I love facebook, but it has its drawbacks, as we all know. Poised to turn 30, it is my generation whom has taken over this free version of classmates.com and made it what it is today: a place where we can all annoy each other based on accomplishments, vacations, jobs, spouses, and babies. I’ve seen pictures of babies I will never meet, weddings I didn’t attend, and vacations I didn’t go on. It’s really rather insane. While I love hearing about everyone’s successes and accomplishments, seeing your vacation pictures and keeping up with kids I rarely see, sometimes it’s all too much. Now I know that I’m guilty of too many pictures, too many meaningless updates, and too many ‘wish you were here’ posts, but...I don’t know, I’m empowered to complain. Here’s a list of things I’d consider banning if I were in charge of anything.
1. Baby development pictures. I know you’re excited about your baby and you should be! I just don’t want to see every moment of its gestation. Especially ultrasounds. No, especially baby bumps. No, especially every step of the way towards decoration of the nursery. All are equally weird. My favorite is the ultrasound picture that 500 people liked, and then at least 50 commented that the baby was a. cute or b. looked like you. This is my favorite because neither is true. It’s a fetus. That, and I'm sure that one day your kid will not appreciate you posting a picture of their 'boy parts' on the internet. I’m going to post a scan of my liver on facebook and see what happens. As for baby bumps; Considering half of them look like what I already have in the belly department, and believe me, that’s not a baby bump, the whole thing just pisses me off.
2. Everything's wonderful all the time. I'm not looking for depressing posts, but the never-ending stream of adorable pictures of your children and/or awesome house, posts about how wonderful your boyfriend is because he brought you ice cream, and any post whatsoever about how easy it was to lose the baby weight: banned. (wow, bitter single woman, am I?)
3. Those pictures that are really just a quote. What is up with that? Motivation is great, but do you really have to share it with everyone? And I keep falling into the trap of reading them! Several just today that left me saying only ‘I can’t believe I just wasted the time reading that.” Which is probably what you will say about this post. Sorry. At least you knew going in that it was a rant.
4. Posts about the weather. It’s hot?! I had no idea? I guess my office doesn’t have windows. Or perhaps I never leave the house, or I haven’t seen my electricity bill this month. And, in August too! Hot! Who knew?! Likewise, winter is cold. At least that’s what facebook tells me. (and my sarcasm meter just broke).
5. Countdowns. Everyone has been invited to your wedding/party and they put the date on their calendar. There is no need for a daily reminder. Or, we’re not going on that vacation so I’m afraid we don’t really care how long it is until it starts. Except perhaps there is the hope that there won’t be internet where you go so we won’t have to see the fruits of that countdown until your regular life resumes.
6. Political opinions. I firmly believe that everything political on facebook was posted just to get the other side angry. I am the ‘token liberal’ at my place of work, and I feel that every conservative post I read from co-workers is directed at my blood pressure. Unfortunately, it works! Unfortunately, I already know your opinion and I still accept you all for who you are.
7. Pictures that will bite you in the ass later. I’m talking about the beer filled drunk parties that have no business being in public. Just like you probably had no business being in public when they were taken. Employers look at this stuff. Of this, I have no doubt.
That said, there are things I’d like to see more of. If you’re still reading this, perhaps you put a little stock in my thoughts so here’s the balance.
1. Any posts that warms the heart and mind. From meaningful articles to ted talks. Actual news that’s well written and intelligently researched, and anything that’s fascinating and restores my faith in humanity.
2. Pictures from your vacations. Because I love travel, and I love to see other people do it too.
3. Pictures of your kids. I know, some of us just can’t be pleased. There are parents out there who neglect the power of facebook and the magic it performs in connecting us all. Now show me those kids before they go off to college.
4. Just plain, honest, humanizing posts.
5. Things that make me laugh. It’s really all I want anyway.