Don’t use your Facebook status for…
1. Abusing hyperbole
It used to mean something special to be “amazing- or “the best- or “the love of [someone’s ] life.- Now, it’s mere filler, drivel in between misspelled words and relentless exclamation points. Let’s save these powerful adjectives for deserving nouns. David Copperfield is amazing. The solar system is amazing. Brain surgery is amazing. Meeting a cackling group of your sorority sisters in the beer-soaked basement of the football frat is not.
2. Commending family members
Getting into college is a wonderful achievement. So is winning a football game. Or just barely making bail. All these things are great and celebrating them is what balloons and back yard barbecues are for. That said, I don’t care if your little sister just got a volleyball scholarship to Villanova even if she is “soooo talented!!” and you absolutely have to see her soon to “playyy and drink and celebrate!” Just saying.
3. Making thinly-veiled quasi-boasts
It is impressive that your grandfather stormed the forests with the Mau Mau. It’s not impressive that you spent an hour trolling through the Standard Daily online archives to find an article that mentioned his battalion and then posted the link with a comment that read: “Kinda cool that my grandpa was in the Mau Mau-. Also, the article didn’t mention anything about him specifically. And even if it did, what have you done? You’re watching Changing Times with your hand in your pants.
4. Commenting on the weather
Everyone who’s reading your thoughts on “gorgeous sunshine- or ‘ugly clouds’- is either able to look out the window and see it for themselves or lives too far away from you to care about what you’re saying. Besides, the people on the Weather Channel kind of only do one thing…let them have it. Not that we don’t want to hear about how therapeutic it is to “dance in the rain like no one’s watching!-
5. Quoting anything or anyone
People who write quotations in their Facebook statuses scare me more than undecided voters. Can they really think of nothing to say that hasn’t already been said by Jesus or one of the actors in Boondock Saints?
6. Naming a geographical location, event, person, or animal followed by one or more exclamation points
You seem to be very excited about “DIANI BEACH!!!!!!- And I remember from last week’s status that you were also fond of “KITENGELA!!!!!! RALLY!!!!!!!- But, what is it about these things that makes you feel so good? Go ahead. You can say more. It’s alright. You’re among friends.
I can’t tell if you’re joking or trying to be deep. Either way, I’m worried. And what did you mean when you said that thing about mirrors being like doorways into the subconscious? Oh, wait! Was that a quote from Boondock Saints?
8. Alluding to the previous night
Listen, I feel really bad about something and I need to come clean. I don’t remember when you lost your keys at that party. Or when Ben’s ID didn’t scan at that nightclub that seemed “so sweet.” I don’t even remember those two white girls who seemed like they wanted to party. I guess I need to start paying more attention because, to be perfectly honest, I don’t remember going out with you last night…at all.
Do use your Facebook status for…
1. Stating facts
We need to do more of this. We all spend a lot more time on Facebook than we do reading encyclopedias. Think of seeing “The Civil War lasted from 1861-1865- or “Tryptophanis an essential amino acid in the human diet.- It would be nice. And helpful. That’s all.
2. Warning others of impending danger not covered by any major news outlet
If you have a tip that CNN doesn’t, please share. I’d appreciate a heads up if you’ve contracted SARS or if Wangari Mathai’s your aunt and she told you she plans to run in 2012.
3. Posting un-annotated links
If you’re interested in something, it’s okay to post a link about it. From YouTube clips of cats farting to positive reviews of the new Kardashian book, anything goes. Just don’t preface it with “this is hilarious- or “best thing ever.- Remember what we said about hyperbole? Also, don’t say “yayayayaya.” Ever. I’m not completely sure what it even means. I just know it has no place in decent society.
4. Divulging secrets
Go ahead. You’re not really from “right outside Nairobi.-
5. Asking urgent questions
Try typing “Is self-loathing conquerable?- into Yahoo answers and you’ll soon learn that the Internet can’t solve everything. For queries like this one and countless others, the best you can hope for is pity and, for that, there’s no better venue than Facebook.
6.Crafting desperate, not-so-subtle cries for attention meant for ex-lovers who’ve long forgotten you
I’m ashamed of how many times I’ve written things like “I can’t stop thinking about you- hoping that some girl who has stopped returning my text messages will see it and realize that I’m the one. She never does but, if only for an instant, there’s something soothing about misdirected hope.
7. Pleading for help
When you’ve got no more friends to turn to, you can always request some new ones and then indirectly ask them if they “ummm, know of anyone who might be able to help find an abortion doctorrrrrrr…?”
8. Breaking plans when you’re too much of a coward to call
It’s Saturday night and those things you said to your freshman year roommate about wanting to “get together this weekend- have come back to bite you. There’s only one thing to do: try to remember the symptoms of whatever virus is going around and list them all. Then, when you run into her on the street at 3 am, tell her you didn’t call because you “dropped your phone in a toilet” and make plans you know you’ll break for the following weekend.