Written by Blair Mathis
Facebook has matched Myspace and raised it with a dose of not-so-fugly page layout. This has effectively merging a small portion of the real world, henceforth referred to as the RW, with the virtual world. If you are raving mad in the RW you can go online and let everyone you know (and maybe a bunch you don’t) see exactly how mad you are. If you’re happy, why not change your status? Just won an award? Or upload a picture of that baby for everyone to compliment you on.
Is there a downside to this extension of the RW? Of course there bloody is! If you’ve spent any amount of time on Facebook, you’ve hid at least half your ‘friends’. You might tolerate them perfectly fine in the RW, but the moment they get on Facebook you find yourself wanting to punch them in the face(book).
If you want to avoid becoming one of the annoying people that ends up on everyone’s blocked list, we highly recommend that you follow our advice (and maybe share this article on your Facebook page, doing your part to end the madness).
1. Send Stupid Gifts
Unless you’re sending a RW coupon that can be printed out and traded in for gold bricks, stop sending gifts. They are useless. It doesn’t matter if you send a flower or a BMW, they all have the same inherent worth: $0.00! When you send these gifts, it leaves your friend with two options: he/she can ignore it and risk peeving you off (since you might be a little unstable given your penchant for sending imaginary gifts), or return the favor (thusly reinforcing your habit of sending useless pixels).
2. Talk About Your Pet All the Time
Do you want everyone on your friends list to think that the high point of your social life is changing the litter box? If you post about your pet[s] all the time, people will take sympathy on you. If you continue to do it for an extended period of time, they’ll think you’re batshit crazy and unfriend you, effectively leaving you alone to fall further into the chaos that is your pet-store-esque apartment.
3. Tag Indiscriminately
That tagging feature? It is powerful. When you set it up so that tagged photos show up for friends of friends (or God forbid everyone), you better think real hard about what you post and who you tag. Think about tagging an embarrassing photo the same way you’d think of sending out a Christmas card to all of your friend’s friends. Would you send your friend’s friends a Christmas card with a photo of your mutual buddy picking his nose? No? Then don’t tag those photos on Facebook or you’ll find yourself unfriended faster than you can Tweet an apology.
4. Complain About Every Ache and Bump
Seriously, if all you ever list as a status is the latest time you’ve stubbed your toe, gotten a headache, or spent all night trying to push a golf ball-sized kidney stone out your happy zone, people aren’t going to want to be near you. Not only are your friends going to assume that you’re a walking freak-bolt-of-lightning-to-the-head-on-a-blue-sky kind of person, but they’ll also figure that the only thing you’ll talk about all night is your inflamed pancreas.
5. Authorize Every App
All those applications you play really add up when the rest of us are forced to see them lined up on our walls. No one really cares if you just saved a duck, extended your farm, broke a mob boss’s neck, or had a beloved gold fish die. What we do care about is having to spend ten minutes every morning hiding the latest app you found. After awhile, we just stop caring and hide YOU. Do you want your last impression on someone to be a series of app notices posted over the course of many hours of every single day, making people think you’re the most lonely and/or pathetic person on their list?
6. Friend Coworkers and Employers
The coworker thing is variable. If you’ve been working with them for awhile and you’re buddy-buddy, then go ahead and do it. The thing about friending coworkers is that, no matter how close you might be, the game of work politics never ends. If it is you or a friended coworker on the chopping block, don’t surprised when they pull out a ream of Facebook screenshots showing all your bad habits and “we frown on that” statuses.
While we’re on the topic of coworkers, never, no matter how familiar you are, friend your boss. This is a just a bad problem waiting to be bigger. It only takes one drunken poke binge, enraged status, or a friend with poor tagging etiquette to bring an unhappy tidbit of reality to the limelight. Do you really want to hinge your career on your Facebook page? Better yet, do you want to have to police everything you post just because you worry about what your boss will think?
7. Friend Non-Friends
The thing about a friends list is that it’s for friends. Of course family members can fall into this group, but rarely do strangers qualify. When you friend a stranger, you could falling for any number of traps: family members posing as friends to hear the crude things you say in secret, a spouse/partner pretending to be a stranger and hitting on you to see what you will do, a serial killer neighbor who is watching you update your status via telescope in his bedroom. You just never know.
8. Rant and Rave
Facebook is a place where you congregate your friends and family and post messages that they can all read. Think of it as a dinner party with everyone over—would you climb up on the nearest table and start ranting and raving about the latest political or social problem? No? Well, when you do that on Facebook, it is essentially the same thing, except that no one is around to shut you up. It is doubtful that everyone on your page is going to feel the same about everything that you do. If you want to peeve people off and lose a bunch of friends, go crazy all the time.
9. Request Stuff
If you send someone a request for a cow, and they subsequently send you a picture of a hamburger, they probably aren’t interested in swapping imaginary gifts. If you keep sending requests and they never send anything back, get a clue: they’re ignoring your requests and soon they’ll be ignoring you (and note that that last sentence rhymes, ‘cuz we’re awesome like that).
10. TYPE IN ALL CAPS
THE THING ABOUT TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS THAT IT IS ANNOYING. REALLY, REALLY ANNOYING. SO ANNOYING, IN FACT, THAT YOUR FRIENDS WILL BEGIN TO FEEL THE RAGE THAT YOUR ALL-CAPS SEEMS TO INDICATE THAT YOU FEEL. AND WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T THROUGH IN SOME EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!