The status update. For better or worse, it has become the single-most effective way to relay information, thoughts, or feelings to every person you know and care about all at the same time. This kind of connectivity was beyond the realms of even sci-fi literature no more than 50 years ago; today, it is a part of our everyday reality. Grandparents across the globe have been floored by this technology and still require that their grandchildren help them to sign in.
None will argue that Facebook’s ability to connect people in this way is anything less than extraordinary, but it seems many people have conflicting views as to what we should deem “acceptable use” of this newfound power.
Listed below are 5 cringe-worthy pitfalls that I see time and time again from sober people that you would do well to avoid. (Posting under the influence should be universally recognized as a horrible idea, it seems redundant to list it here.)
1. The TMI (Too Much Information)
So many parts of this post could’ve simply been left to the readers imagination. If I had been standing over her shoulder the moment the poster started publicly divulging specifics about the skeletons in her closet I would have slammed the delete key so hard my finger would’ve shattered through her laptop. They make diaries for a reason, and when information like this just cannot be contained in your own mind, that’s when you know it’s time to pick up a pen and start scribbling in one. This is actually more of a hybrid status because it segues perfectly into our next pitfall…
2. The Pity Post
Life gets hard sometimes. We all know that. But one thing we don’t want to do when we’re in a funk is bring our cloud of depression over the heads of our friends and family to shower them in its infectious sadness. Again, a journal is a great place to start when expressing oneself to help vent feelings of frustration or misery, perhaps you could even pick up the phone and call a trusted loved one and vent within the privacy of your cell signal. Whatever your preferred method, when you log into Facebook and the status bar asks “How are you feeling, [your name here]?” try to avoid being 100% honest with it.
3. The Rant Directed At One Person
Text message. Facebook chat. In person. I have just listed 3 platforms where that content would be much better suited than in a public status update. The irony of the post above is that it starts out with a bit of level-headed thinking: “some things are just not supposed to be for the public”, and then continues into a veritable train wreck of words, threats, and accusations, all directed at one person, none of which are meant for the public eye. Heaping more irony onto the existing irony, the poster ends her tirade by telling her victim “u r only making urself look like a complete fool.” He’s not alone in that endeavor, honey.
4. The “I’m Unstoppable” Pump Up Speech
I need a motivational speech every now and again just as much as the next guy. Sometimes before a big assignment or project I’ll pump myself up by slamming a Red Bull and reminding myself that I’m a smart, capable, person and I can do whatever it is that is required of me. However, the last thing I would ever do to get my motivational charge is attend a family gathering or high school reunion and stand on a table shouting at the top of my lungs how awesome I am. Unfortunately for the poster of this particular status, that’s essentially what he’s done. When you feel that a simple “feeling motivated today!” won’t suffice and you begin writing a pump up monologue that extends two, three, maybe five lines long, that’s your cue to karate chop your laptop shut, bump the Rocky theme in your earbuds and head to the nearest speed bag for an hour or two until you can cool off and start posting acceptable content once again.
5. The Grammar Genocide
Unless you’re a Navajo Windtalker relaying battleship bombardment strategies during World War 2, you have no right to be posting status updates laced so heavily with encrypted spelling, confusing slang, or speech atrocities. Not only should you spell properly for your own dignity and respect for your language, but also do it in case any extraterrestrial beings consider contacting us; we can only pray they don’t immediately change their mind when phrases like “ain’t noone duz” are drilling into the root canal of their psyche.