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What Facebook Can Teach Us About Our Friends

Updated on April 23, 2013

How Well Do We Really Know Our Friends?

Remember the people who you grew up with or went to school with? The ones who you consider to be your close friends, your regular friends, or even your distant friends.

Whatever the case, you probably think you know them pretty well, otherwise you wouldn't be friends with them, would you?

At least, you thought you knew them well.

  • Until you came across their explicit, below-the-belt, annoying, or TMI status updates all over Facebook.

You cover your mouth with your hand, your eyes widen and you think to yourself, Did "so and so" really just say that?!

Has this ever happened to you?

Status Updates That Make Us Cringe

We think we know our friends until that moment when their update pops onto our Facebook wall.

Refreshing the page doesn't help. Neither does scrolling up and down to check if you made a mistake.

They really did just say that.

It's right there in black and white; there's no way to deny it.

What am I talking about?

I'm talking about those updates which make you think twice about being friends with this person.

Something along the lines of:

  • A racist joke
  • A sexist remark
  • An attacking phrase on someone specific who you may or may not know
  • A religious rant
  • A highly controversial political opinion

If Facebook has taught me anything, it's that you don't air your opinions on religion and politics.

People have a way of blowing these types of topics out of proportion and attacking others for their viewpoints.

Friends and Family Who "Like" Things...

Facebook has added a new feature which lets you see posts that your friends or family have "liked". It's displayed on your wall the same way that a status update is.

I've been horrified to find things on there that people I know have "liked".

This includes "liking":

  • Animal abuse pictures
  • Human torture pictures
  • A politically incorrect quote

I have a huge problem with this because I don't see the point.

We're bombarded with feed on our Facebook wall everyday. People asking us to "like" this post or status, and if we ignore it then we're considered evil or bad, that we have no heart and don't care.

Tell me, what good is "liking" a post of an injured or dead human being or animal going to do? Will it bring them back to life or making things better?

No it won't.

There are more important things to do in life than waste time being sucked into someone else's nonsense. I've actually taken people off my friends list for doing this on a regular basis.

When these friends "like" a disturbing image or update, you see it on your feed.

Yup. You see that image and it stays with you for the day, the week, forever. You didn't choose to see that seal being butchered or that human being tortured. Your friend did.

When they "liked" that picture.

It's possible they didn't know about it before, which is why I like to point it out to people the first time I see them doing this. If they do it again and again, then I take them off my friends list or hide their posts. Simple as that.

Too Much Information Status Updates

Do you ever log onto Facebook only to find one of your friends most recent updates that leave you shaking your head in disbelief?

You know, the ones that contain a little TMI.

They got so drunk last night and peed all over their pants, before getting it on with the hot girl/guy three times in a row who they met at the bar, and then later they proceeded to throw up all over the bathroom rug when they got home.

Really? I think I could have lived my life without knowing that little bit of information.


Attention Seeker Updates

I have a few friends who post updates like this and they annoy the crap out of me. The only reason I don't block them off is because they post regular updates as well and I do actually want to read those.

By attention seeking, I'm talking about those friends and family who like to be in the spotlight. They post status updates on whatever comes into their head without thinking it through.

Updates like this:

  • "Yawn. I'm SO bored."
  • "I'm so sick of everyone treating me like crap! I hate my life! :( "
  • "Whatever, speak to the hand BABY!"
  • "What to do today....hmmmm...decisions, decisions...."

You'll find this a lot on Twitter as well, but I find it worse when I open up Facebook and find silly updates like this.

We may think we know our friends until we take a peek at some of their status updates on Facebook.

It's amazing what we can learn from those few little words or actions on something as simple as social media.

Do you have friends like this?


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    • thebiologyofleah profile image

      thebiologyofleah 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      For me I notice people with negative attitudes, I think it's perfectly reasonable to post a negative status update from time to time to vent and garner sympathy but it's interesting to see that there are certain people who only post negative stuff.

      And I totally agree keep political and religion stuff off of facebook, if you are that interested in expressing your opinions about those things start a blog about them. My approach to Facebook is to keep it light-hearted.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have lost friends because of what they posted on Facebook. I know exactly what you are talking about here, Mel.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Have to agree, I have almost quit FB completely a couple times not only because of what you are saying, but because the temptation to respond to some of the crap is at times overwhelming even though I know it is a waste of time.


    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is so so true, I have so much of these experiences too! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      So very interesting and thanks for sharing.


    • jeanihess profile image

      jeanihess 4 years ago from Cape Town South Africa

      HA ha-- and some people think the stuff they sahre are in a private space. I wonder why!

      ... but I do share some hard hitting and controversial stuff. We are in transition in South Africa hey... not at all a normalized society yet:)

    • VictoriaSheffield profile image

      Author Victoria Sheffield 4 years ago from Georgia

      Great article!

    • everythingdazzles profile image

      Janelle 4 years ago from Houston

      Same experiences! Thanks for sharing.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      OMG...Facebook is becoming a love/hate thing for me. I have to spend a lot of time on there for networking, but man, someone in my family - dear god, my family - posted a picture of her pregnant body and she was wearing sweatpants and a bra. I think I had nightmares for two days. Yikes! People need to think before posting and they often don't...eeek. Awesome read here. :)

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Yup, I agree with your observation, Melanie.

      Friends come in all sizes and

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very informative hub related with facebook. I always find something great every time I login to this site. I found different character between each other. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!


    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Rachna, I agree - there are a lot of useless updates out there, though a few are interesting. Thanks for stopping in to comment!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      thebiologyofleah - Yes, for the most part I agree with you on keeping things lighthearted on Facebook. However, sometimes it's a good medium to share important information. For example I love what Leonardo di Caprio is currently doing with his efforts to try and save elephants here in Africa. I share his updates regularly, as I do with other organizations trying to make a difference I feel others would be interested in hearing about. Thanks!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Bill, I remember a few of your updates a couple of months ago. It's sad, isn't it? I guess we get to realize who our true friends are through Facebook as well!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Thanks Curiad, I think. I hope you don't mean what I post is crap? LOL. Pretty sure you were generalizing there. But I know what you mean. I wish at times I could cut my ties with Facebook, but I can't. It's a huge part of marketing for me right now.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi livingsta! Glad I'm not the only one, thanks! :)

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Eddy! Great to see you here. :)

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi jeanihess! Good to see you again. :) Yes, I agree with you. I also tend to share some hard hitting and controversial stuff that I believe in. Though I've just been told I may be bombarding my readers/fans with it so I need to learn the art of balance as well. I think it's important that everyone does this otherwise the messages might get lost with people who ignore it or hide the posts.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Thanks Victoria :)

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi everythingdazzles! Thanks for stopping in to read and comment.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Haha! Sounds scary! Cyndi, I'm with you on the love/hate part. I also can't leave Facebook for networking purposes. I think if I was doing a regular office job and I didn't need to market and network every day then I would have left ages ago!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Ruchira, they do, don't they?! Sometimes it's very hard to bite my tongue, or rather - hold back my hands from the keyboard!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi prasetio30! Thank you so much for stopping in to read and comment. :)

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      yeah melchi..i always get updates a lot with this 'attention seeker' thing. they're like just 'so bored, nothing to do' or something like anything and posting it every minute! oh gosh.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      unknown spy - It's so annoying, isn't it? But, I'm learning how to hide repetitive comments like that.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I have had to disconnect with friends due to their posts. It is unfortunate. I agree that posts must be tasteful, free of offensive words and topics. Great writing!

    • prospectboy profile image

      Bradrick H. 4 years ago from Texas

      Yes, yes, and yes. I definitely have people like this on my Facebook, although I don't classify many of them as my 'friends'. You are spot on in everything that you brought up in this article. I've personally grown to dislike Facebook over time. The only reason I still have my account is because I share and promote things I write. I get tired of all the drama, and annoying status message updates. A lot of people just add you as a friend to be nosy; they don't care anything about you personally. If Facebook has taught me anything, it's taught me that my 'real friends' are the ones that I socialize on Facebook, and outside of Facebook. A lot of people on there are a trip. Great hub! Voted up, and rated awesome. Also sharing! Great job Melanie!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Could not agree more Prospectboy! The drama on Facebook is so tedious, as are the people wanting to be "friends" who could not care less about you. I have real friends on there like you, and they're the ones who count. Who interact outside of Facebook too!

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      MelChi, I love your perspective on Facebook. I agree that people put way... too much information up, and it can be annoying at times. Nice hub and voted up!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Careermommy - I've 'unfriended' quite a few people or hidden their posts on Facebook because of this. It just gets too much sometimes. I feel bad doing it, but 20 cute pictures one after the other all in a row or a picture of a dead or abused animal and someone saying "like this if you are an animal supporter" is a one way ticket to me hiding or deleting people. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    • serenityjmiller profile image

      Serenity Miller 21 months ago from Brookings, SD

      Oh yes, the attention-seeking posts. I have an old high school friend who is notorious for these... sigh. Even better when combined with the trash-talking-a-significant-other posts: "Can you believe I'm home sick all by myself on New Year's Eve because I told my boyfriend it was okay if he went out without me and he actually went out without me?!" Uffda.

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