I suppose Facebook and Twitter are basically, by definition, mildly (or maybe strongly) narcissistic…
…and it’s absolutely true that neither of them are going anywhere anytime soon.
Narcissism – a narcissistic person: Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements); Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion; Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people.
So the question then becomes, how can you use them without seeming like a complete vapid asshole who thinks that everything they think and do during the day is somehow even remotely interesting to other people? Well, here’s a simple list of things not to do on Facebook – especially if you live in LA.
Don’t write your profile in the third person. People do this as if it’s a professional bio. We can put aside the fact that almost no one actually needs to ever have a professional bio and the fact that even less people will actually read one. The real point here is that you wrote it. No one decided you were important enough to write a short biography of your rise from “small town kid” to “extra in Pirates of the Caribbean.” So you writing about yourself in the third person is really just flat-out bragging while at the same time seeming humble enough to only post if “someone else” wrote it. They didn’t. You shouldn’t. End of story.
If you’re an “actor”, don’t post the link to your IMDB page on your Facebook page. The only people who do this are people who are begging for attention. The people back in your small town in North Dakota might care that you were “Girl at Party – (Uncredited)” in the third episode of the sixth season of Entourage, but none of your Facebook friends do. It’s not like there’s this community of directors just scanning Facebook pages for IMDB links to the next Angelina Jolie. There are only people thinking, “why is this person so narcissistic?” and “why are they trying to brag about being an extra so many times?” Also, if you made your own IMDB page or you edited your IMDB bio and wrote it in the third person (see #1 on this list), you’re a double asshole.
P.S. If you were an extra in Pirates of the Caribbean and the bio you wrote in the third person says, “She had the amazing experience of working with Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean”, it’s over. I hope we never speak again.
Don’t update Facebook Places…ever. The “cooler” the place you are when you update it, the less cool you look. It’s honestly a completely negative correlation. Updating Facebook Places at the hottest restaurants, for instance, just makes you look like a real shithead. It’s not special that you’re there, and if you think it is, you have a very strange set of priorities. Other people will notice this and dislike you, I promise.
Besides that, don’t you think it’s a little creepy to just tell other people where you are all the time – particularly when it’s quite likely that some of them don’t evenknow you? You might as well say, “If anyone wants to break into my house or stalk me tonight, I’m at STK.”
Don’t ever do the “humble brag”. If you need an idea of what this is, follow @humblebrag on Twitter. It’s basically when you’re being self-depricating on purpose so that you can brag without seeming like a narcissistic asshole, even though that’s exactly what you’re doing. Same basic principle as #1. If you say, “At an Oscar party. So drunk. Was talking to Seth Rogen and I might have said something dumb,” you’re really just trying to tell everyone that you’re talking to Seth Rogen. Remember, talking to Seth Rogen is never impressive.
Actors: Don’t post about your call times, auditions, callbacks, or craft services. You’re basically just trying to tell everyone that you’re an actor and everyone on your friends list either A) already knows or B) doesn’t give a shit. No regularly working actor I know does this…ever. Why? Because there’s nothing novel or interesting about it. Also, auditions and callbacks aren’t your goal and shouldn’t be. Booking is. So getting the attention and the satisfaction of publicly shouting out auditions and callbacks is actually making it harder, mentally, for you to succeed because the attention becomes the goal and not the work. Posting your bookings is totally cool. Your friends will be happy for you and it’s nice to share that.
*You have an exception to this rule if you’re a regularly working actor and you use Facebook/Twitter to keep your fans up to date.
You don’t need a fan page unless you actually have fans or you do something that people can be a fan of. These things include anything that you creatively make or design, any business you run, etc… The social networking community can be a great venue for marketing and I don’t have any qualms with people using it for that. Hell, I do it. But if you don’t fit that criteria, you don’t need a fan page. Making all your friends add your “fan” page for all of the nothing that you do isn’t cool…and trust me, your friends are annoyed. Keep in mind, models, there are no models with “fans” unless they are Victoria’s Secret models, on ANTM, or working constantly in any of the various magazines, billboards, etc… that you see out there. If you’re not a legit professional model, those people aren’t “fans”, they’re guys who want to have sex with you.
That’s just for starters. Let me make this part absolutely clear…
You should never, ever, ever fucking ever, have a status update that says, “I’ve reached my 5,000 friend limit, please add my fan page.”
You don’t know 5,000 people. You don’t know anything close to 5,000 people. My job is to know people and I don’t know even half of that. So instead of making yourself look ridiculous by making a fan page of the glorious you, just go ahead and delete the 4,500 people you don’t know. You won’t miss them, and chances are, if you’re the type of person who’s getting ready to make a fan page because you added too many random internet people, they won’t miss you either.
I know I’m asking the impossible here, but stop writing every mundane thought that pops into your head and every average activity you perform throughout the day. No one cares. The fact that you think they do is, well, incredibly narcissistic. The idea that everyone wants to know everything you’re doing all day, every day is so patently absurd. I’m not the first person to say this obviously, but it can’t be said enough. The only time you should do this is when you’re participating in my growing Twitter meme, #mundanemonday. Then it’s funny. And if you don’t get it, well, you’re not funny.
Girls: Don’t write things like, “Long day. Time to watch a movie. Could really use a massage.” You’re basically just begging for male attention and/or actually posting a “Wanted: Guy” sign on your forehead. That is the closest possible thing to saying, “Hey, do any of you guys out there want to make out or possibly fuck?” I can only imagine how offended people would be if a guy wrote, “Really tired. Any of you girls up for a quick blow job?”
No voting. Never. Ever. Whatever contest you’re in, I hope you win. I just won’t help you. And neither will 99% of your friends. The 1% who does go and vote for you probably wants to have sex with you. No one wants to go on a site and register their email and then confirm their registration just so you can be the lead “model” posing on a Harley in a tiny bikini in Motorcycle Connoisseurs Monthly. Remember White Men Can’t Jump? Sometimes when you win, you really lose. This is one of those times. Also, let’s be clear here – the only reason all these voting contests started was so that all of you would spend your days promoting the websites of whoever is hosting the contest. It’s for them. It’s not for you.
Don’t advertise anything on my page or expect me to advertise something for you. You post an advertisement on my page and it’s coming down as fast as I can reach a computer and I might defriend you just to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Girls: If you have any pictures of yourself in a bikini, or any suggestive “modeling” pictures, you are absolutely forbidden to post on your page, “Facebook isn’t a dating site”. If you don’t want guys to hit on you, don’t post pictures that will make them think you’re easy. Simple. Let’s be honest here, if the guy was good looking, smart, funny, and successful, then all of a sudden it changes to, “Ok, I guess Facebook is sometimes a dating site”.
Sidebar: It’s definitely ridiculous to say, “Facebook isn’t a dating site. This isn’t Myspace.” As if Myspace was somehow more of a dating site. It’s been 5 years since Facebook was a relatively closed community. It’s called “social networking” for a reason. People are going to talk to you. If you don’t want that, make your page private, geniuses.
This should go without saying: Don’t post pictures of your food. Again, no one cares where you’re eating. Don’t post pictures of your expensive shoes. And for fuck’s sake, don’t take the summer picture down the length of your bikini-clad body as your toes point toward an ocean or pool. You’re only doing this for the sake of making other people jealous. Whether or not it works, you’re still a person who’s trying to make other people jealous, and that’s just silly. There’s nothing less impressive than constantly trying to impress people with where you are or what you’re doing.
People these days have started doing things solely for the attention they’ll get when they post it to Facebook. That is so deranged. ”Hey, I have courtside Lakers seats. Are you a basketball fan? Want to go?” ”What’s basketball? Yes, I want to go.” This is life now because of Facebook. Thanks, Facebook.
No posting inspirational quotes or Bible quotes if you’ve never read the source material and don’t understand the context. I’ve gone through this before. Really. No one needs to hear anymore Deepak Chopra quotes. You know that jackass is just making it up, right? Besides, why not impart some of your own ideas and yourown learned wisdom? Oh yeah, that requires thinking and self-expression.
I know this all makes me, like, soooo mean and judgmental. Read the title of my Twitter handle.
Trust me. If you can avoid doing these things you’ll not only be more liked by your Facebook friends, you’ll be less addicted to Facebook.
And those are good things.