The one and only thing people need to stop doing on Facebook. Hint: I’m not talking about selfies.

I have a challenge for you.

Go ask Google if there is anything that people should stop posting on social media sites. Just type in “things people need to stop posting on facebook,” or something to that effect.

Google does not come up short. In fact, the results are pretty overwhelming. You might not know it, but you’re probably breaking many unwritten rules of social media.

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According to this list we’re not supposed to post:

– pregnancy updates

-milestones our children make

-medical conditions we or our children are experiencing

Pretty much anything about parenting is not kosher. In fact, if you’re a parent, you should probably just leave facebook altogether, according to this guy.

This one rules out:

-lengthy complaints about life

-complaining about your boss

-“selfies”

-the frequent use of ellipses for some reason…

This one prohibits:

-emotions, specifically loving emotions directed at a significant other.

-Also, no reposting.

This lengthy manifesto rules out:

– cross-posting from twitter

-liking your own posts

-pushing the “like” button too often

And…this one lays out 24 types of pictures that people (actually, just women specifically, for some reason) aren’t allowed to post on facebook anymore. It’s an extensive list.

Now, I’ve read through all of these. Some are interesting, many point out some facebook activities that are silly, useless, selfish, etc…

And yet, after reading through these lists, I can’t help but think that there is only one thing that people really need to stop doing on social media sites.

People need to stop policing facebook like a kindergarten hall monitor.

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No one liked the hall monitor in kindergarten, and no one likes the bitter, 25 year-old version of him prowling around facebook searching for offenders to rules that don’t exist.

Now I’m not saying you can’t hypothesize about the self-centered motivations that underlie most selfies, and braggy statuses. I’m not saying you have to love and appreciate everything that everyone posts. I’m not saying that everyone ought to post the things that they do.

I am saying that you should stop legislating from behind your computer screen, and telling people what they are allowed to post.

Also, I understand the irony of telling people not to tell people not to post things.

And yet, I stand by it.

Here’s why:

1. These rules you invented don’t actually exist.

Guess what? There are no rules against “selfies,” or emotions, or potty-training on facebook. In fact, there are very few rules on facebook. Pretty much just no nudity, or racism as far as I know—so if you see any of that, feel free to report it.

The fact of the matter is that you are not the supreme judge of all that is and is not acceptable on facebook. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be in the first place, but if you do, just know that you are not.

You may say that angry political rants and bathroom selfies are unbearable, and I might agree with you. And yet, I’m not going to tell someone they are unacceptable, because it’s not up to me.

Additionally, it might behoove you to consider that what you find annoying, others may find interesting, or charming. The fact that you don’t particularly enjoy certain posts does not render them un-enjoyable. And even if they really are unbearable, you and everyone who feels that way have options…

2. Just because someone posts something doesn’t mean you have to look at it.

There is a very simple solution to the woes of having annoying facebook friends.

Do you find your classmate’s pouty-lipped selfies annoying? Block them.

Do your hall mate’s political posts drive you crazy? De-friend him.

Don’t like looking at pictures of food? Hide them, block the person who keeps posting them, or, dare I say it, ignore them.

In addition to the fact that, well, you don’t actually have to look at, or read anything that anyone posts online, Facebook is rife with ways to ensure that your e-universe is as exclusive, and closed-off as you desire. Go check out facebook’s many filtering options. You will endure “vaguebooking”, and “humble bragging” no more.

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 3. These things you prohibit are actually the best parts of facebook.

I’m gonna be honest, all the over-sharing, passive aggressiveness, and showing off that so many people seem to abhor are my favorite parts of the social media universe. In fact, other than being an easy way of keeping in touch with my family and friends without having to pick up the phone, these hilarious manifestations of human interaction are the only reason I still go on facebook.

Seeing a “friend’s” passive aggressive status that is very obviously directed at another “friend” is probably one of my favorite parts of the day. That kind of immaturity is at once kind of sad, and hilarious. And facebook lets you watch the whole thing play out. So, instead of playing the internet’s volunteer hall monitor, become a childish observer like the rest of us, and quietly judge all that beautiful social nonsense.Image

Or block it. Your choice.

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212 comments

  1. I’m over 50 and LOVE FB. I try to use it to inspire, encourage reflection and yes, share what’s going on in my garden, my work and my family. I do, sadly, use the ellipsis far too often. I’m not sure why…lol. It’s just fun!

    Unfortunately, I’ve had to “unfriend” people when their views become too angry, judgmental or just make me feel “icky” and sad. That’s one of the great things about FB. I can choose what I want my page to convey to others and I can choose to say “Goodbye” to those that don’t meet my needs/standards.

    Love the post and the comments!

    Like

  2. Right? I agree with you…I only wish I had realized this BEFORE I told my students how much I hate pictures of girls/women/females posing with duck lips while throwing up a peace sign. Now they seem intent on photo bombing me every chance they get. Ugh! I deserve it.
    Signed,
    A Reformed Kindergarten Hall Monitor

    Like

  3. Awesome thoughts. I really was disturbed with some of the behavior I saw on facebook, so I got off it. Now all is well in my corner of the world. Facebook is like tv – change the channel if you don’t like the show.

    Like

  4. i would like to add to the list another point :
    Don’t tell a costumer to use a company other then the company you working for, on Facebook
    what i mean is as follow, i had a friend that after an argument with his boss he went to the Facebook and told all his costumer that the college company is better, 2 week later he got a letter from the company lawyer and he lost his job
    so this is another “Don’t”
    Hagai

    Like

  5. In the beginning, I first thought that Facebook was confusing and overrated. I didnt get what all the fuss was about. But then, over time, I started to get the hang of it and now I’m hooked! I guess sometimes, a bit of patience is all that’s needed!

    Like

  6. “Quietly judging” – love it! I do exactly that and sometimes not so quietly but always in the confines of my own home. I’m bored by posts about children and holidays despite enjoying both in real life. My only concern is one day I may get horribly drunk and post comments saying what I really think…

    Like

  7. Looking at my FB news feed these days, it’s hardly even about friends posting status updates about something personal. It’s more about sharing fan page posts and links to news articles. FB is about recycling posts.

    Like

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