Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Guide to Facebook Etiquette. Happy tagging, beeches!!! Not.

Welcome to the everything-you-need-to-know-about-managing-your-online-life-also-known-as-Facebook!-blog!
If you're like me — and we're likely sharing the same canoe here — you're a poor unfortunate soul trying to make it in college. You're at a point where you're utterly clueless about your future, and you have to constantly remind yourself that Life's no tv show.

You're hunting down and shooting for internships (and missing terribly), you're trying to catch up on sleep and assigned readings (and missing terribly), and your mind is swamped with the imminent 10-page essay (that you're not missing terribly, but desperately trying to avoid). Not to mention you have 'sues with your significant other, student loans stacking up, IOUs barking up your ass, roommates over complicating your home life, making it to your part-timer on timer, remembering to eat your veggies, and you still haven't had a free weekend to have a nice, relaxing carouser with some pals at State.

And on top of it all, my friends, I am about to present you with the thesis of my piece: You, unknowingly or not, lead another life. It's a virtual life. You think about it, you "creep" on it, you've probably got it on the next tab over right now. That life is your Facebook life, and it's subconsciously driving you crazy! Which is why I'm here to clear up the bull shazzle.

I mean, what the hell is a "poke"? And why is it that when you receive a bumper sticker request from an ex-friend you should interpret it as a white flag, but I know what you're really thinking: What nerve! I told her via Facebook message that I never want to speak to her — err in person or online — again!!!!

So now I finally present, after my insanely long rant, a few tips to follow when you just don't know what to make of those silly Facebook-isms.

1. Ex-gfs and bfs tagging you in old pictures is analogous to getting pooped on by a pigeon. Why don't those taggers just take back every ticket stub and homemade hemp bracelet they gave you in the relationship? And have lunch with your mother while they're at it?

My brother was recently dumped by his first girlfriend of like 3 weeks. Two weeks after the breakup she tags him in a few supercute "couple" pics pre-dumping. He was so confused that he actually called me for advice. But I just told him what I would tell any agonizing human being:
IGNORE THAT SHIZ. What do they expect, a thank you comment? Move on, my friend. And dangle to new hottie in their faces because tagging pictures of the past like everything is "cool" now is sel-fish.

2. Don't blow up someone's Facebook wall if you want any positive person-to-person socialization with that someone. Unless you're my insano bueno "friend" who prefers creepers not to make their flirtations "Facebook public" and instead gets their numbers to continue the discourse via text............. Insecurity issues maybe.....?????

3. Avoid using the word "creep" and all of its derivatives in communication. It is a terrible Facebook cliché. Along with "Facebook official" and "obvi." I declare it kosher for me to use the word in this Guide to mock the ridiculousness of it all.

4. Adding new friends immediately after meeting them once (or not meeting them at all?) in person is strange. I don't care who this character is. Oftentimes its a forewarning to your addees that yo' nurtz!

And yes. I've been guilty of what I like to call "pre-friending." In my naivety I didn't think anything of it. In retrospect, I realized why my pre-friends always ignored me (or did they think I was ignoring them?) around town. It will always be awkward. There will always be a weirdness factor that your addees will take into consideration.

Recently, I've been chummy with my boyfriend's neighbor's girl (do you see where I'm going with this?? See how crazy it is?!?!). We were about to go on a double date to see a movie and before the four of us got together I thought to myself, I could probably befriend Katie* after we go to a movie together! I suddenly realized I was pondering a pre-friend and immediately stopped my thoughts to vomit in the nearby bushes.

I do not waste much time anymore, I'm sort of a Facebook slug. I let the friends come to me. And if they don't? Meh, it doesn't bother me. If you don't worry about it, it won't become a problem! Just let the tangible friendship happen before you worry about gauging it via Facebook wall-to-wall length/amount of inside jokes you can write on someone's wall/amount of bumper stickers requested/pictures shared, you get the idea..

5. Don't bring up Facebook in everyday dialogue. It puts emphasis on everything that is pointless in your already monotonous life since you are living vicariously through your "friends" pictures!

Don't know how to avoid it? Here's a tip: Do something so physically challenging (like skydiving!) or outrageous (like streaking in Sally Mason's front lawn with friends!) and DO NOT — I REPEAT: DO NOT — bring your cell phones or digital cameras (Who's surprised Mark Zuckerberg hasn't customized a marketable, Facebook-qual camera yet??) for your pointless documentation purposes. Instead keep it between the 4 or 16 of you and laugh about it through memory, not through fakey fotos of awkward smiles and distorted body positions ("OhmyGod Amanda take a picture of us holding this banana!!! OhmyGod soooo0o000o0o hilarious.") See? I didn't even add the !-point after hilarious because people say things are funny nowadays without exclamation. Proving how funny it really is. It's so hilarious. Isn't it?

6. Facebook pictures are now and forever idiotic. I'm paraphrasing someone who has mentioned this before... I just can't help reiterating: those of you who bring your cameras everywhere and take pictures to document your nights out and other escapades don't even enjoy the event until the next day when you're uploading the pictures onto your computers. IF YOU KNOW WHO SAID THIS LET ME KNOW BECAUSE HE DESERVES AN AWARD. Having 1000+ pictures tagged to you does not make you cooler. Especially when half of them you tagged to yourself.

7. the "News/Mini-Feed" excuse is a load of bull. People who ask you, "I saw on my mini-feed that your friend was in the hospital... What the heck happened? Give me the juice!"

This, readers, should never outsmart you. Your friend doesn't show up on the person's wire, the person was totally creeping on your friend! No doubt. The feed is just an excuse to get the answers. I mean, people can moderate their preferences now, they can block and allow all sorts of things. Happenstance is no longer justifiable on Facebook, people. Get with the pro! The Facebook creators have dotted all their i's for real this time.

8. If you're nodding to any of this, then delete your Facebook. I still have mine. And that is lame, i know. but there is some good in that mostly impracticable online network. I'm thisclose to doing it, because I don't even use it for its lamest purposes (as listed above). I really use it to spy on my boyfriend's inbox, which is a whole 'notha bag of beans!

My Guide has been short, but I hope it has been helpful. Life is crazy, don't make it crazier with what truly is Virtual Reality. That ending was shitty because I am tired.


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