But by far the most atrocious offense is taking place in the form of internet stalkerdom…specifically in the Wonderful World of Facebook. As anyone who is my friend (or at least, my Facebook friend) can tell you, I am a guru of this modern innovation of communication and creeping. To put it simply, I am the Facebook Queen. Therefore, I find it both fitting and vitally necessary that I make this Call for Change in what can only be described as a complete and utter breakdown of the respect for Self and Fellow Man.
(I was a bit torn about this title at first…thought of paying homage to my journalism roots and knocking off the SPJ Code of Ethics, but as a general rule people ignore those and make a mockery of them (or perhaps you’ve seen local news?). Therefore, I chose to use the subtle hints of Hellfire and Brimstone to scare you sober. This is serious business, people…and I ain’t kiddin, neither.)
2. Thou shalt respect The Wall. In the back of our minds we all know what walls really are; they’re an opportunity to be a smart-aleck in a public forum, thus attracting the awe and respect of one’s Peers Unknown. Therefore, there is a right way to compose a wall-post…and that is to notate a cute quip, briefly articulate an inside joke (making you seem lofty and mysterious), ask a question that subtly hints to an awesome upcoming event (ie “we still on for tonight? I can’t believe we got backstage passes...totally stoked!!!” Okay, maybe don’t say “stoked.”), or express affection in the most delicate of manners. “I miss your face” or “thanks for being you” are adequate; there is no place for “baby I luv u so much ur sooo amazing and ur so sexy and I just think ur awesome!!!!!” You write something like that on my wall and I will promptly delete it…and then absolutely never acknowledge your existence again.
3. Thou shalt not over-upload. I’m not going to sugarcoat here; I struggle with this one a lot. I actually consider myself a recovering over-uploader, which is why I feel qualified to tell you that, by and large, over-uploading makes you look like a major douchetard. This is not to say you can’t share your exciting and enviable life events with your Facebook Fellows…but unless there is an actual occurrence being documented (ie vacation, party, new manfriend, new pet), the urge to upload should be resisted. This especially applies to self-portraits; as of late I’ve seen several albums that were literally nothing but self-portraits, documenting what the posters must have erroneously assumed to be an attractive variety of thoughtful/emo/sexy facial expressions. This is bad. Do not do it.
4. Thou shalt not LOL. Pretty much self-explanatory; if you have above an 8th grade education, consider your LOL rights officially and irreversibly revoked.
5. Thou shalt not send application invites. Thou. Shalt. NOT. I don’t care if we’re blood-relatives or if we shared a foxhole in Nam…if you send me even just one of those “scarily accurate” Which Sex and the City Character are You invitations, I will deduct 72 points from your overall tolerability meter (and I’ll also click that “ignore all invites from this friend” button. I make no empty threats, my dear…I double-dog-dare you to try me).
6. Thou shalt honor thy Facebook status. Facebook statuses are gems in the world of internet stalking; if used for good, they can alert others to one’s poetic inner thoughts, or share and receive feedback on a conundrum one is battling inwardly. Used for evil, however, and statuses can once again make you look like a major douchetard. Therefore, when next updating your Facebook status, please keep these guidelines in mind:
-do not give us a play-by-play of your routine events (ie “Joe the Plumber is going to the store,” then “Joe the Plumber is deciding what chips to buy,” then “Joe the plumber decided what chips to buy and is now deciding what dip to buy.”) ←if you’re guilty of this you most likely own an iPhone…and as you’re using said minirobot to commit Facebook blasphemy, you should probably just give the little stumbling block to me. It’s like your iPhone is the ring and I’m Frodo (and you can be Gollum, I guess); I can handle the pressure of Power and Greatness. You, unfortunately, cannot.
-use the third-person. Nothing makes you look like more of a tool than a status that says “Joe the Plumber thinks Texas is my favorite football team” (actually, that makes you look like a tool for a variety of reasons).
-periodically LOOK AT your page. If it’s covered with big black “Joe the Plumber is” statements, then chances are you’re updating too much…and chances are also good that you’ve been verbally ridiculed and later defriended because of this on none-too-few occasions. Truth hurts, don’t it?
-try very, very hard not to get all emo with your statuses. "Joe the plumber is struggling"?? d-o-u-c-h-e-t-a-r-d. The only acceptable emo-status comes in the form of "Joe the plumber is." Go beyond that, and you're officially a sissy-weepy-gurly-man (or woman).
7. Thou shalt not be an over-sharer. Via status, via photos, via wall-posts…don’t become a victim of Facebook TMI. As a general rule, we don’t want to know. And absolutely never, everevereverever over-share someone else’s information! A person’s Facebook is probably their most treasured tool of personal BS (ahem, I mean PR); keep that in mind the next time you go to write “hey so I saw you called me 9 times last night…sorry to hear Josh dumped you again!!! Btw, how’s your rash?” on somebody’s wall.
8. Thou shalt relish thy tagging rights. As the proprietor of Facebook photos and videos, it is your Internet-God-given right to tag said media. However, please think twice prior to tagging your friends in socially deconstructive images…although it is your aforementioned right to do so, it is also your friends’ right to never speak to you again afterwards (and to tell sexy singles that you’re a eunuch). Also, once a picture has been detagged, A) don’t tag it back and B) don’t get pissy. People do not untag themselves in your pictures as a personal offense to you; they do so because they’ve decided the photos make them look fat/uncomfortable/drunk/gay. So man up and get over it.
9. Thou shalt resist the random friend-request. For reasons I won’t divulge, this is not a hard-and-fast rule. However, the quickest way to look like a Creepster is to add someone you do not know, so I suggest withstanding the temptation. Enjoy your stalkie’s profile from a safely anonymous distance…that is, unless you stumble across your own homegrown local version of Heath Ledger. Aaand moving on.
10. Thou shalt know the power of the relationship status. We’ve all made the joke that “it’s not official until it’s on Facebook.” And the funniest thing about that joke is that it’s not a joke at all…in Facebook terms, it is Absolute Truth. Therefore, do not change your status unless you’re ready for the onslaught of nosy “OMG, I need details!!!” feedback…and absolutely NEVER change your status before first discussing it with your belle/beau. Changing a status prior to holding a DTR with your significant other (especially if the status is going from “in a relationship” to “single”) is the epitomic definition of t-r-a-s-h-y. So I pray you, do not do it. Oh, and it my personal opinion that there is no real place for “in an open relationship” and/or “it’s complicated.” Here Facebook is being an enabler for TMI over-sharers. Either you’re in a relationship or you’re not, and knowing anything beyond that makes me (and countless others) remarkably uncomfortable.
And there you have it, folks: the Top 10 Most Unforgivable Facebook Faux Pas. I could have gone on (and on, and on)…but I figure if God feels Man is incapable of obeying more than 10 rules, then I’d better stick to a similar format (plus, to be honest with you I’m kind of bored of this project). If you come across a quandary not addressed in the 10 Commandments above, don’t hesitate to Facebook me with your question; you can even random-friend-request me if you like. Just make sure you say vague and complimentary things on my wall…and absolutely do not tag me in those pictures from City Walk. You do, and mark my word: the God of Facebook will lay Her vengeance upon thee.