The memory is bright .
New Year ’ s Day, 2013. I ’ megabyte going about my good afternoon pleasantly, when I open my electronic mail and a friend has forwarded me what she calls a particularly flagitious Facebook condition from her news feed, written by person we ’ ll call Daniel. It read :
2012 was a biggg year for me. I left my amazing job at NBC to move back to Chicago. I started dating my angel, Jaime Holland. I started yoga (thanks Jake Fisher & Jonah Perlstein!). I wrote an album with Matthew Johannson. Wrote another album I’m proud of. I got to hang with Owen Wilson, and worked with Will Ferrell on an amazing project. Had a conversation about Barack Obama with David Gregory. Danced. Joined a kickball team. Won a couple awards. Helped my sister plan her summer trip. Swam a lot. Golfed a little. Cried more than you would think. Read The World According to Garp. Saw Apocolypse Now. Went to Miami for the NBA Finals. Drank the best orange juice I’ve ever had with Davey Welch. Tweeted. Went to amazing weddings in Upstate New York. Drank a ridiculous amount of milk. Learned how to make sand art. Saw a great light show. Saw the Angels and Lakers. Fell in love with Jawbone Up. Cooked with Jaime. Gardened with Jaime. Watched Homeland with Jaime. Wrestled with Jaime. Laughed for hours with Jaime. Fell in love with Jaime’s family. Worked on a play. Played World of Warcraft. Did some improv. Played a ton of the guitar. Really just had a wild, amazing year. What a world.
By the time I finished read, I realized that my non-phone hand was clutching tightly to my brow, forcefully scrunching my brow skin together. I had the lapp facial expression I ’ five hundred have on if person made me watch a live event where people had their clamber lento peeled off .
It was everything badly about everything, all at once .
But alternatively of distancing myself from the horror, I soaked in it. I read it again and again, fascinated by how something could be so aggressively unappealing .
It made me think about what makes atrocious Facebook behavior atrocious, and why other Facebook demeanor international relations and security network ’ t annoying at all. It comes down to a pretty simple predominate :
A Facebook status is annoying if it primarily serves the author and does nothing positive for anyone reading it.
To examine this a morsel, let ’ s begin by discussing the defining characteristics of statuses that are not annoying .
To be unannoying, a Facebook status typically has to be one of two things:
You know why these are unannoying ? Because things in those two categories do something for me, the reader. They make my day a little better.
ideally, concern statuses would be capture and master ( or a link to something that is ), and funny story ones would be hilarious. But I ’ ll happily take mildly amusing —at least we ’ re even dealing with the good guys .
On the other hand, annoying statuses typically reek of one or more of these five motivations:
1) Image Crafting. The author wants to affect the way people think of her .
2) Narcissism. The writer ’ mho thoughts, opinions, and life philosophies matter. The author and the generator ’ south life are interesting in and of themselves.
3) Attention Craving. The author wants attention .
4) Jealousy Inducing. The writer wants to make people covetous of him or his life .
5) Loneliness. The generator is feeling lone and wants Facebook to make it better. This is the least flagitious of the five—but seeing a lonely person acting lone on Facebook makes me and everyone else deplorable. So the person is basically spreading their sadness, and that ’ s a icky thing to do, so it ’ second on the list .
Facebook is infested with these five motivations—other than a few truly angelic people, most people I know, myself surely included, are guilty of at least some of this nonsense hera and there. It ’ s an epidemic .
To lay out the most common types of offenses :
7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook
1) The Brag
Bragging is such a staple of unfortunate Facebook behavior, it needs to be broken into three subsections :
1a) The “I’m Living Quite the Life” Brag
Description: A mail making your life sound great, either in a macro sense ( got your ambition job, got your degree, love your newly 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 )
- Guess who just got her TFA acceptance letter!!!
- Tailgating, Giants game, night out with Dave, Matt, Paul, and Andy. I love you, Saturday.
Core reasons for posting: Image Crafting ( I ’ molarity successful ; I ’ molarity felicitous ; I have a bang-up social life ), Jealousy Inducing
sol at best, you ’ re just truly stimulate 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 covetous of yours. somewhere in the center would be you calculatingly crafting your words as separate of an unendearing and crystalline campaign to make people see you in a certain way .
Let ’ s give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you ’ re fair excited and need to brag to person. even if that ’ s the case, the lone people it ’ second all right to brag to in life sentence are your close friends, meaning other, and family members—and that ’ s what electronic mail, texting, phone calls, and live talking are for. Your moment of complacency is profoundly annoying to people you ’ re not that close with, and they make up the huge majority of people who will be subjected to the condition .
1b) The Undercover Brag
Description: Like the blatant brags above except behind a frail disguise. This includes all humblebrags, indirect boast, brags disguised as a bombast, etc .
- Apparently they now give PhDs to frauds and drunks. What a time to be alive!
- I’ll be traveling for the summer if anyone knows someone looking to sublease a Soho apartment in July and August.
- On my walk home from work, I was whistled at twice, honked at twice, and one car almost caused an accident slowing down to stare at me. Sometimes I really hate men.
Core reasons for posting: Image Crafting, Jealousy Inducing
On one hand, these people are at least self-conscious enough to cloak their boast in something. On the other hand, they have the like accurate core motivations as the blatant braggers and looking at these examples actually makes the first group seem about lovable in comparison .
1c) The “I’m in a Great Relationship” Brag
Description: A public expression of your extremely positivist feelings for your significant other or an anecdote signifying the paragon of your relationship .
- A surprise trip to Vermont for two nights in a cabin. All I can say is Wow, what a boyfriend.
- Thanks, Rachel, for the best year of my life.
- Excited for a rainy Sunday of pizza, games, and movies with the wife.
Core reasons for posting: Image Crafting ( FYI, I have a boyfriend ; I ’ m in a fantastic relationship ), Jealousy Inducing
The persona craft and jealousy inducing motives here are crystalline. The alone less-appalling possibility could be that it ’ s an attack to strengthen the relationship itself by showing how you feel in a more substantial way than precisely saying it in individual. But in truth ? You ’ ra gon na drag 800 of us into this shit because you couldn ’ metric ton find a more creative way to go over the top in expressing yourself ?
The one identical funny story possibility when it ’ s a guy stake is that either he ’ sulfur in trouble oneself for something or that his girlfriend ’ randomness acquaintance ’ s boyfriend pulled some crap like this at some item and his girlfriend has immediately been 10 % harebrained at him ever since it happened, so he last has to just bite the bullet .
The fact is, there ’ s no apology for it, because if you feel the want to plaster your kinship all over Facebook, there are batch of socially acceptable ways to do so—go nuts with couple visibility photograph, and enjoy three break moments of like button and gloss applause when you change your status to “ in a relationship, ” “ engaged, ” and “ married. ”
2) The Cryptic Cliffhanger
Description: A mail that makes it clear that something commodity or bad is happening in your life without disclosing any details.
- That’s IT. I am DONE dating.
- This could be a biggggg day…
- Moments like these make all of the struggle and all of the pain worth it.
Core reasons for posting: Attention Craving
The fun separate of these is watching the inevitable comments and then watching how the writer responds to them, if at all. This process slots the generator into one of four sub-categories :
- The celebrity: The author stays silent, treating the commenters like gawking fans.
- 800 people’s collective high-maintenance girlfriend: The author explains everything in the comments, which means he wanted to talk publicly about it, but he didn’t want to just tell the public, he wanted the public to ask him about it.
- The tortured protagonist: It’s something bad. The author responds but maintains the mystery—she’s unhappy about it and she “doesn’t feel like getting into it.”
- Everybody’s special princess: It’s something exciting. The author responds but maintains the mystery—it’s really good and he “can’t say yet but you’ll find out soon!” Now you’ll have an extra hop in your step as you wait for the big news with bated breath! This is a special one because it also brings Narcissism, Jealousy Inducing, and Image Crafting in. What a fun person to have in your life!
3) The Literal Status Update
Description: An actual condition update on person ’ s mundane day .
- Off to the gym, then class reading
- Finally finished my paper!
Core reasons for posting: Loneliness ; Narcissism ; Thinking a condition update is supposed to be an actual condition update
Allow me to present a visual—
“Finally finished my paper!” Okay… and? What are you looking for hera ? A bogus congratulation from a bunch of people who aren ’ thymine emotionally invested in your fight ? Finishing your paper is greens district on the above chart, or if you had been working on it for a couple months, it might scrape the outer edges of the orange. For 90+ % of the people who will read the status, it doesn ’ triiodothyronine come near the red territory, which is all they care about .
Off to the gym, then class reading. Oh is that what ’ sulfur on pat for tonight ? Who precisely are you telling this to ? I very want to get to the bottom of this. At some detail between leaving work and arriving at the gymnasium, you had an pulsation to take out your earphone and type this condition. then you put your phone away. Tell me what was accomplished .
We ’ re talking about dangerous blue territory here, which means that even your ma doesn ’ triiodothyronine give a damn. A batch of annoying statuses fall far from red territory, but they all serve the generator in some way, which is why they ’ ra posted .
But info about your agenda doesn ’ triiodothyronine do anything to craft your prototype or induce jealousy in anyone—so it just seems a bunch like Attention Craving ’ s sad cousin, Loneliness. I suppose it ’ randomness courteous that Facebook gives a lonely person person to tell their day to, and if these statuses didn ’ metric ton come with the by-product of reminding everyone else that life is meaningless and they ’ re gon na die someday, they wouldn ’ t have to be on this list .
The other possible explanation is severe self-love, as if somehow, because you ’ re you, even the smallest details of your life are interesting to others. A weird separate of the life of a major celebrity is that people are obsessed with everything about them, evening their blue sky territory. If you ’ re not a major fame, this is not a problem you have, I promise .
4) The Inexplicably-Public Private Message
Description: A public post from one person to another that has no beneficial cause to be populace .
- I miss you! When are we hanging out?
- What a weekend with Julie Epstein and Emily Rothchild. I love my girls!
- All private jokes.
Core reasons for posting: Image Crafting ; Jealousy Inducing ; Narcissism ; You ’ re over 80 and don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate realize there ’ s a difference between a populace post and a private message .
My grandma digression, there is no adept reason to always do this. Good is the key discussion. There are lots of very annoying reasons to do this. Let ’ s list them :
- To make yourself seem cool and social and make your social life seem vibrant and fun
- To show everyone what good friends you and the recipient are
- To make people jealous or feel worse about their own lives
- Because you’re acting like you’re in high school and you’re one of the popular kids whose social situation is actually an important thing for people
The one possibility I enjoy is that the message is written to be jealousy-inducing specifically for one individual who will likely be seeing it, whether it be an antique or a friend they hate. That kind of malevolence is so extreme it crosses over the army for the liberation of rwanda cable and becomes amazing .
5) The Out-Of-Nowhere Oscar Acceptance Speech
Description: An flush of love for no clear up rationality 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. Your support means everything and I couldn’t have gotten through a lot of things in the last year without you!
Core reasons for posting: Attention Craving
I refuse to believe you feel a genuine discharge of love for your 800 Facebook friends. And if you felt on the spur of the moment emotional about your best friends and family, is a public condition truly the way you ’ five hundred express it ? Wouldn ’ metric ton contacting a few people by e-mail or text be a lot more personal and genuine ? not relevant, because that ’ s not what ’ s happening here .
What ’ south happening here can in truth be boiled down to, “ Hey everyone ! I ’ thousand here ! Hug me ! ” You know the inevitable reaction to one of these statuses, no matter who you are, will be dozens of like button hugs and gossip arm credit crunch. And international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate that a small needy of you ? You ’ re not feeling loving when you write this post—you ’ re feeling the necessitate to feel loved.
The one meter this is reasonably acceptable is when it ’ second region of a huge collective group hug, like on Thanksgiving or Christmas. If you open Facebook on Thanksgiving, you ’ ll be treated to hundreds of Out-Of-Nowhere Oscar Acceptance Speeches. ( These I could besides do without, if you ’ ra wonder. )
6) The Incredibly Obvious Opinion
Description: When a boastful event happens, a mail chime in with the public opinion we ’ ve heard 1,000 times .
- I feel so deeply for the Egyptian people fighting for their right to freedom. Everyone has a right to freedom and I pray that they prevail.
- My thoughts and prayers are with the families in Newtown after this unspeakable tragedy. I have no words to express my sorrow for those who lost a child.
- I’m disappointed about some things about Obama’s first term, but I’m happy he was reelected and hopeful about what his second term can bring.
Core reasons for posting: Narcissism ; Image Crafting ( I ’ m the kind of person that has this particular public opinion or reaction ; I ’ megabyte smart and I can say adult things )
These are annoying because A ) you ’ re not saying anything remotely original or interesting on an consequence the media is already flooding our airways about, covering every potential angle, and B ) you ’ re now making a huge, and often tragic event, partially about you. The sadness you ’ re feeling about the slaughter of children international relations and security network ’ thymine truly a identify piece of the puzzle here, and you need not describe to us what the consequence looks like through your personal lens, specially when the lens is just diaphanous glass—if I want a side dish of self-love along with my tragedy, I ’ ll good read celebrity tweets about the event .
7) The Step Toward Enlightenment
Description: An unasked nugget of wisdom .
- “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” ~Buddha
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. ~Proverbs 3:5-6
- I don’t see what the big deal is about new years and people claiming how different they are going to be next year. If you want to better yourself it shouldn’t matter what day of the year it is…. Me? Im going to be the same person I am today tomorrow.
Core reasons for posting: Image Crafting ; Narcissism
Oh, where to begin .
First of all, let ’ s be wholly clear that there is no humility involved in a Step Toward Enlightenment post plainly because you might be quoting person else—the clear patronize message is, “ Ahh hello Facebook Friends. I am one who knows the secrets of life—allow me to teach you so that you excessively can one day find enlightenment. ”
Secondly—you know what inspires people ? You achieving something incredible and letting it be an example and inhalation to others. For your words entirely to be inspirational, you need to be a give loudspeaker or writer who truly has something original to say—and we both know that ’ s not you. then for you to consider yourself an inspirational character by simply posting banal quotes is, well, flagrantly egotistic. You ’ re assuming that you, precisely by being you, are inspirational .
third, let ’ s get to your real motif with these statuses—Image Crafting. You want people to see how enlightened you are and admire the apparitional travel you ’ re on .
* * *
Our ally Daniel ’ s mail was quite a feat—in one simple paragraph, he sliced through my soul, accomplishing closely every severe status character and motivation discussed above. The matter is, though, that if you looked right below his mail, all you saw were likes and a couple friendly comments .
And that ’ s why impossible Facebook behavior will never go away—there ’ s no dislike button or eye-roll button or middle finger release on Facebook, and it ’ s bad form to be excessively a lot of a cock in the comments below a condition. thus annoying statuses are just positively reinforced, and people remain un-self-aware that they regularly bring down the choice of everyone else ’ s life .
The bigger point here is that the qualities of annoying statuses are normal homo qualities—everyone needs to brag to person here and there, everyone has moments of weakness when they need attention or feel lonely, and everyone has some downright surly qualities that are gon na come out at one fourth dimension or another .
And that’s why you have people who love you.
The thing that Daniel and most others haven ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate internalized is the fact that if they have 800 Facebook friends, merely about 10 or 15 love them. For an specially lovable person, possibly it ’ s angstrom senior high school as 30. Between 1 and 4%. That means that between 96 and 99% of your Facebook friends DO NOT LOVE YOU.
People who don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate love you don ’ metric ton care about you or your day or your life that much, they ’ re probably not particularly rooting for you, and they surely want nothing to do with your worst qualities. And you doing something strictly to serve your emotional or egotistic needs truly should not show up on their calculator screen—it equitable shouldn ’ thyroxine .
Okay, got tantalum go. Off to the gymnasium, then dinner, then home, then bed .
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