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5 Reasons Your Unfriended on Facebook: Social Media Etiquette
When Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes launched Facebook, in the winter of 2004, they were able to connect the world; in effect, we were able to see the chalk lines connecting the people of this world together. Whether it be your sister or your best friend or your father or your co-workers who know one (or more) of your friends who have family in another country and so on and so forth. With a simple click of a button we are offered a window into our friends lives; we accompany them through a pictorial journey of their wildest nights or most romantic vacations; we can read their status updates and understand how they are feeling; or view a map detailing where they have visited in the world. Unbeknownst, to the creators of Facebook, at the time of inception, they were creating a tangible web of people and a roadmap through the maturation of their users.
And we cannot help ourselves. We have to know what our friends our doing. We feel a need to compare our successes, our relationships and our lives to theirs and see who looks better on profile.
The most interesting people are always the ones who quietly upload vacation albums, always have the funny one liners as their status updates and who seemingly always have something interesting happening in their lives.
- "Dive bar in Hell's Kitchen. Come one, come all. Tequila shots, smiles and feeling friendly"
- "Can't beat an impromptu beach party in October. Wine out of plastic cups and dancing in the sand. Hello, Autumn!"
- "Mexico was fun. Back at work. Tan lines are just reminder of the beach I'm missing!"
- "Private dance parties are always made better with roommates and boyfriends bearing cupcakes"
- "... anyway, she looked directly at me and said, "your face looks like a melty beautiful puddle of pretty girl perfection" and then she puked on my shoes"
They are tagged in photos with people at movie premieres or have those slightly quirky photo shoots with friends in weird costumes. These completely unique people don't take themselves too seriously and all of their weird albums seem spawned from an afternoon of creative merriment. We cannot help but eat-up everything they upload and may, on occasion, find ourselves scouring their profiles for old content.
Around the hundredth photo of awesome we ask ourselves, 'why can't I be as interesting as _____________?" before shutting our laptop and eating a piece of bread, while staring longingly at the untouched butter.
Then there are those friends who we cannot stand. We love them as a person and have no problem catching a movie with them or meeting them for brunch or, even, hanging out at their apartment but - oh my god - their online persona is too much for you to handle. They seem to consistently update mildly suicidal sounding status updates over something ridiculous:
- "So few reasons to go on" re: roommate leaving dishes in the sink
- "Life is not worth it" re: finding out her boyfriend is unable to take off the weekend
- "Just want everything to end" re: missing the morning train
When they aren't updating their statuses they are uploading mildly pornographic self-shot photo albums, often times wearing several different outfits. These albums have obviously been uploaded so her/his friends can comment on their (a) looks, or (b) weight-loss, or (c) new haircut, or even (d) new possession. They become the equivalent of a massive trojan virus infecting your entire social media experience and, since they update on a minute to minute basis, they control your newsfeed.
With Facebook becoming ever dominant within the landscape of the internet it's time to take these social media leeches out, so before it gets too out of hand, send them this hub. I took the liberty of compiling five major social-media faux-pas to avoid before you cause friends to start hating you or worse ... unfriend you on Facebook.
So, let's make a promise to each other, my fellow hubbers, to take a pair of scissors and cut it the heck out.
1. Excessive Uploading of PDA
There is nothing wrong with loving your boyfriend or girlfriend but you do not need to upload four-hundred and eighteen photos of you making out with them. Who wants to see that? Do you think your friends are itching to see another album dedicated to your romantic, mildly sexual and wholly uncomfortable, trip to the beach. Or to New York. Or to the botanical gardens. Or the grocery store. We as your friends could not be happier you are happy but please stop rubbing it in our faces.
There are exceptions to this rule. I am in noway saying you cannot have a couple of photos of you and your significant other kissing scattered throughout your online photo albums but it should not have a designated album. I cannot stress enough the difference between the adorable candid shot of you and your partner kissing taken by someone else and the self-taken posed photo of you and your lover using way too much tongue, while standing next to the salsa display at the local grocer.
I had a boyfriend who uploaded a photo of us kissing he'd taken with his webcam to livejournal (back when that was a relavent form of social media) and I remember being horrified. There was no need to have something like that displayed for all his friends to see, especially when it's something I find deeply private and not for public spectacle.
So, please, if triggering your friends gag-reflex is not enough to get you to stop this awful habit than please, be reminded, future employers are known to search your online profiles [when doing background checks on applicants] and are not going to coo over you slobbering on your boyfriend.
2. Incessant Online Game Requests
The reason I do not live on a farm is because I have a black thumb and everything I touch would die, so NO I'm not interested in playing FarmVille. I am not a member of the mob because I have a burning desire not to end up in prison but also because I am very uncoordinated and would probably shoot myself in the foot, so I'm not interested in MafiaWars either. I am really happy you are having fun playing the myriad of different gaming applications Facebook has to offer but I do not want to have sixteen requests from you to join in on the fun. If I had an interest in playing, I would so stop pressuring me. This is also goes for:
- Restaurant City
- Zynga Poker
- Bejewelled Blitz
- Word Challenge
I am fully aware these gaming applications ask you to request a certain amount of friends before giving you (a) your results or (b) allow you to start playing but please, take me off the rotation. It causes me to take drastic measures, such as; blocking requests from you completely.
Are you likely to unfriend someone because of their consistently offensive comments or status updates?
3. Offensive Comments or Status Updates
I mean, seriously. None of your friends need to learn from a social media website that you are a complete douchebag, so please refrain from saying anything you would not feel comfortable saying in the presence of people. This is applies to comments concerning:
You may have no problem saying whatever you want whenever you want to type it but we have no problem unfriending you.
This is one of the cardinal rules surrounding Facebook and the one which is often trampled upon by people. There is nothing more cringeworthy than learning your friend is having a routine pap-smear or is being tested for genital warts or has been diagnosed with gonorrhoea. These intensely personal moments should be kept to yourselves or only shared with the medical practitioner you are currently seeing but not updated for your friends to share in.
Please remember that you are only actual friends with 5-10% of your friends on Facebook and the rest are acquaintances, co-workers or distant family and therefore, do not need to know you just had the best sex of your life. While you may not have a problem sharing this with your three hundred friends, they would have rather you kept it to yourself.
Please also keep the following things to yourself and off your profile:
- Anything concerning your reproductive organs, ie: updates on your period, masturbatory habits, weird itches or burning sensations
- Bodily functions, ie: anything concerning the toilet or what the bathroom you are in smells like
- Intimate details on the drunken hookup you had the previous night
Please stop the insanity. 'nuff said.
5. Requests for Donations or Money
I love the fact you are starting a new business or are participating in another charity but why are you under the impression I have any spare money to give you? I want to save the whales, the Polar icecaps, the African fire ant, the rainforest and the multitude of different endangered jungle animals but I can barely afford my own life. I live off Raman noodles and gorge on food when my parents invite me for dinner at their house.
Also, if I can't afford to donate to charity, what makes you think I can afford to buy a new vibrator, skin creme or trendy t-shirt you designed yourself. I have no problem supporting you with age old platitudes over a cheap cup of coffee but please do not treat me as a potential customer for your new business endeavour. When I receive three to five invites to launch parties for friends business ventures it makes me feel even more poor than I already am, so I spend rent money on name brand chips from the overpriced convenience store.
I just want to be your Facebook friend, so stop trying to sell me something whenever I sign into my account. I'm going to get fat. I'm going to be evicted. I'll give you an IOU for money redeemable when I make something of myself but until then, how's a pat on the back?
The creators of Facebook built a tangible web connecting the entire world together but it's completely understandable if you just cannot stand some of those people. You can search the profiles of the people you are in awe of and procrastinate by jealously clicking through their interesting photo albums, this is one of the major perks of Facebook; online stalking.
And for those people who you just cannot stand being online friends with but like them in person, there is always limited profile.