I’ve written about using Facebook in the past here but was asked by someone in Darwin to discuss ‘friend requests” and if you only accept people you really like. Which led me to my September 2011 column in DarwinLife Magazine
When a barman asks what you’d like, he means what DRINK you’d like. Trust me; it’ll save you an awkward conversation. Also, when a barista says “Sugar?” he means do you WANT some, not do you HAVE some. We all make mistakes. Life is tricky, and I nearly gave away my sugar.
So, what’s trickier than life? Facebook! A place where billions of people make mistakes, assumptions and comparisons every day, and some really do give away all their sugar. At first it seemed cool, maybe a bit addictive. But Facebook culture lends itself freely to voyeurism, judgement and oversharing.
Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook to pick up chicks because, horny males: the mother of all invention. But it’s changed. Now it’s something you can use to tell 300 friends you’re in labour. Or in love. Or in-capable of emotion. Or in London getting fresh with Prince Harry.
Pfft! Whatever! In your dreams. See? Tricky! Here are some more common Facebook mistakes.
Adding friends: Just because we once made out and it was hotter than Ryan Reynolds holding a bottle of absinthe and inviting me into a Jacuzzi full of Epsom salts, doesn’t mean I’m requesting your friendship so we can do it again. I only want to be your friend so I can stalk you when I can’t sleep. Or… What? Nothing! Also, if it takes me more than a day to accept your request, I’m probably not that interested… but might accept later on not to be a rude cow, incase you know someone I actually like and tell them – I’m a rude cow. Either way! It’s not called Like-book.
Rejecting friend requests: Obviously you did something creepy that I can’t look past. Or you support Collingwood. It doesn’t make me a bitch, or you a loser. Que será, mi amor. Well that’s what I told myself when Matt Damon rejected me. It’s not Popularity-book.
Deleting friends: ‘Cleaning your profile’ as a reason for deleting friends is essentially saying, you’re rubbish, bugger off. I’ve only ever deleted one person, and that scheming worthless hack knew she had it coming. I think deleting people is mean. It’s a person! Not some shoes you don’t want anymore. Fickle-book, maybe.
Comments: When your self-esteem is directly proportional to the number of ‘likes’ or comments you get, you know it’s time to converse in the real world. Insecure-book?
Profile picture: If you’ve had some professional photos taken and you use that for your profile – you wanker! Oh wait, I do that. Well at least it’s me, not my: car, pet, tattoo, cleavage, feet, a celebrity, or taken in 1997. It’s not Guess-who-book.
Groups: Be careful. You and your 5 members might offend someone; enough to sue for fifty grand. Joke? No. Ridiculous? Yes. Almost Defamation-book.
Games: I do not want to play Cityville, Castleville, Farmville, Annoyingville or something called Fruit Ninja Frenzy. I had one of those once and afterwards, I had the hiccups for days. However I think I could get into the game Howzat Cricket. I feel it’s the only sport that prioritises lunch.
Status updates: Life is NOT a dress rehearsal for your Facebook updates. Nobody wants to know what you’re doing every minute. Stop it! Keep your clean house, your headache, your dry cuticles, your cheese sandwich, your hangover, your new oven or what’s inside it to yourself. Also… Kids are cute and hilarious. But they’re yours not mine, so keep the sleeping/eating/pooping routine in the family. It’s not called Mother-book.
The truth is Facebook is a brilliant way to keep in touch with all kinds of people from our lives – past and present. It’s one of the best ways to vent, share ideas, gain support and actually – laugh at life. It’s a great way to share photos so I can see if after you dumped me and got married your kids turned out ugly, and it’s invaluable for making contact. However; if we’re Facebook friends, and you are gulity of any of the above – consider this your written warning. I may not delete you, but I’ll ‘hide’ you. Probably forever, and you’ll never know. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg; it’s not called Nice-book. Zuckers!