I will begin by saying that I'm a big Facebook fan. The only time I've ever disliked it was back when all my Ivy League friends had access to it and I did not (apparently, at that time Ivy brats needed yet another exclusive group to belong to). I've never been one to delete or freeze an account or even threaten to do so. While I keep most of my information private to the general interwebz, just about everything is accessible to my friends. I don't have secret albums or anything like that. I don't get annoyed when people I haven't seen or talked to in twenty years comment on a picture. I do hate when I'm invited to Candy Crush for the 900th time... by the same person. But you know what? This doesn't contribute to any kind of hatred of Facebook.


But let's talk bout an important element of the whole experience: status updates. Now let's talk, categorically, about the ways they fail.


One-Sided Feuds
Example: Don't you hate when so-called friends play with your feelings and then stab you in the back? But you know what? You are pathetic and I'm stronger than all this! I'm not going to waste time thinking about a loser like you!


Perhaps not everyone gets these, but I often find I am friends with one person who is having some sort of Facebook fight, but not the other person, so I wind up with shit like this. Now I'm not saying people shouldn't fight or that one shouldn't have these sentiments, but maybe don't put them on your Facebook wall. Especially when you include some Brittany-Spears'-Stronger-esque sentiment about taking the high ground and not stooping to the other person's level because, psst! that's exactly what you're doing, you idiot.


Ambiguous Sorrow
Example: Sometimes I just wonder if it's all worth it after all...


Okay, so it's one thing to try to get sympathy from your friends on Facebook, but what's wrong with "Feeling shitty after a particularly hard day. Send me some love!"? Don't make me ask you what's wrong by tossing out some ambiguously tragic, melodramatic statement that could indicate anything from suicide to a sock that got lost in the laundry.


The Busy Bee
Example: Three meetings, after dinner drinks, then picked up dry cleaning, vacuumed the house, made some soup, wrote a paper, crocheted a blanket, and got all my Christmas shopping done online.


... but you know what? You weren't so busy as to eschew Facebook for a night; maybe next time you should. What bothers me about status updates like this is twofold: one, you are making a show of oh-how-swamped you are as you take the time to tell me about it and two, you offer absolutely no commentary on anything you have done. This isn't a status update, it's a checklist, and a boring one at that. You're boring. Stop being boring.


Slacktivism
Example: Put this as your Facebook status if you support our troops/love America/hate cancer/are thankful for your parents/believe in God! 87% of people will not repost!


Well count me among the 87%. I hated these when they were chain mails that suggested I would encounter horrific bad luck if I didn't hand-write this and send it to 10 friends, I hated them when they became email forwards, and I hate them now. Just stop.



Dear Diary...
Example: "Today I buried a dear friend—my pet cactus, Maximilian. I got Maximilian five years ago from a cactus rescue someone in writers co-op had told me about. I went there, a warm, cozy house on the outskirts of town, and saw him, in his pot, groggy, as he always was. There were dozens of cacti there, but he was somehow different. Special. Imbued with empathy and sense of humor that most humans, in their desire to conquer and hurt, lack. He was sick at first, spindly and malnourished. I think he must have suffered at the hands of cruel men, for at first he wouldn't cuddle. He would shyly, bitterly, stay away from me. I was determined to show Maximilian the love he deserved. I fed him a raw diet, took him for walks, and sang to him while playing my zither. Slowly but surely, he enlivened. I had saved him. Now he did not shun my touch, but welcomed my hand as I ran it through his hundreds of spikes. I didn't mind the pinches and pokes. He was mine. My own. My love. My confidant. He was my soul mate. On the morning of July 2, 2013, I noticed he wasn't acting like himself. That sparkle that I had rekindled in him was still there, but dulled. He courageously hung on for another four days before passing peacefully in my arms. I contacted the rescue, somehow managing to dial the phone through a veil of tears, and Matilda, the owner, put me in touch with a well-regarded cactus funeral home. I cannot recommend the business (The Great Desert in the Sky) enough. They treated Maximilian with great dignity and the service was beautiful. Farewell, my darling Maxi. I'll miss you more than you can ever know."


Just. Start. A. Motherfucking. Blog. (Especially if your similarly long-winded friends are going to post e-mail length responses to you and then you go on to respond to each one of them.) (By the way, minus the cactus, this status is based on something that appeared in my feed once.)

Anything posted after working out
Example A: "Nothing like a five mile run to clear your head and make you feel amazing!"
Example B: A picture of a toned woman with a long, lovely ponytail running along a beach at sunset with the caption "When it's important, you make the time."


Ugh. Can we not? Can we fucking not with this shit? I get that you love to run, or bike, or do yoga, or kickbox, or take your ballerina booty hip hopera boot camp chiseled core spin class or whatever. I don't even mind if you post about it from time to time. But when every. single. post. is about exercise it comes across as smug and boring, as though you had to decide between having abs and a personality...and I've seen the pictures you have posted of your abs.



Status Updates That Are More Clever Than Mine


Because how dare you? This is practically all I have.