Try A Face-Over: A Late 20s Approach to Facebook
Facebook is the number one thing people love to complain about while also secretly loving it so much and wanting to marry it. We hate that stalking now dominates our downtime, but love that Facebook allows us to share. It's like P90x: we hate it but we love it. It's like McDonalds: we know its unhealthy but, gimme those French fries. We are forever elementary school boys pulling Facebook's pigtails because we think it's cute.
In the early days of Facebook, all of the other users were between the ages of 18 and 23. Those were crazy times. We lived unrestricted and free, complaining about work and professors, posting unfiltered party pictures and poking fun at each other in wall posts, free from the worry that it might show up in a newsfeed for all eyes to notice. Now things are more sensitive. Your grandma is on there signing each of her comments "love, nana" as if she were writing a letter.
As we reach our late 20s, Facebook has become a place where your frenemies are giving birth and your crazy uncle is trying to get a petition going to secede from the United States. You can't beat yourself up every time you see that the girl who stole your high school boyfriend still has flawlessly applied eye makeup. Stop doing that to yourself, girl! Humans just aren't made to deal with that kind of pressure, pulling at us from so far beyond the graduation. On Facebook, there are just too many things in one place: past, present, fut-AAHHH! The social anxiety it brings can be crippling if you let it. We have to rise above it… and not by becoming one of those people who refuses to join Facebook. That attitude is for hippies. Facebook isn't going anywhere. It is a tool now for keeping in touch with family, receiving party invites and probably other stuff, too. You can't keep thinking of it as a playground for stalking and pity partying. Once you hit your late 20s, it's time to face Facebook like a man – a woman!
So how do we do it? How do we make our trips to Facebook friendlier for everyone? I've put together some ideas for us in-between obsessively checking my Facebook page.
Don't de-friend people. It's Duh-rama! I get why it's tempting but it's duh-rama. Be chill. You agreed to be their friend in the first place. That's on you. Are you going to walk up to that person in real life and tell them they aren't your friend now? Instead of being dramatic, just censor what they can see and then block them from your timeline.
Block anyone from your timeline who you haven't interacted with since Justin Timberlake made music. And while you're at it, block exes, ex's exes and anybody else you're secretly rooting against, you sneaky fool. I find this makes Facebook less intimidating and more down to earth. You'll never complain about baby pictures or wedding updates again because you'll only be getting them from people you actually care about and are excited for. Your feed will be an enjoyable morning read!
That said; don't be afraid to like a distant friend's status. I think it's nice to surprise someone with a like from a long-lost friend! You are like a spooky ghost and that's pretty cool!
If you see a political fight between your friends going down on Facebook – or any other kind of crazy – just sorta turn around and leave the room before they notice you. By that I mean, slowly shut down your computer, turn off the lights and be very quiet until you are sure the fight has passed.
Wait for at least 6 months of solid monogamy before declaring a relationship on Facebook. But then I think you kinda do have to declare it pretty soon. It is a helpful tool for single people who are only friending you because they enjoyed meeting you today and they are curious if you have a girlfriend. Don't waste their time!
Don't publish interactions with your friend's ex on Facebook. I'm not saying don't talk to your friend's ex (although, I'm mildly judging you the more you do). What I'm saying is, don't do it right in your friend's face(book) when you know your friend is at home On Demanding Castle episodes, the shards of their shattered life looming dangerously close to their heart.
Also, if your friend is checking in at some location with your ex on Facebook, save yourself the sulking. Just call them up and be like, "hey… what the heck?" If they are like, "I'm not sorry about the heck," then block them from your newsfeed.
Never update your status while you are angry or sad. There will come a time when you aren't angry or sad anymore and you won't want to be reminded of all those painful, sad memories and the fact that your grandma hit "like" on them probably by mistake.
Forgive your friends who are annoying on Facebook. You know them in real life. Judging someone based on his or her Facebook personality is like judging a pumpkin by eating a pumpkin pie. If you like cinnamon, pumpkins are going to seem like they really have their shit together based on that pie. If you hate cinnamon, oh my goodness, you're gonna wish your pumpkin friend would just stop adding cinnamon already. But here's the thing: a pumpkin pie just is not a good representation of a pumpkin. Nailed it! Moving on…
Don't be afraid to post. If you think something is funny or interesting, post it. Sharing with people is fun and very human. It's what Facebook should be about. Don't try to be cooler than you are, nerd, just post what you like. Don't worry that someone will judge you. If your crazy uncle or hippie friend writes something mean under it, just laugh that off. Odds are, all the people creepin' on your update are laughing at it right along with you.
To sum up, if you wouldn't say it or do it to all of your Facebook friends' faces, then maybe… just maybe… you shouldn't do it online. I guess I should have just said that from the git-go! Could have saved us all some time. (wink!)
Image via ShutterStock.