The 1 insufferable blog about 7 ways to be insufferable on Facebook
I recently had the pleasure of reading a semi-viral blog posting about ‘how to be insufferable on Facebook’. In it the author breaks down a series of exasperating Facebook behaviours such as telling everyone inane things about your day, sharing a spiritual quote or telling everyone how much you love your partner. In essence the author makes two key points: that statuses should serve the reader and not just the author and that there are motivations behind those that only do the latter.
Let me point out two key things this author seems to have forgotten: firstly, there is motivation behind everything that every person says and does. The fact that someone posts a status with some motivational force is not worthy of their judgmental snide, it is purely a symptom of being a living organism. But sometimes that motivation isn’t directed as calculatingly as the author hypothesises – it is simply a moment of brain fart. Yes, brain fart. A brain fart is a case of thinking something and wanting to share it. “I’m happy today because of XYZ.” “I’m unhappy because of ABC.” “I just saw DEF and for whatever reason I don’t need to delve into I want to put it on Facebook.”
If an acquaintance wants to share how much they love their life, why should that be upsetting to me? If they post a photo of themselves that makes them like themselves more, why shouldn’t I just celebrate it? If somebody acknowledges that it’s raining, why should the millisecond it took for me to scroll over the brain fart in any way make me feel that I have somehow been short-changed?
The likelihood is one or some of their friends will find it interesting or relevant. The fact that you don’t find it so is your problem, not theirs.
The author of that blog would argue that the problem is the status “does not serve the reader.” No, I spose it doesn’t. It doesn’t have to. Nothing on Facebook has to entertain anybody. Why? Because it’s not a paid job. Facebook is not a collection of writers, comedians and analysts who get paid to provide calculated insights into matters of the world. Facebook is a place where everyone can offload their brain farts thereby feeling part of the human machine.
When I am tired and working late I feel better when I tell people I am doing so. There are probably many motivations behind it – people then know I have a good ethic, I might get sympathy, I might find another soul going through the same thing, and so on. But it isn’t a conscious evil plot to make someone think a certain way, it’s just a moment to break away from the hard slog and off-load my moment of existence. I don’t need to turn it into something that meets the author’s criterion of entertaining people because I’m not getting paid to write an editorial, I never promised to amuse, and anyone that doesn’t want to smell my brain fart can defriend me as they please.
The blog in question summarises thus: “People who don’t love you don’t care about you or your day or your life that much, they’re probably not especially rooting for you, and they certainly want nothing to do with your worst qualities. And you doing something purely to serve your emotional or egotistical needs really should not show up on their computer screen—it just shouldn’t.”
If the author shares no love for somebody and is also not rooting for their success, why the fuck have they added them on Facebook?
If they are so bitter, negative and bitchy about somebody’s daily existence, what the hell is their motivation for following them on Facebook in the first place? My guess is that they enjoy ‘enduring’ these ‘insufferable’ people because it makes them feel in some way superior.
To say that a person need only say things that will in some way advantage/inform/entertain them on Facebook is precisely the narcassism they so vehemently argued against in their blog.
And so I summarise thus: If you’re not mature or emotionally capable of coping with exposure to the plethora of random thoughts, observational inanities and human desires that comes with connecting with people in a social networking environment then you shouldn’t bother being on Facebook – you just shouldn’t.