The Curse of Social Media
It seems that these days, if you want to go for a coffee, you drop a message to your friend on Facebook messenger. If you want to tell the world about your new beau, you announce it on Facebook. If you are pissed with your husband, fallen out with your bestie, annoyed with your boss or generally pissed off with the world, you announce it to the world on Facebook. The world didn’t always work like that. (I know, for the younger ones reading this, there was in fact a day when Facebook did NOT exist!)
In fact… way back when, we would knock on someone’s door to see if they wanted to go out. Or pick up the landline phone and call to make a date. If we fancied a boy we would get our best mate to go and whisper in his ear, and if we were pissed off with our boss at work, it was fine, because you would leave work and forget about it. You know why? Because you didn’t have to think about it until tomorrow. You didn’t have people on your phone every ten minutes talking about it on Facebook, or WhatsApping you with the latest gossip. By the time you got to the water cooler the next morning it would likely have blown over.
Gossip was different. We used to TELL each other our secrets. At school you would wait until your bestie was sharpening her pencil then break yours just so you could whisper secrets next to the bin at the front of the class. As you got older you would chat over a coke float or a coffee in the latest cool kids coffee shop. Gossip was different. Our social lives were social. We talked, communicated, laughed and giggled. Now we stare at screens, tell the world our secrets in the most polished and unrealistic way and allow everyone to know our deepest and darkest thoughts – even if they are only Facebook friends.
When did it change so drastically? When did it become acceptable?
With all that in mind, I couldn’t help but write a small article about the Top 10 Facebook Faux Pas that nearly every single person on your friends list is guilty of, how damaging they can be and why. Because sometimes, we need to be reminded how to act in a world where computers and technology have taken over our common sense and decency.
And yes, before you say it, I am more than aware that even writing this is incredibly hypocritical of me – as I am using the power of social media to put this in front of you… but hey… better the devil you know right?
Facebook Faux Pas #1: Accepting absolutely everyone as your Facebook friend.
“Oh that’s Jane, she’s Steven’s sister’s best mate. She was at that party three years ago before me and Steven broke up”. I mean really? What the hell? I realise that in some circles, the numbers of people on your Friends list is a quick indication as to your social standing, but in the REAL world, the amount of people you actually socialise with who know you in REAL life is much more important. Would your ex boyfriend’s sister’s best mate come running to your rescue at 3am? If not, then why on earth do you consider her a friend?
Facebook Faux Pas #2: Having absolutely no privacy settings on your profile.
People are dumb, and people are stupid, and people can be dangerous. This is the main reason that you absolutely always, and I mean ALWAYS enable privacy on your account. With the rise of social media and privacy issues all over the press, do you really want random people you have never met to know that you will be on holiday for 3 weeks on the other side of the world… oh any by the way, that picture you posted stood outside your front door… that tells them exactly where you live! Be careful! You may come home to an empty house and a whole load of sob stories to clog up your news feed with! These days you really should be extra careful with the information you freely post onto the internet – you never know who is reading it!
Facebook Faux Pas #3: Flooding your network with status updates.
Yes we all know you love your cat, and we have even heard (multiple times) how much you hate your boss! We know. But we don’t need to know. Those kind of details should be kept for your special journal, or hell, just for you. Again, the more information you give out, the more vulnerable you leave yourself to trolls, nasty mean girls who want to tear you down and yes, even the Boss you hate who is spying on your profile to see if you are worthy of that next promotion!
Facebook Faux Pas #4: Venting and oversharing.
Remember way back when you had a bad day, the first person you would tell was your mum? Or your best mate? You would pick up the phone and vent to a friend, or meet for coffee and shed all the day’s nasty crap all over the table then drink and laugh your cares away? No? That’s a shame, I do! And by God I long for those days back. These days my news feed is clogged with people venting on their status’ and being consoled by their ex boyfriend’s sister’s best mate who they haven’t seen in ten years, and really only cares so she can relay said information back to Steven! There is no need to overshare… sometimes it is just much more therapeutic to chat to a friend, or your mum.
Facebook Faux Pas #5: Narcissistic tendencies.
On the other side of the fence… if you are one of those people who never engages on Facebook then turns up to the party knowing everyone’s business… that is just damn right creepy. If you are on Facebook, engage. So at least people know you are watching. Otherwise, I’m sorry to say it, but you are just considered a creepy stalker!
Facebook Faux Pas #6: Constantly changing your relationship status.
Let’s face it, we all have one or two friends who fit right into this category, and if not… are you that person? If you are the type of person who changes their relationship status as often as your underwear, please keep it to yourself. Simply because, and please take this in the best way possible, we don’t care anymore! We can’t keep up! We would rather wait until we see you in person and see what ‘mood’ you are in today, than traipse back through all the posts you have updated us with to find the one that says what the state of your relationship is this week! Not only is it annoying to constantly see it changing from ‘single’ to ‘in a relationship’ then ‘complicated’ and back again, but it makes you look like a bit of a flake! And again, you are just giving those creepy stalkers more information about your state of mind!
Facebook Faux Pas #7: Never upload an old picture as your profile pic.
For a start, those who are actually your friends will know exactly what you are doing. Unless you are Will Smith or Jennifer Aniston, you will have aged past your twenties and everyone can tell the difference. You need to be honest, otherwise you may end up finding yourself in an embarrassing ‘catfish’ situation with people calling you out on it. Be proud to be who you are, you are not who you were 10 years ago, for better or worse.
Facebook Faux Pas #8:Leave the cryptic clues in the Crystal Maze!
No one knows why “life can be so shit” for you right now. Only you know. Maybe that is how you want it to stay, or maybe you want everyone to ask you. Either way, putting a cryptic message on your status makes you look desperate. If you are having a bad time, either go talk to a friend over coffee and post a pic of you ‘chatting over a cuppa joe’ or simply tell people what is eating you.
Facebook Faux Pas #9:Never call out your Boss on Social Media.
You may be young and naive now, and a little pissed that your boss overlooked you for that promotion, but realistically, that status update will bite you on the backside at some point. Either now, when you walk into work and are given a box to put your personal things in, or in ten years time when you have forgotten all about said post and the guy who is interviewing you for your dream position mentions the time you were bitter and angry on Facebook and released confidential details about promotions. It’s not cool, it’s stupid. It is reckless. You will regret it. Just don’t do it.
Facebook Faux Pas #10: Breaking up with someone over Facebook.
Wow – just no. Just don’t ever ever do it. If you do… hope that I am not one of your friends on Facebook, because I warn you I will not look on this favourably! People who do this deserve to be named and shamed and put on the Hall of Fame of Eternal Ass Holes.