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But instead of distancing myself from the horror, I soaked in it. It was everything bad about everything, all at once. Facebook is infested with these five motivations—other than a few really saintly people, most people I know, myself certainly included, are guilty of at least some of this nonsense here and there. To lay out the most common types of offenses: Bragging is such a staple of unfortunate Facebook behavior, it needs to be broken into three subsections: 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) Examples: Core reasons for posting: Image Crafting (I’m successful; I’m happy; I have a great social life), Jealousy Inducing 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. The author and the author’s life are interesting in and of themselves. So the person is essentially spreading their sadness, and that’s a shitty thing to do, so it’s on the list. 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% mad at him ever since it happened, so he finally has to just bite the bullet. We’re talking about serious blue territory here, which means that even your mom doesn’t give a shit. 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. 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? Examples: 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. Description: A public expression of your extremely positive feelings for your significant other or an anecdote signifying the perfection of your relationship.
I got to hang with Owen Wilson, and worked with Will Ferrell on an amazing project. 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.” Description: A post that makes it clear that something good or bad is happening in your life without disclosing any details. At some point between leaving work and arriving at the gym, you had an impulse to take out your phone and type this status. 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.
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.
Examples: 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.
That kind of malice is so extreme it crosses over the far line and becomes awesome.
Description: An outpouring of love for no clear reason and aimed at no one in particular Example: I just want to say how thankful I am for all of you who have touched my life.
It made me think about what makes terrible Facebook behavior terrible, and why other Facebook behavior isn’t annoying at all.