Monday, August 03, 2009

Book 'Em

A year into the experiment, I've developed a certain appreciation for Facebook. There is something nice about being in touch, however tenuously, with so many people. Yet there's one feature that irks me to no end: the status update.

What's on your mind?

Asked of the wrong person, that simple question can be as risky as handing a microphone to a politician. A few of my friends are as witty on Facebook as they are in real life, and others are consistently interesting. By and large, though, the rest are a stultifying parade of inanity.

There's enough saccharine on Facebook to supply a Pepsi plant for a year. Some days it's like reading a rack of Hallmark cards or a Family Circus collection. After half an hour, I stagger away sweaty and jittery, my temples throbbing.

It's strange how often people post about food: what they just ate, what they're about to eat, what they wish they were eating. One friend, during a period of unemployment, passed his time making elaborate dinners and posting descriptions thereof. I thought his updates would gain interest when he found a job; alas, he turned into a human calendar: "Another week begins..."; "looking forward to a productive and quick Tuesday"; "Productive Thursday at work. Hope Friday's as good."

And then there are the ones who change their status several times a day, as if subconsciously determined to prove their lives duller than everyone else's. This is what I imagine Twitter to be like. And Hell.

Recently, as I lovingly stroked the remaining shreds of my sanity, I made a life-changing discovery: You can make a personal blacklist, secretly blocking offenders' posts from your home page. Salvation!

When I was little, my mother advised: "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." I didn't take it to heart, obviously, but that won't stop me from suggesting a paraphrased version for Facebook: If you don't have something interesting to say, sit on your hands until the urge to share has passed.


Anonymous said...

My old college roommate is one of hypnotically dull posters. She posts many times a day, and she has never once said a single thing that anyone would care to hear. "Sarah is on time for work." "Sarah is going to eat lunch at noon." "Sarah is home from work."

But you must admit that there are unintentional doozies among the bad posters. This from one of my friends: "well I finally found the love of my life Karen Mars and broke up with the psychobitch azita..... karen and I made love last night and I know she is the one." His friends list is comprised almost entirely his work colleagues. Priceless.


Verlene Visagelivre said...

I wonder what list I'm on?

Mykljak said...

I never thought Azita was right for him.

Michael Kearns said...

I have to admit, I just used your phrase "a stultifying parade of inanity" in my status update.

redgirl said...

...umm..could you explain this blacklist in more detail? As in, say, how to create one oneself?

Mykljak said...

When you see an offending post, run your cursor over it. In the upper-right corner, "Hide" will appear. Click on it.