Thursday, December 04, 2008

Facebook Status Updates: The Rule Book

The iPhone has many features, but one of the most addictive/maddening ones is the Facebook application.

With the easy tap of a little blue box, you can see a friend's "status update" as soon as it's posted. Very user friendly. That said, my whenever-I'm-bored-which-is-a-lot update checking habit leads me to believe ground rules are required.

Far be it from me to proclaim myself the King of Facebook, but what follows are a few helpful tips that will lead to a more productive, happier, safer experience online. More productive, because you won't waste your time writing frivolous crap. Happier, because you won't be reading other people's frivolous crap. And safer, because if you don't break these rules, I won't want to kill you.

1) Two updates a day, max.
I don't care if you're having the most exciting day ever, it's not worth clogging everybody's screen with each little step of it. A girl I knew in college updates her status like Georgia Tech runs a toss sweep. "Jennifer is going to the store." "Jennifer is at the store." "Jennifer is home from the store. LOL." Lemme just tell you: If I saw that bitch right now, I'd knock her big buck teeth out, and if she didn't have big buck teeth anymore, I'd get pliers, make her have buck teeth, and then knock them out. I think she's a youth minister now.

2) "John Smith is."
Stop. Don't do that. You're not deep, you either didn't take or failed the fuck out of philosophy in college, and most importantly, it makes you sound like a dickbag. Just like it did for the 5,000 other people who've done it this week.

3) Play by the rules.
You do notice the format, right? "John Smith is _______." So "John Smith is Pancake Breakfast!!!" doesn't work. "John Smith is eating a pancake breakfast." Much better. Now you can avoid the "is" by deleting it altogether, like when some folks put quotes after their name. Like so:

John Smith "Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs."

Martians Attacking Indianapolis is can live with that.

4) No politics.
Dude, nobody fucking cares. The most irritating day in Facebook's short history was November 4, 2008. Every update was professing an unwanted, unneeded and mostly unsmart (yeah) opinion on the election, and I found myself wanting to dip my leather-bound, glue-soaked knuckles in glass and punch people in the neck. And then there were the people I disagreed with...

5) Be clear.
"John Smith is mourning." Well, what the fuck man? Who died? Be prepared for 50 messages within 10 minutes from concerned friends, who'll all be seriously pissed when they learn you're upset "Two and a Half Men" moved from Mondays to Wednesdays.

6) Nobody cares about your goddamn kids.
Yes, this is coming from a childless 32-year-old who's seen a lot of friends fall victim to the disease of parenthood. I understand you love your children. You're proud of them, and want to share that pride with the world - even though you partially understand the world couldn't give two shits. I get it. Let's put some rules on it, though. Only twenty percent of your status updates may contain your child's name. Half of those status updates may contain a description of an allegedly cute thing they did. Only a tenth of those status updates may contain the word "playdate," as that word bugs the fuck out of me. Addendum: Any update that contains a hilariously gross description of some fucked up thing your baby did - eating poop, pissing straight in the air onto your face, etc. - do not count toward those percentages. Bring that shit on.

7) Stick with the point of view.
"John Smith is a little bit gay for Neil Patrick Harris. I would probably make out with him." Do you see what just happened? No, not the homo shit. The third-person-to-first-person switch that came out of nowhere. Don't use the word "I" in status updates. He. She. It's not hard. And neither is writing about Neil Patrick Harris without using "came" and "hard" in the same paragraph. Or at least it shouldn't be. Dammit.


Matty T said...

Matt Tovrog is I totally agree with you, Josh. Matt Tovrog finds your blog funny. C ya l8r...I'm about to watch Obama's Grant Park speech again. He Rules!!!

Lu said...

Well done sir. Might I add a pet peeve of my own?
No one, gives two shitz that you are going to workout, have just worked out or are too tired to work out.

Krista said...

facebook is taking over the world. kinda like kudzu.

Matt said...

I have definitely thought all of these points, but I have to say you detract from your own legitimacy by being 32. Why are you ON facebook?

Josh M. said...

Facebook is socially acceptable for folks in their 30s. Hell, I have over 200 "friends" on there, and probably nobody under 26.

MySpace, on the other hand, is for preteens and Pedobears.

Anonymous said...

Wow... if Facebook annoys you so much and you feel the need to tell others how to use it, why do YOU use it?

Anonymous said...

I don't think he's saying that facebook annoys him, he's talking about the annoying things that people talk about ON facebook.