ben! Long time no speak! How are you??” Like… really? It’s called THE WALL. Or better yet, a private message! People need to be more cognizant of the banter on which they’re intruding. Don’t be a banter killer.

1. KIDDIE UPDATES
It’s a fact of life that many people my age now have children, which is totally fine and normal and wonderful (for them). But here’s the thing: not everyone cares about your kid as much as you do. Being a parent is a lovely, magnificent thing, but I can wholeheartedly say that We The People do not need to hear about every time your kid was late for the school bus or scored a goal in soccer or thought dirt was chocolate. There’s a girl I’m friends with (who shall go nameless), and her status updates are so insufferable, I had to hide them. They come from a good place, but man, I just can’t DEAL. [Update: she has since dropped me as a friend].

This is not to say you can’t post about your kids. Of course you can. Just be smart and funny about it. If you use the term “boo-boo,” then you are not being smart and funny. If you use the phrase “I need vodka,” you are moooore than welcome to continue. Don’t worry though — I’m not a total bastard. Milestones are acceptable too. But please remember that pouring milk for the first time is NOT a milestone. You may think it’s momentous, but I can promise you that all your friends are rolling their eyes behind your back.

So that’s it. Hopefully this was helpful, and if you got here from Facebook, be sure to pass the word along. People need to know!

What are your biggest Facebook pet peeves?

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130 thoughts on “Ten Things You Should Stop Doing On Facebook

  1. Besides all of the above “hates”, I also wish people would change their profiles so that I don’t have to see every new friend that they are now connected with. I don’t give a rat’s ass, so please don’t advertise this crap.

  2. I think this got covered in the comments but people in relationships talking to their significant other is unbearable. It is even more unbearable when they live together. 100% unacceptable.

    God talk has got to go. No offense to God, but a. I dont want to hear about him on my wall and b. he doesnt exist anyways.

    And lastly … people that try to convince themselves of something by posting it on their wall. Like “I am finally happy” or “So over it” … its like … uhh NO YOURE NOT!

  3. What about TAGGING people when they’re not actually IN photos just because you want them to see it. Then you’re subjected to every comment thereafter regradless of your interest level until you finally teTAG yourself and hurt someone’s feelings…

  4. People who use some kind of stupid app that posts where they are: Suzi Q is at Starbucks.

    Who cares?

  5. As a corollary to #6 (and which showed up on my newsfeed today): People who write “happy birthday to me!” or something to that effect on their birthdays…basically just begging people to wish them a happy birthday.

  6. STOP THE IMMEDIATE ENGAGEMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS -please- I feel like people on facebook find out before their families or their REAL friends. – thank you

  7. I humbly suggest a Facebook *DO*…
    If you are consistently annoyed by the content and/or quantity of your “friends” status posts, then *you* need to be more selective. Quit cursing the lack of a “who cares?” button. Take charge: unload the baggage. DEFRIEND.

  8. People who do not know the difference between your/you’re, there/their/they’re, than/then, etc. have always horrified me, but it is mind blowing to see just how far this epidemic reaches. The public education system has truly failed many people. I get embarrassed FOR people who make these errors past grade three.

    The “I like it on the couch” or “purple” status updates that supposedly support some charitable entity but are really just cries for attention and comments.

    Some people have mentioned the woe-is-me status updates, but the worst is when others buy into it and ask all kinds of questions about what’s wrong, and the original poster responds with something like “I don’t want to talk about it”…worst kind of attention whoring.

  9. My friend and I refer to #7 as vaguebooking, and try to live by the code “friends don’t let friends vaguebook.” I work in theatre, and every time I do a new show, the cast all has to friend everybody involved, which is annoying, especially because I feel pressured to accept. So then I have a culling after each show is done and delete the people I’m not interested in staying in touch with. Which occasionally leads to the awkward “did you delete me? Did I offend you?” message, but, seriously, if you wanted to be friends with me, why have you never emailed me or called me or even just posted something on my wall? Don’t just use me to pad your friend numbers.

    Um, end rant.

  10. You’ve all listed the reasons I took my name off Facebook. That made everyone happy and me, too. 🙂

  11. I get a kick out of people who reveal too much information and update their statuses every 20 minutes. I got a play by play of some random girl I went to school with’s gallbladder surgery. From things like “oh jesus the anesthesia is kicking in.” too several days later “i laughed so hard and my sutures came undone.” …Wow…

    And excessive photos…

    People who have themselves tagged in 1500+ photos, 90% of the photos are from like nights out and “candid” shots of sweaty drunkenness, usually tongues sticking out… not doing anything interesting or, well… anything. Those people tend to change their profile photos 3-5 times a day as well! They also have 50+ albums, all with names like “Random drunken night!” Or “Random night out #347”

    Phew!

  12. bah, I think there needs to be a chill-out on the whole thing really. If something bugs you consistently, just ignore posts fom that individual if you don’t want to de-friend them (I have – it’s easy). I mean in general Facebook is a vapid thing anyway, why are we expecting anything from it. I have friends that just do it for the games (the whole thing is a social game anyway) – I only friend people that are pretty much actual friends, so my page isn’t inundated with zillions of posts. I accept that some of my friends love God and have Him in their lives and are going to post about it, I don’t post on that stuff because my religion is my own affair, but I can accept their posts as their feelings, whether I agree or disagree. Same goes for politics.

    The baiting bit though – it is a bad deal. I usually just feel sorry for those folks. Don’t take the bait is all, and if it’s from someone that doesn’t usually bait…and they’re a true friend, call them, something’s wrong. As far as halting the flow of a convesation…if you don’t like what the “friend” said, just ignore it, and continue on in your unrelated banter. They’ll realize there was some other convo going on. If you only have people you care about in your profile then someone trying to join a conversation shouldn’t be a big deal (or heaven forbid maybe the person did not notice that someone has 30 unrelated comments going cause facebook only shows the original comment and the last 2 and was just commenting on your post – the gall).

    I think maybe facebook takes itself too seriously, or maybe some of the people using it take it too seriously. It’s a computer app. It’s a big social game/study that has gone KAABOOM for the people that created it. If you’re using facebook you need to not take the whole app very seriously in the first place, I think. It’s a nice way to keep in touch with people you can’t see very often because of distance or time – or a good way to network some cause or service…but really not much else…other than playing stupid games that load your computer with cookies and trojan horses.

    poke – LOL. I do love your site Bside, hope my comment isn’t seen as malicious.

    • Facebook is a vapid thing anyway… maybe some of the people using it take it too seriously.

      I agree 100%.

  13. I propose an eleventh category – couples who are so insecure that they share a FB account. I occasionally run into people like JimandMarySmith and immediately know that Mary also hacks Jim’s emails and gives Jim the third degree every time he goes out for a beer with the boys.

    • I hate those. I post something to her and get a response back from him pretending to be her. Like I don’t know it’s him saying “Oh, I have to check with Jim first.” Yeah – right.

      hb

  14. The thing I find most tortuous are the people who are so desperate to have a status update they will tell you they’re driving their kid to karate, what the weather is outside, or how close/far away we are from Friday. If you don’t have something interesting or funny to say, please remain silent.

  15. I have two additional pet peeves I’d like to add:

    1) I CAN NOT STAND when people have “couples” photos as their default photo.
    2) I absolutely hate when people start their status with “just wants to say/wish” for example: “Mary Smith just wants to wish my nephew Jason a happy 3rd birthday!!!!!!!!!!” — first of all, just say “happy 3rd birthday jason” second, Jason is three, he is not only not reading but he is definitely not reading your facebook status update.

    Also: +1 on the Dear-So-and-So statuses — that caught on like wildfire and I wish those who decided to join the trend would have perished in that same wildfire.

    And, of course, Fuck Christie.

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