Shut Your Face(book)
by Rob Cottignies
Shut up. Seriously. I can't take it anymore.
Facebook started out as a networking website where people could talk to others about jobs and/or reconnect with old friends. You formerly needed a valid college e-mail address to be a member and you could only look up people from your school. I think. Something like that. Whatever. Now anyone can join it and post whatever horrible things they want. People have online fights about politics, post pictures of every little thing they do, and generally broadcast way too much information about themselves.
At last count, I've unfollowed more than 60% of my "friends". They are not bad people and I do not hate them. I just don't care. I barely spoke to them when we used to be in the same room every day so I couldn't care less what they're doing now. To go with that, I'd be quite surprised if they care about what I'm doing. If you think I've unfollowed you, you're probably correct. If you're thinking, 'Why would someone unfollow me?', inquire within.
So now I'm going to focus on three self-promoting, do-nothing, obnoxious, horrible types of Facebook posts: couples, dead relatives, thoughts and prayers.
This is gonna get violent real fast.
Post all the pictures from your stupid wedding at once. Displaying a few here-and-there is horrible. This isn't an epic action movie. I don't need teaser trailers. Also, if I was at your wedding, I remember what the scene looked like. If I wasn't, we aren't that good of friends so I don't care anyway. Do people really look at pictures of weddings they didn't go to!?!?
If you and your better half go somewhere interesting, that's great. But stop checking-in to every leg of your journey. Oh, you're at Newark Airport waiting for a flight to Denver? I don't care. Oh, you have a layover at O'Hare? I don't care. Oh, you arrived in Denver? That's too bad. I'd hoped you got sucked out of the plan somewhere over Nebraska. In addition to advertising that you're not home, it's uninteresting. Throw up a picture of yourselves in front of a mountain and say that you're having a lovely time. That's it. But I know it'll just be stupid crap for a week until you check back in to the Denver airport and I will completely lose my mind.
I don't hide the fact that I don't like kids. (Actually, it's usually more the parents that I dislike.) I understand you posting a picture of your kid's first day of school. I don't care but I get it. However, documenting and posting to the world every minor thing your kid does makes me think you are an obsessed stalker with sadly nothing better to do. 'Here's my kid holding a shoe. Here's my kid looking at a tree. Here's my kid petting our stupid little dog.' Save it for the scrapbook. Only Grandma wants to see each and every one of these pictures so send them to her. She's lonely.
The worst couples post things which should be shared only within their relationships. 'I miss you bunches even though you don't like potatoes.' That's a text message. (And what kind of savage doesn't like potatoes?) The other person will see the message and probably reply with something more idiotic. If I see it, my response will be less-than-favorable. These are the same couples who promote their own relationships to the world. 'I am the luckiest person ever because I found [name] and that person is my soulmate and today is [made-up holiday] AND the seven-month anniversary of the first time we watched Shrek together and we will last forever because we always [inside joke] and you are my baby sweetie honey pie snookum fishyface.' Shut up and go away forever. It's great that you're happy but reading about it is nauseating to people with pulses.
I've got some bad news for you- your grandmother who died in 1992 does not have access to Facebook. She was gone ten years before people were starting to find out what Facebook was. That's sad and it's wonderful that you still honor her birthday but she can't read your three-paragraph diatribe of nonsense. Do you know who can read it? Me. And I don't care. I'm sure your grandma was a lovely lady but I didn't know her and neither did most of your Facebook friends. So can it.
Do you know what I did on my father's birthday the year that he died? I posted on Facebook, but it was just a song that made me think of him. No words, no explanation. Those who knew what it meant could appreciate it and those who didn't could enjoy a song they perhaps hadn't heard prior. Or anyone could just pass it by, which I would like to do with your entire existence.
Every Facebook post screams look at me. 'Watch this. Read this. Aren't I hilarious?' But writing a public letter to a dead relative is nothing but attention-seeking. Be honest- You just want to see how many likes your post can get. And that makes you feel good because you are empty and awful.
One of my best friends often posts about his father who died a few years ago. I knew the man well, so those posts mean something to me. But he does it right: a picture, a short description, over and out. He doesn't drone on-and-on as if he's actually communicating with his dad…
Like this: 'Dear Uncle Bippy, I can't believe it's been six years since you passed (nice euphemism). Each day obviously gets easier but I miss you so much. I'll never forget you even though I only think of you every four days now.' Though unacceptable, this is probably sincere and seems tender but is really idiotic. If you believe Grandma and Uncle Bippy spend their afterlives scrolling through Facebook to see if they're mentioned even though they are unable to respond, you have a horrible idea of Heaven.
Thoughts And Prayers
I don't want to be accused of stealing from Anthony Jeselnik so I'll keep this short. Posting that your thoughts and prayers are with people you know (or not) after a tragedy is one micro-step above doing absolutely nothing. 'Oh, a building blew up five-thousand miles away? My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims. Phew, that took a lot out of me. I hope I sent enough thoughts and prayers for the all the family members. But then there are friends and co-workers and other people who were also impacted. It's time for another post. Thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends and co-workers and other people who knew the victims. There; that should do it. But does everybody get one thought and one prayer? And shouldn't a victim's wife get more than their mailman? What if they had a dog? Dogs sense absence but they probably don't really know the extent of what happened. Alright, third post is a charm: One thought and one prayer to anyone who knew a victim and a few more thoughts and/or prayers to family members and close friends and mailmen while throwing out some extra thoughts and prayers in case any of the victims had really conscious dogs.'
See how stupid you are? And take the translucent flag off your profile picture. You don't care about those people, you've never been to France, and doing that attention-seeking act was somehow directly in-between typing about your 'thoughts and prayers' and doing absolutely nothing. You clicked a button. You're not a hero.
It's time to be real. Or whatever. I should just quit Facebook.
Forget I said anything.