These Games They Really Do You In When You’re Making Up Your Own Rules

I’ve noticed lately that my most popular blog posts are those featuring memes.

As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t really start this blog to gain a ton of followers.  I started it because I enjoy writing, but often feel unmotivated to do so.  Updating a blog forces me to work on my writing on a fairly regular basis, which I’m hoping will eventually translate into better creative/fictional writing.  Blogging is also fun because it gives me an outlet to share random thoughts, reviews, etc.  I share a lot with the people in my life, but some things just seem better suited for sharing on a blog.  For example, most people in my life wouldn’t benefit from wedding planning advice.  A random person who stumbles upon my blog might, though.

But anyway … The point of all of that is to say that I don’t always make an effort to post things that I think will be “popular.”

Today, however, I am.

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about my love/hate relationship with Facebook in the past.  I appreciate that it gives me the opportunity to stay in touch with people I might have lost touch with otherwise.  I enjoy seeing pictures that my close friends and family share, especially since a lot of them live far away.

But … I hate some of the random shit that people post.  I don’t care what you had for lunch, nor do I want to see an Instagram picture of your peanut butter sandwich.  I don’t want to try to decipher what you mean when you tipe lyke dis nd thnk ppl can reed it.  I don’t want to scroll through a ton of images of sick children saying “If I get 1,000,000 likes, my rich uncle/neighbor/Prince William will pay for my cancer treatment!”  I also don’t need to see a bunch of pictures of Jesus that say “Like if you love Jesus!  Keep scrolling if you hate him and love Satan!”

No.  Just … No.

So today I’ve gathered some memes that represent some of the things that I hate about Facebook.  (And yes, I realize I could simply delete my account, but, as I said, it’s not all bad.  I just have to limit the amount of time I spend on it … Otherwise, I might go crazy.)

I’ll start with the profile picture.  I think this is pretty accurate:

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I said it before, but I’ll say it again … I have no idea why some people insist on typing up a bunch of gibberish to post on Facebook.  I have to wonder … Is this person drunk, dumb, lazy, or all of the above?:

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Another issue I’ve already mentioned … The random sick child/religious/insert other random thing that’s supposed to make you feel guilty if you don’t “like” it images that pop up in my newsfeed.  Do people really believe this shit?:

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Some people love to share everything.  Seriously.  I understand that you’re sick … If you want to share that, that’s cool.  But I don’t need to know that you’ve had explosive diarrhea for the last two days.  No one needs to know this (and this is coming from someone who tends to overshare!):

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Then there’s the question of Facebook etiquette.  I’m sure most people with a Facebook have wondered about this at one point or another:

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I will admit, though, that sometimes I like to watch the drama unfold on Facebook.  I find it particularly amusing because the majority of the people I’m friends with on Facebook are within 5 years of my age (so most people are between the ages of 24-34).  Adults.  Adults who, for whatever reason, sometimes feel the need to stir shit up.  While I always stay out of it, I won’t pretend I’m above busting out the popcorn and doing exactly what this meme says:

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Following a Facebook fight, I’ll often see one of the people involved make some sort of passive aggressive jab at the other person.  Then they’ll (OMG!) delete that person from their friends list!  (Or at least threaten to do so.)  This is pretty much my reaction every time this happens (and sadly it happens on a fairly regular basis):

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So yes, I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  This leads me to my final meme, the one that sums up how I often feel after wasting some time scrolling through my news feed (especially if none of my close friends or family have posted anything):

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As They Slid In, The Rest Of Them Continued Their Talking And Drinking (They’ll Never Notice Us)

I love the online magazine Slate.  There are usually quite a few interesting articles, and the Dear Prudence column is great.  Some of the things people write in are just … Shocking.  I often wonder if some of the questions are “real,” but I have to think they are … Who would make up such fucked up things and pass them off as reality?  I mean, if you’re going to make up fucked up shit, at least try to sell it to a publishing house or movie producer or … Something.

Anyway, this post isn’t about Dear Prudence (I can feel the disappointment!), but it is about an article I read on Slate about a week ago.

The article is called “If You’ve Ever Posted Anything Embarrassing on Facebook, Now Is the Time to Hide It.”  It was written by Will Oremus and posted on Monday, 07/08/2013.

If you’re interested in reading the article yourself, here is the link: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/07/08/facebook_graph_search_privacy_nightmare_is_preventable_if_you_change_your.html.

I still don’t know much about the new “Graph Search” feature.  To be honest, I don’t really use Facebook a lot.  I check it periodically, like a few things now and then, comment even less, and post updates/pictures even less than that.  I do try to keep “embarrassing” stuff to a minimum, though I’m obviously not obsessed with privacy.  I mean, I’m writing a public blog post right now.  I’ve posted personal photos that include my face, my fiancé’s face, and parts of our apartment.  

Would I want just anyone to find this blog?  Well, probably not.  I do swear a lot, after all.  

However, I consider myself to be a pretty open person.  I don’t think I would ever write something in my blog that would cause me to be mortified if someone I knew came across it.  I love Eric, my friends, my family, my coworkers, and my job … So I’m not going to write awful things about any of them (or my job) for the world to see.  There’s no need to, since I don’t have those negative feelings.

That being said, my Facebook (which does contain my full name and some other personal details that I’d likely leave off my public blog) is friends only.  My privacy settings are pretty hardcore … People actually can’t find me unless they are a friend of a friend.  I prefer this because I hate getting weird friend requests from people I don’t know.  I’m like, “Who is Petunia Cunningham?  Her profile picture is an image of Kate Moss and her information indicates that she lives in Belize.  I’ve never been to Belize, and I’m pretty sure she is not Kate Moss.”  Friend request DENIED!  

But seriously, I don’t want random friend requests.

I also don’t like the idea of random people seeing the things I post.  I may post infrequently, but I still don’t want a complete stranger reading a funny conversation I had with Eric or seeing a picture I took at the last concert I went to.  I’m sharing these things because I enjoy sharing funny and/or interesting stuff with others … But only if those “others” are friends/acquaintances.  (Or, in the case of this blog, people who at least don’t know my last name, which college I went to, the year I graduated from high school, etc.)

I think it’s important to realize that everything you put on the internet is most likely out there forever (unless you somehow figure out a way to delete everything) … But you can definitely be smart about it.  And even if you’re not (hey, we’ve all been young and stupid), you can at least do everything you can to ensure that only certain people can see the images, view the posts, etc.

I know the easy answer here is “Don’t post shit on Facebook.”  But people use social media.  Even if they’re not into Facebook, they may use Twitter, post on an online forum, blog … There are so many possibilities (and thus so many opportunities for people to come across things you’ve said or done online).  No one’s perfect, so there’s always the potential for embarrassment (or worse).

If anyone reading this has any thoughts on this topic, I’d love to hear them.  Do you use Facebook?  Why or why not?  What do you personally do to ensure random people (or important people, like your boss or a potential employer) don’t come across something that could paint you in a negative light?