Whenever I speak to anyone about Facebook it seems like we all feel the same way. Other peoples annoying status updates wind us up good and proper. So why is it still happening? As far as I can tell, some rules need to be officially laid out to stop Steves blood pressure from going through the roof and to make the internet a better place to play.
Lord Reith the first Director General of the BBC summed up the new Corporations remit in three words: Educate,Inform, Entertain. Maybe I'm misguided, but in my eyes this is what you should be asking yourself as you type your latest witticism in the little status update box. The pale blue box asks you, What's on your mind? Do not answer it. You're probably thinking "I hate sprouts". This is not interesting to anyone,( unless one of your friends is cooking you an impromptu early Christmas dinner), and that's the crux of the matter. Think about the poor schmo at the other end of the internet reading that. What do they get out of it? Let me answer for you, they get absolutely nothing except a heightened sense of weariness at the world.
I shan't name names,to protect the guilty, but currently on my news feed somebody is having "a shit day at work", somebody is "listening to the rain" and one status simply says "grumpy". What do these statuses/stati bring to the reader? The answer rhymes with Cluck Ball. Here is a list of annoying status types and ways you are probably winding me up.
- The gloating status: eg I just got back from Barbados, My job is the best, Someone just told me I look like Bennedict Cumberbatch, My band just got played on the radio, I've got a massive winky, I've just been given an OBE for my services to massive winkydom. These kind of outbursts make you sound self obsessed and people may well correctly assume you're a right gonk. You might argue that you don't care what people think of you. You should. I would say that a little self deprecation goes a long way. Perhaps temper "I just got back from Barbados" with "and I caught herpes".
- The cry for help/attention status: eg I'm so depressed right now, Why do these things always happen to me?, a sad faced emoticon, I can't believe he's done this to me! (See also: the washing dirty laundry in public status), Something amazing happened to me today. These kinds of status are fishing for you to ask for more details or enquire about the situation. Do not give them the satisfaction. I'm not a monster. If you are close to this person and you are genuinely concerned about them then go to their house and make them a cup of tea and a cheese and pickle sandwich. This will cure most minor ailments. If people keep responding to these cries for help then the annoying status updater will continue to bring everyone down with their misery. Stay strong brothers and sisters. The problem is most of your so called facebook "friends"are not in fact your friends but are people you once met at a gig in Wolverhampton, old school friends that you didn't like then and are actually borderline racist now or people you would like to sleep with if your current relationship ends. You're thinking I should unfollow them right? I've considered it, but some of these people are people I like in real life. They just seem to become morons on facebook. Other times I get a strange enjoyment out of reading the crap statuses and slagging them off. It's the same reason I sometimes watch X Factor.
- The spiritual enlightenment/I'm smarter than you status: eg The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends. Nietzche. I agree with the quote and this kind of status sort of falls under the educational umbrella but it's annoying me because of the motivation of the writer. He is almost certainly putting this out there to make himself seem deep and interesting when I know for a fact he's a div. He is definitely getting a false sense of superiority and/or he is trying to get into your pants. Quoting song lyrics is just about ok. It's a form of poetry which is meant to be read I suppose and it brings people together through their mutual love of said song. Just ask yourself what anyone else is going to get out of your quote before you post it and you'll be fine.
- The Last nights dream status: eg OMG last night I dreamt that I went shopping with Willy Thorne and Pat Sharp was serving me in Primark and he had a baguette instead of a face. This one is pretty self explanatory. It's just not interesting. It's tedious in person so why people think it would suddenly be interesting in written form is beyond me. The only time you want to hear about someones dream is if you happen to be in it. Preferably Necking.
- The mundane/obvious status: eg on the bus to work, Boo! Rain again, Monday mornings suck!, Lasagne for tea tonight mmmm, There's a spider in my bath I hate spiders (That last one would only be interesting if accompanied by a picture and the spider was over 5 inches in diameter). These very ordinary things are not interesting to anyone in the slightest. Not even your own mother cares what you are having for dinner tonight so why would your 764 facebook buddies? If you are concerned that you're not very witty or your life isn't particularly interesting then find a funny clip on youtube or a link to a good song and post that instead. Bring a bit of joy into peoples life and people will associate that good feeling with you.
- The lovey dovey/ gooey wooey status: eg Thank you Jane for being the best girlfriend a boy could ask for, Rob is the sexiest man alive etc (that's one of mine). Any public display of affection makes most people want to vomit. If you love the guy so much then by all means tell him. We don't all need to know. It just comes across like you're saying Na na na na na my life's better than yours. Some of you may hear the big honking sound of a hypocrisy alarm on this one and I'll admit I went with a public declaration of love only a couple of weeks ago but in my defence it was dark and I was drunk.
- The Whitney Houston Status: eg RIP Whitney you were an inspiration, Can't believe Patrick Moore is gone!, Rod Hull thank you for the memories. I don't mean to sound insensitive but if you didn't mention these people while they were alive then it seems a bit opportunistic to me to suddenly appear to be their biggest fans in death. Obviously there are occasions when this type of status may be acceptable. If you are known to be an admirer of a certain celebrity then by all means share your grief with your followers if it helps. You have been warned however that most people are very cynical and are probably thinking, bandwagon jumper. I know I am.
- The Moronic Current Affairs Status: eg The Syrian Crisis really has escalated out of control, David Cameron really needs to sort out the ridiculous rise in Energy Prices, Hurrah for the royal baby! etc We get it, you watch the news. That doesn't make you Jeremy Paxman. I'm fine if you are giving me extra detail I didn't know about a news story or if you have a passionate opinion about a global event based on knowledge and not someone else's opinion that you stole from someone down the pub and don't really understand. Maybe the story has affected you personally and you want to share your experience with others. This is fine. It all comes down to motivation again. Are you writing this status to appear clever or relevant? Well it's really not working.
Hey look I know I'm on my high horse here and I know I am guilty of a multitude of Facebook sins that I am trying to work on. I post far too many baby photos (it's nearly always my own baby), I'm guilty of thinking I'm much funnier than I actually am, I see any significant number of "likes" as a validation of my personality, I change my profile picture far too often in search of more likes as if it's some big popularity contest. There are others.
I just felt like I needed to get this off my chest and I know there are a lot of you that feel the same because you've told me so. If this blog stops one person from posting what the weather is like outside their window then I shall see it as a success. Just don't get me started on pictures of food.
I realize there hasn't even been a tenuous link to fashion this week (except Willys' bowtie) but we all know that's not what you come here for. I love you really. Until next time.