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Top 9 Facebook Peeves

8.2.14

acebook is the primary setting of my novel Profile. During the course of the story, the main character, Arden Chase, relates a few of his pet peeves about Facebook, or rather about Facebook users.

That means that those are my peeves. Because Arden is me.

That’s right, anybody who knows me knows that Arden is somewhat autobiographical. His sarcastic personality is essentially mine, and his private life was gleaned from a couple of decades of my own private life. Don’t ask me for details, though. It’s private.

So, starting with Arden’s, but in no particular order, here is my list of Facebook pet peeves.

1. Empty, inane posts. People who post remarks like, “Getting ready to leave for work now,” or “Time to put the kids on the bus” – do they really think we need that level of information? I don’t give a rat’s ass where Kim Kardashian’s ass showed up this time. (Nice analogy, though, right? Rat’s ass & Kim’s – never mind.) So if I don’t care about the inane details of a professional famous person’s life, why would I care about what you’re doing every minute of every day?

2. Vague status updates fishing for inquiries/sympathy/attention/etc. People who post cryptic, uninformative messages like, “I’m so mad right now, I could spit!” Then they don’t bother to tell you why they’ve reached this dangerously unbalanced level of pissitude. “My world is falling apart!” Really, princess? Do your size 2 jeans not fit you anymore? Did you burn your dinner? Did you get kicked out of the Justin Bieber fan club? Stop fishing for interest and spill it from the start, so I can know at a glance if I’m interested. Of course, I’m not interested in incomplete messages like that so, I guess, mission accomplished.

3. People who don’t bother to use correct capitalization and punctuation. It demonstrates a lazy, lackadaisical attitude, and disrespect for the English language, and for their readers. But at the same time, I realize that a lot of people chat on their phones, and capitalization can be bothersome. I still do it, but I can overlook it. (Lifted directly from Profile.)

4. People who don’t bother to look at your profile page. It’s there for a reason, people. If we start chatting, I don’t want to waste time telling you things that I’ve already written on my Profile page. I want to be able to get right to the good stuff! Okay, I’m not really much of an idle chatter, but still . . . .

5. Videos that pull you in with a sensationalistic headline. As an example: I just saw one this afternoon with the headline: "They Pulled Over and Started Playing for the Cows. I Can’t Believe What Happened Next!" The video showed members of a Dixieland jazz band standing at the side of the road, playing When the Saints Go Marching In to a herd of cows. What incredible thing happened next? What was so amazing, so phantasmagorical that this person couldn’t bring himself to believe it? The cows listened.

6. People who do nothing but complain. Yes, shit happens. It happens to all of us. And occasionally, we all need a little sympathy, a little cheering up. But give it a rest once in a while. I know an author who has had health problems herself, her husband has chronic health problems, as do both of her children. Once in a while, I’ll see her post something about what they’re going through, but usually, she posts positive messages, things she finds funny, things she’s thankful for.

7. People who do nothing but brag. Yes, the other end of the spectrum is equally irritating. Even the life of the most lucky and/or blessed person in the world pales in comparison to the incredible things these people get to do, how superhumanly amazing their children are, how otherworldly cute their cats are. People have posted that they are discouraged by these posts because, in comparison, their own life seems so full of suck-worthy stuff.

8. Political online riot inciters. Of course politics is an important subject, and yes we need to gather reliable information in order to be able to know how to vote. Just keep in mind that the vast majority of the political memes being circulated are less than 100% accurate, and a staggering number of them are based on outright lies. I’ve stopped sharing partisan political posts. Most of my friends share my beliefs and affiliation, so I wouldn’t be telling them anything new. Those who don’t will only be offended by it, and the likelihood that a political blurb is going to change their mind is probably in the low single digits.

9. Silly questionnaires to determine what kind of (insert ridiculous thing here) I am. Okay, yes I’ve taken a few of them. I’ve found out that the classic novel that most closely mirrors my life attitude is, supposedly, The Great Gatsby. I’ve discovered that the level of sexiness that best describes me is “Super.” (Duh!) It’s been revealed to me that my grasp of the English language makes me a “Grammar Hammer.” But do I really need to know what kind of mixed drink I am? What kind of gemstone? Which mythical creature? No. No, I don’t.

Wow, that’s quite a list! I didn’t realize until I started assembling this list how much there is on Facebook that is downright irritating. On the other hand, maybe I’m just a grumpy, irritable curmudgeon. But yes, these things piss me off.

Am I going to leave Facebook? Don’t be ridiculous! I love Facebook!