Today I have chosen to write about things not to do on Facebook. I debated about whether or not to write this post, as it will describe the habits of many of my Facebook friends, which may offend some of you. Sorry. If you see yourself in any of the following paragraphs, please know that I still love you, I don't think you're a bad or stupid person and if it actually bugged me as much as it will probably sound like, I would have just unfriended you. So don't worry. These are just common things that I have seen from many, many people over time and not an attack on any specific friend.
Here are five things you need to know about being Facebook friends with me:
1) I refuse to repost anything that dares me to. This includes the actual words "I dare you," but as we all know from our grade school playground days, there is more than one way to manipulate someone into doing what you want. So if something says, à la middle school girl, "Let's see who the three percent who have a heart and will actually repost this are" or "I'll bet 99% of people won't repost this," or "Let's see who actually reads my statuses and who just trolls," (improper word use, by the way) you will not see it on my wall. Even if the meme is "Let's see how many people actually think Jade is the most awesome person in the world." I do not think my friends will actually believe I don't love Jesus or don't hate child abuse if I don't tell them on Facebook.
2) If only one or two people in the whole world will understand something you want to say, a Facebook status is not the right medium. No matter how hilarious it was at the time (the time being 2:00 in the morning at a sleepover with your best friend), if you post a quote like "But my monkeys want to eat starfishes!" as your status it won't actually be funny. Even if you tag your best friend in it. In fact, everyone will resent the five seconds of their life they wasted reading that. This also applies to passive-aggressive statuses like "Some people in my life need to get over themselves and realize this is my decision. You know who you are." Or please-oh-please-ask-me-what-I'm-talking-about statuses like "Wow. Just wow." Facebook statuses are meant to communicate something to all of your friends at once. Don't get it confused with text messaging.
3) When I log onto Facebook and see that I have a notification, it's really annoying when I realize that notification is a useless request from a game like Killer Zombie Unicorns from Outer Space. It's too bad they haven't built a spam filter for that yet.
4) Even though I am happy for you that you are getting married, I don't need an update every single day on exactly how many more days there are until the wedding. Or since the wedding. Occasional milestones like a week or a month are OK. Just know that you make all of your still-single friends totally gag when you post literally every single day something like "Only 22 more days until I marry the most amazing girl in the entire world! I am the luckiest man alive!" or "My husband took out the trash! He is the kindest, sweetest, most loving guy! After 13 days of marriage I am still amazed that I was able to find such a wonderful person!" Even without the daily public declarations of your love we can figure out that you actually like the person you agreed to marry. Here it should also be pointed out that constant verbal PDA on each others' wall is also annoying.
5) I am continually amazed at how gullible some of my friends are. Some hoaxes on Facebook are fairly believable, but some are pretty ridiculous if you think them through. For example, if Facebook really wanted to check up on how many accounts are still active, do you really think one of the most successful tech companies in the world couldn't come up with a better strategy than relying on its users to copy and paste a message from their friends? Also, do you really think an organization can tell if you have posted a picture of a dying baby on your wall and will make a donation? Many of those types of hoaxes are very painful for the families who discover a picture of their beloved child (who often died several years ago) is plastered all over Facebook as some kind of sick joke. You can't believe everything you read on the Internet. There are currently several political graphs about presidents' spending, the deficit, etc. that have been going around and some of them are based on completely made up numbers. There are also a lot of quotes by celebrities going around that there is no evidence anywhere that they actually said it. And those "true" stories about standing up to racism and cool-sounding-but-abusive parenting that you've been posting with comments like "Wow I would like to meet this guy!" are often works of fiction.
Facebook is a great tool for staying in touch with friends--if those friends post things that you actually want to read.