You will no doubt be disappointed to learn that, unfortunately, this blog entry is not about delicious processed-meat snacks, bouncy amphibians, a city in New Mexico or, indeed, the band Prefab Sprout. The above title has, I confess, been plucked out of the recesses of my warped brain and has absolutely no relevance to what follows. Sorry.
I ended my last blog by thanking Facebook for helping me to keep in touch with, or re-connect with, friends that I might otherwise have lost over the years – since leaving school in 1998, University in 2001, or Law School in 2002. It’s also a good way of staying in contact when you leave a job or, conversely, if someone leaves the company that you still work for. In fact, thinking back to one firm I worked for in the not-too-distant past, it’s a good way of staying in touch with former colleagues when everyone leaves in a short space of time.
Plus, while the cost of international telephone calls has significantly dropped over the years, it can still be expensive to ‘phone the other side of the world, so it’s nice to have a ‘free’ and easy way of finding out what friends and relatives abroad are up to, even if it’s just discovering what they had for dinner, what weather they’re having, or simply looking at pictures of their gerbil (this is not a metaphor). I know it’s not technically free, unless you only use the internet at work (in designated break times, of course), but we’d all have the internet anyway, regardless of Facebook, so it’s not really an additional cost, is it?
In short, Facebook brings the world just a little bit closer together and, for that, I love it.
But Facebook, or more specifically the people who use it, can also irritate the hell out of me at times. And by ‘irritate’, I don’t mean ‘slightly irk’ either; I mean ‘want to scratch my own eyes out’. Oh, and by ‘at times’, I also mean ‘more and more often by the day’.
In fact, there are now so many things that wind me up about the use of Facebook, that I’ve decided to come up with a list of my worst ten.
Now, please don’t think that, if you are guilty of any of these crimes against my sanity, I dislike you or you irritate me personally, as that is not the case at all. You are one person in a vast sea of others doing the same thing, which makes me in the minority and so it’s me who has the problem. This list is not an attack on you, it is an explanation of how short my fuse is (again, not a metaphor) and how easily annoyed I can become as I grow older and grumpier.
That said, if you’re guilty of all ten, let’s just say our days of Facebook friendship may be numbered….
- ‘Liking’ things
Ok, so immediately I feel the need to explain myself. The option to ‘like’ stuff on Facebook is fine per se, and it would be somewhat hypocritical of me to be annoyed by this, whilst simultaneously getting a warm glow inside every time someone likes something that I myself have posted. But it’s when someone either likes EVERYTHING on Facebook or, worse, uses the option inappropriately, that it really gets under my skin.
For example, it’s nice to like someone’s status, comment or photo. But when you like every comment they’ve ever made, or every single photo from their album Faliraki 2013 Baby, it slightly devalues your gesture, does it not?
And then there is ‘liking’ stuff inappropriately. Consider the following:
John Smith – My dog died today. I’m devastated.
– Joe Bloggs likes this
Doesn’t come across well, does it? I know people will argue that, in this example, they are just acknowledging the comment, perhaps even showing some sympathy in their own moronic way, but those people should try using actual real-life words to express their remorse, and should also look the word ‘like’ up in a dictionary. You know, that big book propping up the coffee table in the corner.
- OMG, ROFL, YOLO etc.
Oh. Dear. Lord. (Or, ODL I guess). I can just about tolerate ‘LOL’ by now, after years of being worn down by its usage, to the point that I have become somewhat numb and immune to it – and in the same way I don’t mind accepting the odd lol on something I have personally posted (I like it when people find me funny and laugh at me, unless it’s because I’m naked or have otherwise embarrassed myself), but the increasing number of variants – LMAO, ROFL, ROFLMAO, LOLZ – make me want to cry and throw myself into the nearest Lolcano.
Then there are the others. OMG (or the latest, arguably worse, additions – omgoodness or omgosh), YOLO and XOXO to name just three in a vast sea of irritation. Please stop it. Now.
- Throwback Thursday (TBT)
Ok, so it’s another acronym, but this one deserves a category of its own, as it’s not the abbreviation bit that irritates me, so much as the purpose behind it. Why, in the name of all things holy, would someone decide to dedicate one day a week to reminiscing about the past? Even the fact ‘Throwback Thursday’ should be TT, not TBT, pisses me off.
Unless you want to see me enjoying FCF – or “Friend Clearout Friday” – please don’t jump on this particularly irritating bandwagon.
- Groups with bad spelling/grammar or stupid names
Just a cursory glance whilst writing this, has already yielded two results in just our town alone – “Whats on in Sandbach” and “Sandbach Photo’s – Past and Present” (and if you can’t work out what is wrong with those, maybe we should avoid each other for a while), but it’s more the groups with ridiculous (and often overly-long) names, that really anger me. My current favourite (and by ‘favourite’, I do of course mean the group that makes me most irate) is “Your Body Is Not Ruined, You’re a Goddamn Tigress Who Earned Her Stripes”. Now, I agree with the sentiment behind this phrase, and at least they know how to use ‘your/you’re’ correctly, but not only is it a stupid way of saying it, and therefore a stupid sounding group, but if someone shares one of their comments or photos, it look ridiculous:
Josephine Bloggs shared Your Body Is Not Ruined, You’re a Goddamn Tigress Who Earned Her Stripes’s photo.
Urgh. I was just sick in my mouth.
By the same token, any group using the word “Mommy” or “Mom” (Americans, I’m mostly looking in your direction here), tends to have a silly name, and that’s aside from the fact it should be spelled “Mum”. For example:
Josephine Bloggs liked Watch out Mommy hasn’t had her meds again lol!!!’s status update.
I’m angry now just typing this. I need a lie down.
You might think that Facebook should get a bit of a reprieve here, as the blame for hashtagging should lie squarely at Twitter’s door, but since I don’t really use/get Twitter, it’s Facebook where I mostly encounter this abomination. Also, hashtags kind of make sense on Twitter, even if I don’t personally like them, whereas on Facebook they just look stupid.
I can see why hashtagging is used, and I’m not so old that I don’t understand what it means for something to trend (yes, I do appreciate that even typing that makes me seem really old), but it’s pointless hashtagging that has no relevance to anything, and specifically over-hashtagging, that I have an issue with. Let me give some examples:
Enjoying my birthday #drinks #vodka
Why? Just, why? Is #drinks going to start trending just because you’re out on the lash? Or did we need that extra explanation that you were actually drinking, in case we assumed you’d just gone out for the night, on your birthday, to walk around town in your stilettos and perhaps pop into the library? Are Vodka sales depleting? No.
Enjoying my birthday #drinks #friends #vodka #clubbing #hammered
That’s just taking the piss now.
Then, lastly, there are the hashtags that have no relevance or meaning to anyone:
Enjoying my birthday #can’tbelieveifelldownstairs #sickonmyshoes #shouldhavewornunderwear
What can you possibly hope to achieve from that, other than confirming everyone’s suspicion that you’re a drunken slapper? Exactly.
- Using ‘2’ instead of ‘To’ and ‘4’ instead of ‘For’
I hate text speak anyway, but it should be restricted to ‘text’ messaging (the clue is in the name, muppets):
John Smith – Looking 4ward 2 going out 2nite. Need 2 find sumwher gud 2 go 4 a kebab after lmao!!!!
No further explanation necessary. How busy is your life, that you needed to save 0.2 of a second by not typing the actual word?
In other words, fishing for attention, sympathy or someone to take an interest in your life, by means of a deliberately vague status, e.g.:
John Smith – I’m so sad
Joe Bloggs – Can’t believe that just happened!
Josephine Bloggs – Bitch messed with the wrong person this time.
Either tell us all about it, so we can make our own assessment of whether we care or not (and I can almost certainly guarantee it’s the latter), or don’t bother putting it on Facebook, and send someone who you think may care a message instead.
- People who regularly change their Facebook names
I don’t mean women (or men) who get married, or anyone who changes their real name for that matter, but rather people who decide to change their names (often regularly) to daft things like David ‘BigWilly’ Jones. If you’ve had to call yourself that then, no, it isn’t. If you really must make it clear to the world that you believe you are well-endowed (when it is blatantly clear to everyone else that you are not), buy a BMW.
Again, I understand why these are popular, and I can kind of see their use, particularly in text messages (quite often, a timely ‘winky face’ can make sure the recipient knows your possibly-misconstrued comment is a joke, or meant to be tongue-in-cheek), but there are now so many of them, especially on Facebook, that it’s getting ridiculous. Even worse, is when a status is followed by bloody loads of them: 5 hearts, 6 wine glasses, 4 champagne flutes, 7 smiley faces and 3 ‘thumbs up’, are not required to emphasise that you are enjoying a night on the town with the girls. Shame there isn’t an emoticon for throwing up in your handbag whilst mascara runs down your face.
- People who use FB to publicly send someone a message
If you can’t remember what time you’re meant to be going to someone’s house later that evening, here’s a handy hint: Send them a text or maybe give them a call. If you must, and I mean absolutely MUST use Facebook to communicate with them, there is a very useful personal messaging service you can use. Under no circumstances, do you ever need to post “Hey, what time are we coming round later?” on their wall. You do know we can all see that, and don’t give a flying shit, right?
Ok, so I’ve possibly alienated a lot of people here, but it needed saying. Again, this is not an attack on anyone personally, as I’m sure I am in the minority so, at the risk of using a cheesy cliché, it’s not you, it’s me. Unless, of course, you agree with most (or perhaps all) of the above, and they annoy you too, in which case we really should hang out more. Let’s grab a beer sometime.
That probably won’t happen though. The problem is invariably mine, and I’ll have to learn to be more tolerant. But please, next time you do use one of the above, and especially if you’re planning on using a few at the same time, please take a second to think of my fragile mental state and reconsider. Ok?