Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Grunts of Facebook

Depending on who you ask, Facebook has somewhere between 100,000,000 and 400,000,000 users. That's an awful lot of people and a true cross section of the world. This means a wide variety of usage styles and a panoply of posts. Graces use Facebook to keep in touch with people, to share interesting, witty, and relevant information and to promote business and other professional ventures. Grunts use it to broadcast inanity, obscenity, and overly personal information.

Here are Grace's Seven Deadly Sins of Facebook:

1. Boring. No Grace would ever bore her friends. Why then, do people feel entitled to spout on about their household chores? I'm not the least bit interested in my own laundry; why would I want to read about yours? Ditto what you had for breakfast, where your dog peed, and whether you are feeling energetic or lethargic at a given moment.

2. Boozing. Unlike cheese, pasta, and good company, Facebook and wine do not mix, at least not in excess. Beware of indiscreet posts; they are admissible in a court of law, not to mention the water cooler corner at work tomorrow. Do you really want your boss knowing who spent the night with you and what s/he wore?

3. Boasting. You know who you are. There is a fine line between sharing good news ("I'm so proud of my daughter, she worked really hard this semester and made the honor roll" "Leaving for vacation tomorrow-can't wait to see Paris--have been looking forward to this trip for years!") and bragging ("My son is the smartest kid in his class and doesn't even have to study. He's a chip off the old block." "Jetting off to Paris again. It will be a refreshing change from Prague, where I've been for the last month. Look for me at Chanel!").

4. Oversharing. Keep your medical information to yourself. Aside from you, your significant other and your doctor, no one needs to know the results of your Herpes test. Ditto the details of your colon surgery or your brow lift gone awry.

5. Misleading. Of course we want to put our best feet forward, but that pic from 10 years and 15 lbs ago.....come on.

6. Posting Inappropriate Content. This includes obscene, racially/ethnically charged material, the personal info of others, or just mean-spirited gossip.

7. Philandering. Ok, so there's nothing wrong with a little bit of harmless cyber-coquetry, right? Trouble is, it's a slippery slope. Marriage counselors report that Facebook was a factor in 20% of the divorce petitions filed in 2009. I'm not here to dispense marital advice, but clearly the ease of interacting on Facebook makes infidelity, at least in the emotional sense, a little too convenient seeing as shaved legs, lipstick, the buying of drinks and opening of doors are not required. If you find yourself spending more time in facebook flirtation than with your significant other, please take a long hard look at both. Signing off now to go say hello to my hubby.

If you have the misfortune to have "Friended" a FB Grunt, I highly recommend a break-up. Thank you, e-how.com

I also liked the following, a rather amusing and sardonic assessment of Facebook comments and their translations. Thank you, trueslant.com.

And finally, a BBC parody....very funny, but for those of you who eschew vulgarity, a trifle offensive. Enjoy or ignore...

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