I Am The Facebook Superstar. Hear Me Whine

by Bill Brenner on July 23, 2011

This statement, which made the rounds awhile back, is deadly accurate when it comes to how we all behave on Facebook:

“Welcome to Facebook. Where love stories are perfect, shit talkers tell the truth, everyone brags they have the perfect life and claim to be in love with their partners. Where your enemies are the ones who visit your profile the most, your ex-friends and family block you, your ex-lover unfriends you. Where you post something and people interpret whatever the hell they want.”

When we de-friend someone on Facebook, our motives are always pure:

–Someone may post too much stuff (I’m fairly sure this is the reason when someone nixes me, though I don’t care. I do what I do. You either get something from it or you don’t).

–Someone may complain about their job constantly.

–Someone may go on constantly about how sad they are.

–Someone may go on about how cool they are.

–Someone may trade love notes with their significant others in sickly sweet fashion.

Easy come, easy go.

It’s funny, the things that offend us in the world of social media. The funniest part is that we usually do the very same things that others did to offend us in the first place.

On Facebook and Twitter, we all have the chance to get our 15 minutes of fame in ways we could only dream about a decade ago. We all have a podium and we can say whatever the hell we want.

Some would say this is the beginning of something bad; some severe downgrading of the human race.

I don’t see it that way.

Do people annoy me on here? Sure. Just like I’m sure I annoy people.

I have an honor code I try to live by, but I’m a writer and I have a machine in place to proliferate what I write. I figure why write a public blog if no one’s going to read it? That would be a stupid waste of time. So I get the stuff out there.

Those who feel overwhelmed or offended are free to de-friend me or block my posts from showing up in their main news feed. I’m not offended. You have all the choice you want on here: Friend someone and be interested in what they post, or be uninterested and walk away.

It’s very simple, really.

If someone complains about their job, more power to them. I personally think it’s a stupid idea, because current or potential employers will inevitably see your whining and that’s pretty career limiting. I recently warned one friend — a good friend — against doing it. But he’s free to keep doing it.

If people get sickly sweet on Facebook, we all have the right to tell them to find a hotel room.

If someone feels relief from posting updates on how sad or empty they are, I’m fine with it if it helps them feel better. And if I disconnect from them, they still get to do what they need to be sane and I get to leave their room if I don’t like it.

At one point, I had to admit that my obsessive-compulsive demons were latching onto the Facebook friend count, and that each loss of a connection felt like a personal blow. My mind would spin endlessly about why someone felt the need to disconnect from me. Was it something offensive I did? Did I hurt someone or come off as a fake?

But I’ve come to see that sometimes it’s the right thing for a person to do.  This blog covers a lot of heavy stuff. A lot of people have become daily readers and tell me my openness has inspired them to deal with their own issues. But for others, especially those with a lot of pain in their lives, every post is going to feel like a baseball bat to the head.

Then there’s the heavy volume of content that flows down my news feed, which can dominate the news feeds of people with a smaller number of connections.

I admit it: I can be very hard to live with in the House of Facebook. I’m the loud obnoxious guy who hogs the dinner table conversation.

But some of you are hard to live with, too.

I love most of you anyway. Because as dysfunctional as you are, you’re still family. Sort of.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Coy July 23, 2011 at 8:29 am

LOL….oh, yes, Facebook…it is a bit ridiculous how seriously we take this virtual tell all page…and, yes, sometimes we forget that we are basically splattering our insides out all over the internet with a very huge audience, friended or not. What you put here, stays here. The delete button is a mirage. I admit that Facebook has been my personal crying towel when I needed it to be, and that I am probably not so popular because I am sick, and depressed. At first, my status would say something like: couldn’t make it back from the mailbox today…wtf…or I would post a pic of my new, shiny wheelchair….does that make me an attention seeker? Am I not supposed to mention the fact that I became disabled two years ago with no diagnosis, and I’m going out of my fucking mind?? LOL…in truth, no one really wants to hear that shit. I tend to stick to obnoxious inside jokes or song lyrics for my status updates now. My wife and I sit on the couch at night watching tv, and coming up with sarcastic bullshit, and I will say….”oh, oh, put that on facebook….ppplllllleeeaaassseee!!!!” Sometimes its really funny stuff, but most people wouldn’t have any idea what the hell we are talking about, and that’s okay by me. I write as well, and it does help me with my own demons…., but it’s not usually talk about how short life is, and stopping to smell the roses. Long before I became disabled, I was depressed….since utero, I believe, and the only times I could not write were when I was not depressed. I am depressed, that is why God/dess made medication, and I am disabled…oh fucking well…it happens, and other people are way worse off than I am, and I feel for them. I try to keep my private moments private now. The only other person who really knows what goes on with me is my wife, and thankfully she is patient and loving, and that makes me a very lucky person. What? Too sappy for you? Oh, fuck off then…..yeah, I said it, not gonna delete it, and if you can’t take a joke….un-friend me. 😉 Laura

nanjcsy August 27, 2011 at 4:34 am

I felt so elite and above board because I never flamed like “others”. I would shake my head watching the ranting wondering how much blood pressure was being raised. Then someone made some offensive and ignorant statements about autism, abuse,etc. I went nutty and spent two hours in my own little flame war. The more I typed the more upset I became.
After I got off line I started to laugh at myself. Well, my only bottom I have not hit now is gaming. You know what they say, never say never. What is it about this place that makes us all revisit the sandbox? LOL

Teresa October 3, 2011 at 9:47 am

Having been around message boards and blogs since the mid 90’s, I’ve gotten past the flame war thing. Every once in a while someone will post a comment somewhere that makes my fingers itch to post the “tart rejoinder”, but I am much better at passing it up now since no good ever comes of those things.

I stick with facebook only to keep up with some good friends who have moved to that forum. The recent changes to FB have me wondering if I want to continue with it, but that’s another story.

Therefore I try very hard to make my own posts (which I send through twitter) very light and hopefully of a nature to make people smile if not laugh. I like to laugh – as often as possible. I’m sure I drive some people nuts, but there it is. I also do not look at my friend count. As I type this, I couldn’t tell you how many friends I have on fb just that the number is less than 200 which I vaguely remember from the last time someone asked me directly. So if someone drops me I generally find out by accident. I would only worry if everyone suddenly dropped me, since that hasn’t happened, I guess I haven’t mortally offended the entire world and that’s good. 😉

Audrey Clark September 30, 2012 at 11:29 am

great article Bil-Facebook is an odd outlet-shameless self promotion-we all do it-to some extent-But i like reading about/keeping in touch w/ old friends(and new ones)….and music…Im hoping ill be turned onto new stuff-and i am-I love posting music(although noone really listens)-ya never know-maybe i get to turn on someone to something new.Mostly-i have me people like….YOU!Thats the best part of facebook….

Donna September 15, 2014 at 11:08 am

Thanks Bill. Some of us go away for a while and come back. I’ve never seen you as ‘loud and obnoxious.’ Insightful, I think. I’ll add this to your facebook critique: Some of us who have dodged certain people (including relatives) have been discovered and friended. For those of us who are polite and don’t necessarily want to be disowned, we change our postings and opinions. This may sound hypocritical, but I’ve also never gone to a Thanksgiving dinner and discussed religion or politics when I knew there were people present who would disagree with me strongly. And when some insist on rattling my cage, I just roll my eyes. lol

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