Sunday, November 18, 2012

Facebook Pet Peeve #1

I see a lot of things that annoy me on my Facebook feed (every status update related to Farmville, for example), but the posts I hate most are the ones that are designed to A) make a particular person feel bad, B) solicit "you go, girl/boy" type comments at someone else's expense, and/or C) start drama. This includes statuses that target a specific person by name (for example, "Martha is a douchebag"), or statuses that target a specific "anonymous" person ("You're a douchebag. You know who you are").

Facebook is a public forum and it shouldn't be used to harass, embarrass, or bully anyone, no matter how hurt you may feel or how much you believe they deserve it (not that you should harass, embarrass or bully anyone in private, either). If you have a problem with someone, bring it up with them in person, by phone, by email or PM, or do what everyone else does and talk shit about them to your close friends (ha!).

For one, there are two sides to every story. Maybe you and your friend had a simple misunderstanding, and now you're making the situation much worse because, rather than working things out in private like an adult, you're actively hurting and humiliating them in public. Maybe you and Martha are going to be on speaking terms in a week and you're going to feel really bad for calling her a douchebag in front of all of your mutual friends. Or maybe Martha is so hurt that you would post about your argument on Facebook, you lose your friend for good. 

For another, airing your dirty laundry on Facebook makes the people who aren't involved feel uncomfortable. Have you ever been hanging out with a couple who randomly started fighting amongst themselves? Remember how awkward you felt? Yeah. It's exactly like that, only unlike a spontaneous argument that happens in person, when you post your beefs to Facebook, you are deliberately fighting with someone in front of your friends, family and acquaintances. Also, unlike a "real life" argument, your friends have the right to judge what you post to their feed.

Which brings me to my third point; what you say about other people says more about your own character than about the person you're talking about. Martha might be the biggest douchebag on earth, but I think you're a psycho for posting about it on Facebook and, according to this study, I'm probably right. 

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