Facebook Rules!

Do you like me? Do you really, REALLY like me?

The other day I read a great post by blogger and author, Tim Venable about why he shut down his Facebook account. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest it. Tim’s realization of the version or representation that we create of ourselves on Facebook brought with it an understanding that, well…

It’s not real.

Not all the time anyway. And the need for validation and the brief stamp of approval we may receive through Facebook is fleeting and impermanent. I think he says it best when he writes, “…the messages we receive, the comments on our comments on our comments, the pictures we see, are all part of the air we breathe, and it doesn’t sustain us.” He says a lot of other deep and profound things on his post, so hop over there and read it, because I can’t do it justice.

Am I quitting Facebook anytime soon? I don’t think so. But I do recognize that I am extremely “needy” when it comes to Facebook. I find myself relying on it to ease boredom, as a quick news source (Hurricane Sandy) but more so to hear that other people agree with me and that I am not alone in my thoughts.

And that they like me. That they really, really like me.

These are some embarrassing admissions about my relationship with Facebook.

1) I really like when people like my posts. I am so insecure about it that sometimes, when nobody likes my post after some time, I will delete it, because seeing it up there, all alone, makes me feel like it’s sitting in the high school cafeteria at a table all by itself.

2) I notice when I have not heard from certain friends in a LONG time, but I still see them commenting or liking other people’s posts. I know that this surely indicates some level of OCD on my part, but it also leaves me with a strong suspicion that they have hidden me from their news feed.

Yeah, that’s right. I am ON to you.

3) I sometimes accept friend requests from people who I am not crazy about. Like this girl in high school who used to be really mean to me. I don’t know if it’s because I believe that you should keep your friends close, and your enemies closer (which is why I follow Ann Coulter’s twitter feed), or just the fact that I still have a hard time saying “no” to people.

So you see, I recognize that my relationship with Facebook may be less than “healthy” at this point. Plus the shield of our computer screens give us so much more license to say something to someone that we wouldn’t normally say to their face. I have gotten into passive/aggressive arguments on Facebook because it’s just so darn easy to tell someone why you think they are wrong in a little comment section before pressing the “Enter” button.

Without ever having to look them in the eye.

Knowing that Facebook can be a minefield though – and an incredibly vulnerable one at that (you are typing into a world that can be seen by many FOREVER. Screenshots are not that hard to take and send to others even if you hit “delete”), here are some of the top suggestions I have to navigate gracefully through Facebook.

Rule #1 - Don’t use Facebook to tell us the weather. Things like, “The hurricane is coming. Preparing as fast as we can!” is one thing. But telling me it’s sunny outside is just silly. I have a window. If you are far away, your friends can find out by checking weather.com.

If they care.

Rule #2 – Don’t use Facebook to bitch about life. ALL THE TIME. It’s one thing to let your friends and family know you are stuck in traffic. Again. But if it happens everyday, just find a decent song on the radio and chill the fuck out. We don’t need you to text us another picture of the Interstate.

Rule #3 - Don’t use passive/aggressive/inflammatory remarks in your status field. When you say something like, “I HATE when someone says they’re your friend and then goes and stabs you in the back. You know who you are!” Well, that’s just asinine. And don’t get me wrong, I did something like this to a friend two years ago in my blog and it was just mean. And I regret it. Deeply. And I probably looked like a real asshole, because I was.

So just don’t do it, because it kind of makes you look like a real jerk. And anyone close to you knows exactly who the friend is so just pick up the freaking phone and call them or shut the hell up and don’t say anything.

Rule #4 - Don’t Facebook after having had too much to drink/popping an Ambien/or the combination of both. Nothing good will come of this. Nothing. It may not even come out in English, so God knows what the fuck you’re gonna say.

Rule #5 - Don’t tag your friends on Facebook in pictures where they look like ass. I know that your complexion is glowing and you look really skinny in it and all that, but for the love of God, people! Be nice. Don’t tag them. And if the picture is REALLY bad, don’t put it on Facebook – I don’t care how hot you look in it. Photoshop them out or find a picture where you might look a little less hot, but everybody is decent.

Rule #6 - Don’t say anything on Facebook that will make people think you are bat-shit crazy. As Tim explains in his blog, one of the breaking points for him with Facebook came when a stalker-ish Facebook friend told him she “…hoped he got cancer.” Like me, I am sure you are gasping.

“WHAT!!!???” Who would say such a thing?

In which case, I might respond that this was an obvious case of someone breaking Rule #4 (Alcohol/Ambien/Both) above or the person is bat-shit crazy.

And trust me, Facebook is full of people who are bat-shit crazy.

Rule #7 – Don’t be everybody’s savior. It’s good if you have a cause. A passion. I have been there. But just because somebody writes an anti-Romney or anti-Obama post, you don’t have to respond back EVERY time. It is also not your responsibility to interject in cases when it becomes clear that a person whom you are “friends” with is an asshole (racist, sexist, ridiculously ignorant). Just be calm, cool and press “Unfriend.”

Rule #8 - Don’t get into family feuds on Facebook. Oh man, these are just bad. And friends, I have erred. Oh boy. One of my worst Facebook performances to date. A couple of months ago, one of my uncles said something mean about another one of my uncles and I of course, I HAD to jump in, fully violating Rule # 7. The whole thing totally blew out of proportion. Finally, the uncle who had started the insults tried to inbox me.

Don’t let Facebook create any awkward moments over samosas. Not worth it.

First message comes bad mouthing my other uncle again.

My response: “I can’t hear you.” Send.

Second message appears. Same thing.

My response. “I’m not listening. I can’t hear you!” Send.

Then I unfriended him.

Now, I know that my responses here were less than mature. I am going to see this uncle again. And again. I may live in Virginia and he may live in New Jersey, but we shall meet, perhaps across a buffet table at an Indian party and have to have an awkward conversation over the samosas.

Which is why it is critical that you always abide by Rule #7.

And never, ever, EVER break Rule #4 and Rule #7 at the same time. The combination of the two can lead to irreparable Facebook damage.

Rule #9 – Don’t get all political up in my Facebook grill, yo.I probably know which candidate you support. And it’s nice that you are passionate about the electoral process and America being one nation, yada, yada. But when you have to shit talk about the candidate you don’t support EVERY freaking day, it makes me not like you. Even if we support the same candidate. And, even though we might still be “friends” on Facebook, you will always annoy me just a little bit and I will always think you are a closed-minded donkey.

Or elephant.

You know who they are. They know who they are. Delete. Delete. Delete.

Rule #10 – If you suspect someone else of being bat-shit crazy (see Rule #6), unfriend. Now, given everything I have admitted over the course of this post, I am expecting a few “unfriends” myself. But like, here is an example. A guy Facebook friended me. No biggie. He was married, cute wife, cute kids. Pretty safe, right? But EVERY time I would get on Facebook, he would chat me within the first two minutes. Like he was waiting. Ewww. And so I “unfriended” him and within three minutes received an inbox asking me why I “unfriended” him.

Which is weird, right?

So get the crazies off. You don’t want them seeing pictures of your kids and know that your are stuck in traffic again on the Interstate.

Rule #11 - Don’t post the a new version of the SAME picture of yourself regularly of you staring sultrily into the camera. I don’t get it. If you are female, is it to show us a new lipstick shade you are trying out? A new t-shirt? I don’t know how it’s any different than the picture you posted yesterday of you staring sultrily into the camera. Because they all look exactly the same. Yes, your cleavage looks really good in the picture. Check. Your hair looks nice. Check.

Girlfriend, you’re hot. We got it.

Move on.

If you are a guy. Stop posting gratuitous shots of you topless, looking for creative ways to show us you work out. Same thing. We know you are not the dorky guy you were in high school and you have great abs now. Now, go show someone who cares.

*************************************************************

So friends, for now, this is where I will leave you today. I know that this list can go on and on and on and on. But I know blog posts can only be so long and I probably lost you (if I ever had you) somewhere around Rule #3.

If you have any suggestions for additional things that drive you INSANE on Facebook, please leave them in the comments below!

Kiran

30 Responses to Facebook Rules!

  • A few of my pet peeves (in addition to several from your list):
    1. Countdowns to wedding days/due dates. I really don’t need an update of this, even if I am attending the wedding. I’m only going to care when it’s my wedding and even then, I won’t be counting down every day until there’s about five days left.
    2. “My gf/bf/husband/wife is the greatest ever!” posts all the time. Better than complaining about the other person, for sure, but after a while, it sounds like you want the world to know how great you have it rather than the other person to know how much you appreciate them.
    3. Posting ignorant stuff, especially of a political nature. It’s not just bashing the other candidate; it’s posting things that are rife with logical failings, are intentionally misleading, or twist the other side’s statements into something ludicrously far from what was intended and then making fun of it.
    4. Related to #3 is the absence of being polite on facebook and knowing how to debate calmly. Facts and logic can be great friends if we let them. Flying off the handle, even if the issue at hand is close to your heart, solves nothing.

    • Masala Chica says:

      Thanks, Ness. Those are all pretty spot on. I also hate the “my significant other is the best ever” posts beceause I don’t do that about John and then it makes me wonder – am I a bad wife? Should I be bragging more about him on Facebook? Wouldn’t it just be easier if I was nice to him and said thank you more instead of announcing it to the world?

  • The family one is the worst in my opinion. How many times do I see a husband and wife being passive aggressive towards each other publicly on Facebook? So unclassy.

    • Masala Chica says:

      Laura – the family one is definitely the worst, which is why I am so embarrassed that I acted like a 5 year old when getting involved in a family rift on Facebook. Ok, maybe not 5. More like so 4th grade.

      So unclassy.
      Kiran

  • Alison
    Twitter:
    says:

    Oh Facebook. I have a love/ hate relationship with it. Mostly with its users. Some days, I want to scream at people on Facebook.

    Okay my pet peeves (you really want me to go there? Too late, going there):
    1. I ate for lunch! WHO CARES?
    2. Numerous pictures of your dog lying around. And captions that make it sound like you’re a new mom swooning over your baby. People, it’s an animal. A loving, adorable animal that’s part of the family yes, but, an animal.
    3. Constant updates on whatever sports game is being aired on TV. Shut. Up.
    4. 752 pictures of you in a club. Every week. With the same people. *yawn*
    5. Blurry pictures. EDIT people, edit.
    6. PIctures with NO CAPTIONS, especially vacation pictures. Am I supposed to know which beach you’re tanning yourself on?
    7. 376 pictures of the hotel room/ resort you’re staying in. Okay, I get it, you’re on vacation.
    8. Stupid comments on pictures like “well done” when someone has a baby. She just birthed a child, not submitted a project on time. Asshats.
    9. Stupid comments on baby pictures like, “Big eyes!” – it’s a very Asian thing, they’re obsessed with what is perceived to be preferred ‘Caucasian’ features of ‘big eyes’ and ‘light hair’.

    OMG I should write a blog post about this!

    • The Bride says:

      I have just discovered this blog and been lurking for about a week but had to comment on this comment because #9 made me smile. I’m Indian, live in Hong Kong and gave birth to two babies here. Pretty much the first thing the midwives said when my baby popped out (and I mean literally popped out) was “big eyes!” (In Cantonese; in my post-delivery delirium I was very proud to have understood two Cantonese words). And a lot of our baby photos of FB get the “big eyes” comment. I find it endearing though.

      • Masala Chica says:

        I am so glad you commented! It’s funny, one of my best friends is Korean and when the oldest sister got married to an Italian, the family always called him “Round Eye.” They probably will also comment on your baby’s lids as well ;-) If you have not lurked on Alison’s blog – go find her at writingwishing.com – she is great! So glad you stopped by.

    • Masala Chica says:

      Um, wait. Alison. I am pretty sure you just did ;-) Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone, just copy and paste this over and you’ve got your next post!

      I love your use of the word Asshats. I can’t stand the club pictures because they make me jealous that I usually spend my Saturday nights home in my pajamas after the kids go to bed, and you know.

      Blog. ;-)

  • Nish says:

    Funniest blog post. Had a good laugh.

  • Venassa
    Twitter:
    says:

    I’m glad that I don’t really do any of these things. I’m just guilty for fishing for baby compliments all the time. I just want everyone to love my baby!

    Oh and I’ve totally done #1 once or twice.

    • Masala Chica says:

      Venassa – I posted a cute little picture of Nico in his fireman’s costume last night and not one person checked “like” – this further confirms my theory that I have been hidden because how can you not click like on little Nico dressed as a fireman?!!

      In regars to not having done any of these things, thank you for proving there are stable people in this world.

      More stable than me anyway ;-)
      Kiran

  • Ash says:

    I think you can often tell I have a love/hate w/ FB and my activity is either really on, or really off. It’s pretty ON lately and that bothers me. But then I see that 50+ people “like” my girl as Strawberry Shortcake or 100+ people who I never even knew looked at my page “liked” my anniversary day/wedding photo (woo hoo, look at me go and alllllll my “firends”, yo!) and I am like, ok, people dig me and they want to see my crap. Then I get grief when I go MIA for a bit. It’s all so emotionally confusing, you darn FB, you. But! If it weren’t for FB I wouldn’t really “know” you or know of Declan………………. things like that make me so grateful.

    Top pet peeves from posters: the mom who can “never get anything done… I am so behind, so busy, this house is so messy!!!” Get the eff off FB dumbass. Come on.

    And the other, “hey, look at my WOD (Crossfit people)” and “wow, what a great 12 mile run!!” As a former runner and workout guru, I get it. Be proud. But truly, it just makes me feel lame, lazy, unmotivated and like crap. So I go dig out some M&Ms and a Diet Coke and go back to looking at their recent marathon photos.

    Hmph.

    • Masala Chica says:

      What the hell is a WOD? Ok – later conversation.

      Yeah those women really need to get the eff of Facebook. My house is a mess and I am always behind, but I just ignore that and stay on Facebook anyway. As long as you don’t complain about it in your status, it’s ok!! ;-)

      Yeah – all my fit friends on this thing give me a total complex. And rather than inspire me to go for a run, it makes me want to pour a nice Chardonnay and remind myself how awesome my quads once looked.

      (BTW – that was a pretty hot wedding picture of you guys. Kind of hard to miss it).

      And I am glad you are on it too because I am happy to count you as a friend because of this crazy thing called FB!

  • Ash says:

    My other pet peeve? All my typos – MINE – in my posts or captions because I have short stubby fingers and blame my iPhone for all issues. I do have a brain in here somewhere…………………………….. I would also like your blog comment field to have spell check. Sigh. See entry and exhibit A above.

    Your FIREND~
    Ashli

  • Masala Chica says:

    What a great term – “Vaguebooking.” My sister in law doesn’t like my family very much and every time she posts something like, “Why do SOME people have to be so mean!? Just sayin” or “Why are SOME people so darn crazy?! Just sayin” I usually know right away that she has spoken to someone in my family.

    Thanks for stopping by Sue, will be on my way over soon!
    Kiran

  • Masala Chica says:

    Yeah – you have short stubby fingers. That go right along with your short stubby legs, right. Girl you are one of the leanest people I know. Next time I see you we are going to see whose fingers are stubbier, ok?

    I will work on the spell check. Promise!!
    Kiran

    • Ash says:

      WOD… I think that’s what the CrossFit freaks, I mean badasses (because they are — my sister did it, couldn’t be prouder of her) calls their “workout of the day”. Guess it should be WOTD? Or WOOTD? Woot! (Oh — I hate “woot” on FB, too. Where/when did that become fun and cool and what rock as I under? It’s cute. But I can’t bring myself to use it.)

      Seriously, bad hands. Bad fingers. Gawd-awful nails. If I could manicure and Shellac everyday with a Parafin moisture treatment for these dry, peeling nappy hands, I would.

      And I never CrossFitted (is that a word?).
      Woot.

  • JCD says:

    This CRACKED me up… CRACKED me up! Hahaha. I actually had someone defriend me because they heard I said they seemed like a train wreck (based purely on FB posts) – an example? “Good God, help me, my husband is trying to break his way back in to our house after I threw him out because he threatened me and scared our kids.” Really, crazy? Maybe you should be calling 911 vs. putting up a FB post? Now I am a little sad that she blocked me though because I found the posts rather interesting!
    I think a rule should be – Don’t post pictures of other people’s kids without asking. Seems odd, but really, do I want someone standing on the corner handing pictures of my kids out? No. That’s what posting them to FB with no controls is akin to.
    I am not going to lie though – if everyone follows the rules, FB wouldn’t be nearly as amusing :)

    • Masala Chica says:

      One of my friends from high school – one of my besties – refuses to join. And I am so sad because she has NO idea what she is missing. But she is really paranoid about the whole kids and pictures thing. In addition to the crazy person who defriended you, i really don’t like when people write their statuses in ALL CAPS. IT SCARES ME AND MAKES ME FEEL THREATENED.
      :-)
      Kiran

  • Anita R says:

    Right! You are hilarious. Loved this blog post and I thought you pretty much nailed it every which way. (still smiling)

  • Uma Ramesh says:

    This is a great post. Unfortunately I could relate to a LOT of the items above:( I thought I was better than that! Maybe I will stay away from FB for a while. But wait, what if no one misses me? This is all sooo confusing. It was easier going through life thinking everyone loved you!!

    • Masala Chica says:

      Uma – of course they like you! And trust me, I do some of those without meaning to, but don’t worry, we can always try our best tomorrow.

      (And yes, your friends will miss you!)
      Kiran

  • Nupur Mehra says:

    Ha ha… very cute Post.. I could not stop myself reading even the comments, all of ‘em.. And yes, the post is cute since it seems to be coming out from a jovial person and not a sarcastic one ;)

    • Masala Chica says:

      Thanks, Nupur. I am “relatively” jovial. I am sure I missed some other rules that should not be broken in my haste to write the post, but I am sure people will remind me of other offenses :-)
      Kiran

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MEET KIRAN
I'm Kiran, I'm a dreamer. A writer. A singer. A mother. An ugly crier. An Indian-American. Who loves Gandhi. My stories are full of truth that is sometimes hard for me to say out loud. This blog is where I overcome my fears and live (and love) out loud. Read More....
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