Facebook Status

Posted: June 7, 2011 in Words

In a previous post, I talked about the types of Facebook profile pics that seemed to be most prevalent. Today, I turn my attention to the status update. The little box that asks the simple question, “What’s on your mind?”

When FB asks that question, there are infinite ways to respond. There is no bottom to that well of answers, but many do fall into certain categories. Here are just a few, see if you agree:

The Good

  1. “Scripture from my Bible app.” One of the great things about the world we live in is easy access to information. Long gone are the days of anyone lugging around an actual printed copy of scripture. We’ve all got the YouVersion app, right? And all we have to do is highlight and tap “Share”- Boom! It’s posted. We read the Bible(app) and now everyone knows it and can be encouraged too!
  2. “Only ___ more (months/weeks/days/hours) until (whatever)!” The countdown status is incredibly versatile. Weddings, babies, trips, surgeries, season premieres- if it’s scheduled, you can countdown to it. I don’t mind at all. If it’s a big deal, it reminds me to say a little prayer for you. (Yeah, I do that. You don’t? I’ll pray for you.)
  3. “Funny comment or observation.” Everybody loves a good joke. (Emphasis on good.) So when you’re able to make me lol in 140 characters or less, I love it. Keep up the good work, funny guy. You’ve earned yourself a spot in my FB Hall of Fame. (Which doesn’t exist and comes with absolutely no benefits or rewards.)

The Bad

  1. “i dont car about splling or anythin” Computers have spell check, phones have auto-correct. We should be able to nip this in the—is it bud or butt? I’ve never known. Doesn’t matter. It should be nipped in whatever place that happens. It shouldn’t take me longer to read your status than it took you type it, but if I have to decipher every other word that’s exactly what happens. You flew through that update so quickly that it’s gonna take me seventy-five seconds to figure out you’re on your way to the new vampire movie after dinner at Cheddar’s, and that’s an eternity in internet time.
  2. “I’m ’bout to get my _____ on!” I filed this under bad because it’s ridiculous. I don’t care what you fill the blank in with, it’s absurd. ‘Bout to get your tan on? ‘Bout to get your eat on? I’ve even seen a few on Sunday morning that say, “I’m ’bout to get my Jesus on!” I’m pretty sure even God rolls his eyes at that. Just go do that thing, don’t get it on. (Marvin Gaye is the exception. He can get it on.)
  3. “VirusVirusVirusVirus.” I always feel a little bad for the guy who accidentally posts a dirty link on three hundred walls because he wanted to see what that girl’s dad did. Just a little bad, though. Curiosity got him, and now he’s paying for it. Here’s some guidelines, friendos: If the same person has posted the same link on several different walls, it’s probably a virus. If the link or description seems out of character for that person, it’s a virus. If the picture accompanying the link is raunchy or gross, you shouldn’t click it anyway, weirdo.

The Ugly

  1. “I’m in a fight.” Some people use their status line to air dirty laundry like they just got home from camp. They don’t use names, often saying “some people” instead of “Susan” or “Bill”. I’d say it’s a passive-aggressive move, but it’s not. it’s just aggressive and inappropriate. Example: “I’m sorry if you don’t like it, but what’s done is done! Get over it! He’s MY DOG and I’ll feed him the generic stuff IF I WANT TO! UGH!”
  2. “Vague and depressing- I want a little attention.” Hey, we all have bad days, and I don’t think anyone minds if you vent a little online. If you want to say, “Late for work, spilled my latte, broke my femur- rough morning” I think everyone’s cool with that. But if it’s a bad day, at least tell us why. When you’re intentionally non-specific and darkly self-deprecating, it feels weird, and maybe like you’re fishing for compliments. Example: “I just want to cry. I can’t believe this is happening. I’ve tried to make sense of it all, but I just feel lost…” (This could be about a loved one dying, or “Oprah” going off the air. Throw us a bone.)
  3. “This is going to make you uncomfortable!” Maybe I’m just super modest. I have been accused of that. (Mostly by my wife, who thinks it’s too much to wear socks and a veil to bed.) My rule is if I wouldn’t show you in public or say it from a stage, I’m not going to type it on Facebook. This can present kind of a hazy line, but it clears up if you pause and think about it. A great example: I have a Facebook friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and posts regularly about treatments and appointments. In my book, that’s OK. However, talking about the same body part with words like “feeding” or “pump” or “milk”- I can’t unread that. Don’t drive me down that road. That’s just one example, but you catch what I’m throwing, right?

There are plenty more, but this post is getting pretty long. Click the comment box and tell me what I left out.

  1. Edwin Christian says:

    Facebook has many different features that come with it, like where you are at or checking in. I for one feel it is a very unsafe thing to do letting the facebook world know you are not home and probably won’t be home for a while, so any unsavory character can gop break on to your house and be off with your valuables.

    I agree with Jared, if you won’t say or do it in public, don’t write it on your facebook page.

    Also remember, Facebook says most anyone can read your posts, not just your friends – you are the only bible some people will ever see!

  2. April says:

    HA! So true. Now, as a general rule, my life is pretty much an open book… and some times my pages are dark and dusty. I don’t hate on those who have a depressing day or a TMI moment. I DO, however, have boundary lines. Please, don’t air out your dirty laundry. Every spouse knows that there are just days when you don’t get along. I’m never going to slander Todd for the world to see. (Geez, I’d be afraid of what he wrote about me! Ha!) However, if I’m having a depressing day, I blog about it. No vague statements here. I completely agree with you on that!

    TMI statements: All TMI statements should be forewarned with a “Warning:TMI”! Sometimes I write about baby poo and other grossness and I try to warn people. One thing that KILLS me though — PLEASE, I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ABOUT ANY SEX LIFE OR LACK THEREOF. *Things that make you go EWWW* I also don’t want to hear about when you are on the toilet. Blech.

  3. Joshua says:

    Jared I would have to concur on your thoughts. I also like and appreciate the simplistic and systematic way you shared your thoughts, however anti-facebook they may be in style, your points are extremely valid!

  4. Jamie says:

    Great list – FB gives me mucho angst at times which is why I generally loiter on Twitter.

    As for missing item…
    Major Announcements: If I find out my brother died because my Mom thought it was easier to let everyone know by way of status update, then I’m not giving the eulogy. Same goes for weddings and pregnancies. Your closest friends, who are probably not the same people as the ones who just gave you turnips on Farmville, should find out major changes in your life from you via text message.

    • Jared says:

      You gotta be careful, right? Because there’s always that one friend, who’s kinda borderline close, that finds out on Facebook and gets mad about it. “Why didn’t you tell me before you blahblahblah…” It’s a tight rope. A tight rope of life.

  5. Awesome list Jared – I’m surprised that you seemed to give MafiaWars and the collective “Ville” updates a pass. For the record all of the “Ville” updates are e-Ville.

    • Jared says:

      Those weren’t on my mind because I blocked them all from my FB feed. I totally agree, though. I have zero interest in breeding your cows, harvesting your corn, or attacking that henchman for you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some online fish to feed…

  6. Julie says:

    This is great! The ugly posts usually make me want to “de-friend” the people. Made me smile, though. Love the list!

  7. Sharing scripture is like the Christian version of sharing pictures of my breakfast…only I can enjoy your scripture but I can’t enjoy your breakfast (…or can I?). I always made it a point to type out whatever scripture or song lyrics I was going to post, though.

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