10 Things Facebook Has Taught Me
1. All weddings look exactly the same.
When we were young, we imagined that a wedding was something special. It was a celebration between two people whose love was unique, and pure, and manifested in an event that described them as a couple perfectly. Each one was a special snowflake, sparkling in the originality of the love that conceived it. That is, until we got on Facebook, and realized that every acquaintance we’ve ever barely kept in contact with has almost note-for-note the exact same wedding. Inoffensive satin bridesmaid’s dresses? Check. Reasonable place settings and tasteful floral centerpieces? Check and check. Abashed-looking groom wearing a not-too-formal suit? Checkity check. I think what we can all gather from this is that spending outrageous amounts of money on a wedding is even less worth it than we previously thought, given how much they will eventually resemble all of your friends’. Maybe just take a bunch of pictures at other people’s wedding and have a house party while you look at them? Use that money to put towards a house or something.
2. It’s only acceptable to put the year of your birth up to a certain age.
I am not 100 percent positive where this threshold is exactly, but it is absolutely there. Sometime between the ages of 20-25, people (especially women) stop putting the year they were born up for public display. You have a bunch of kids running around born in ungodly years like 1998 having conversations on Facebook, then you have the rest of us. Pretty much none of my friends born in the 80s have it displayed anymore, and thus I assume all of them are 26. Everyone is 26 until proven otherwise.
3. People have children, then promptly lose their minds.
There is going to come a moment when you look around and realize that you have received a request from an ultrasound with its own Facebook, and it is at this moment that you will lose all faith in your generation. You’re not sure how WWII-era couples went about bringing their progeny into the world, but you have a feeling that it would have been done with a bit more dignity, class, and style than making it write statuses along the lines of, “Can’t wait to come out of Mommy and meet the world!!” There has to be something intrinsic in this group of young adults that makes us think that the musings of a fetus as delivered through its temporarily insane mother is something we want in our daily routine. This has to stop.
4. Putting a relationship status up is never a good idea.
Unless you’re 15 and want to announce who you’re going to prom with, or married for 20 years and aren’t going anywhere, it’s probably best to leave the details of who you’re currently making love to on the reg out of your social media experience. Who wants to deal with the backlash when you break up? Who wants to have a million likes when you get together? (What are we, 12?) And most importantly, if you happen to go through a fluctuation of partnered bliss that leads you to break off your “together” status, then reopen it again a few days later, you’re just going to look like the biggest ass hat on the internet. We don’t all need to tell the world at large every time we have an argument in the parking lot of a Denny’s.
5. The “Works At” section becomes more important every day.
Thanks a lot, new Facebook, for making the first thing one sees when they log onto our pages be what we’re doing for gainful employment these days. God forbid we hit a rough patch in our career trajectories, now we have to find a way to make “part-time babysitter, part-time unpaid intern, and part-time call center drone” sound like something that would make our parents proud when they stumble past our page. As if life wasn’t hard enough already, Facebook.
6. Some people should really invest in an actual therapist.
While the novelty of being a teenager and having access to that one person who can’t stop live-statusing their minor meltdowns is undeniable, contact with such a person gets progressively less fun and more upsetting as you get older. When you find yourself with a 30-something Facebook friend who cannot stop telling everyone they’ve ever met about the relationship troubles they’re having, their perpetual struggles with maintaining a nine to five job, or the frequent clashes they experience with immediate relatives, you just kind of want to pass around a hat and collect enough to send them to someone who is paid to listen to these kinds of things. The other day, a guy who is nearly old enough to be my father wrote a status about how all women were evil whores who only exist to break hearts. Can we just collectively agree that people like that should have to take some kind of test for continued internet access?
7. Distant acquaintances from high school are always a mess.
They’re probably the most fun aspect of social media! That guy who was never going to show up at the 10-year reunion because he was going to be way too strung out on meth and/or on house arrest? Now you get to watch all of the magic happen before your very eyes. The girls who once called other girls fat to make them feel ashamed about themselves? Well, let’s just say that fate took very apt care of them.
8. Never add a coworker.
You’re going out tonight, and it’s likely that you’re going to be getting at least 45 percent too drunk to come into work the next day. Come on, it’s a friend’s birthday, and you haven’t taken a sick day in, like, six months. Do you really want to go through the process of faking a perfect story to your boss and settling into a TV marathon and bowl of cereal, only to be jarred to attention by the realization that your colleague was privy to the minute-by-minute updates of your 3 AM search for Jumbo Slice pizza the night before? That is a fate I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
9. We all get to constantly compare ourselves.
Do you feel sufficiently bad/anxious as your progress as a young human being? Are you unsure of your place in the world, and looking for a foothold in life to start building the you that you’ve always wanted to be? Do you think you’ve finally discovered a path in life that might make you feel truly fulfilled? Well, all that can go f-ck itself, because now you get to masochistically observe those around you doing, seeing, and accomplishing so many things you dream of, but have not yet attained. Your own progress can’t live in a vacuum, because now both yourself and social media at large gets to put it in some kind of ranking, in comparison with everyone else you’ve ever known. It’s like the Hunger Games, except we’re all just fighting for a few entry-level jobs and can’t actually vocalize the competition. And yes, obviously the solution would be to cut ourselves off completely from the stress and get rid of Facebook, but that would imply that we are mature, rational adults capable of preserving our own delicate self-esteem. Come on now.
10. Some people cannot accept “Friend Request Denied.”
That one creepy guy from high school has not gotten the point after what, like, five tries? Does he know how the internet works?
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