I post, therefore I am….attention hungry? Lonely? A salivating narcissist?
In 2015, bad Facebook posts dot and cheapen the digital landscape with more of a presence than ever before, leaving the floor of the great futility factory rife with yet more emotional grime. And much like death, taxes, or a prolific sperm donor, they keep coming. Every day, a great deal of information that would be infinitely better privately e-mailed or spoken directly to the intended parties, or never communicated at all is, instead, posted.
When considering what motivates people that overshare and often attack, the usual suspects come to mind: need for attention, loneliness, malice, compassion erosion, common sense bankruptcy. For classification purposes, I’ve cobbled together these rough acronyms. Here are the lowest, I mean top five…
(Assumption of Universal Interest Brag Post)
“Hey everyone, I finally reached my weight-loss goal! 135 pounds, baby! Cue “Eye of The Tiger’ bitches, because Survivor is cranking it OUT on my IPod right now. I have risen up and I am back on my FEET. Check out my before and afters! And a shoutout to Cindy my amazing trainer. I could NOT have done this without you! Frozen vegetables sautéed in garlic and almond milk chocolate pudding, we did it!”
Am I knocking this person’s joy? Not in the least. If I were this poster’s friend and received the content in this post as an e-mail, I’d be excited for his/her accomplishment and laugh at the adorably pumped-up enthusiasm. Yet distributed publicly, the same words come across as off-putting, masturbatory gloating.
Caveat: It’s a jealous world and the sad truth is not everyone is happy for you when you achieve something especially if they haven’t. Consider heeding the wise words of Eddie Murphy’s immortal Buckwheat and don’t go wookin pa nub (or props) in all the wrong places. Save the joy for your closest friends.
(Too Much Boring Information) Post. aka Overshare, Don’t Care
“I just had THE BEST scrambled eggs and bacon at the new diner that opened up in my neighborhood. Check out those crispy edges! Are you drooling yet?”
To be fair, the love of bacon is so widespread that many might actually be interested in reading a testimonial, but I digress. If you need attention this badly and can’t get it or get enough any other way, this is perhaps the saddest foundational structure of all behind Facebook’s global popularity.
The question: how many people have been psychologically blowjobbed as children into a false sense of entitlement by idolatrous parents or so warped by neglect that posting into the spiritual wind feels like comfort by comparison?
(Triple Hybrid Emotional Status Update Breakup Post)
A poem: Your ex. He’s an asshole, she’s a bitch, etc. It could be what you say is true, but when you post a scathing note, who looks like the bad guy? Unfortunately, you. The temptation here is understandable, but when has this option ever ended well?
(In Outrageously Poor Taste) Post
Don’t listen to me. Take it from Grumpy Cat: NO. Even when done in irony, selfies in front of say, a building that collapsed and killed people won’t win you a lot of friends.
(The Humiliation And Bullying) Posts
From parents who shame their children online, to the self-appointed posterarazzi who sneak-record strangers breaking up, to the teenage charmers who splatter abuse onto the Facebook page of a target they drove to suicide postmortem, no other post type paints a more painfully comprehensive and repulsive picture of the dark side of human nature.
Ultimately, social forums both digital and non, are only as good or bad as the quality of the behavior shown within them. Privacy may be dead, but common sense, compassion and plain decency don’t have to be.