For years I would watch many of my Facebook friends doing things on Facebook, but refusing to connect with me. I figured they just didn’t like me. That made me wonder why Facebook refers to them as friends, since people who ignore me and blatantly don’t like me seem more like family.
Then I realized that those people weren’t ignoring me, they just suck at Facebook! Hence, this guide. And who better to write a guide for Facebook than a Technical Writer/Trainer whom Mark Zuckerberg often refers to as “The Facebook Queen”?
Here is the guide, organized by Facebook feature:
In the 1960s, when Facebook was just getting started, everyone wanted to have as many friends as possible. This may have been because the friends number was prominently displayed on one’s wall for each of us to fret over its sometimes decreasing number. Those days are over.
Fact: Once you’ve accumulated more than 127 friends, you are basically just adding the names of people whom YOU DID NOT CONNECT WITH IN HIGH SCHOOL FOR VERY GOOD REASONS.
Now, I’m not talking about the lovely people you didn’t know that well in high school, but always liked. Facebook is a great tool for connecting in new and wonderful ways with them. No, I’m talking about the people that you’re not even sure were in your graduating class or your brother’s, and their names sound kinda familiar, so you accept the friend request only to learn that they are rarely on Facebook and when they are, they never even pay attention to you, and not in a way that someone with a bottomless pit of need would require, but — like — in a NEVER EVEN CLICK LIKE ON A PICTURE OF YOUR CHILDREN way.
Keep your friends number low.
If your only status updates involve pictures of your children, a picture of you tagged by a significant other, or a plug for your business, guess what? You totally suck at Facebook!
Try posting a thought, a feeling, an overly-circulated internet meme, a link to a news story, something…ANYthing! Jesus, I’d take a Jesus-y post over another picture of your kids or update of your business venture.
When your old friends try to find you on Facebook, how are they going to recognize you if your profile picture is a shot of your kids or of a stone? What if you have a very similar name to another Facebook friend or one of your friends constantly confuses you with another high school classmate for reasons that do not need to be detailed here (menopause)? Abstain. Desist. Danger Will Robinson! You are wonderful, beautiful and awesome. Put up a picture of YOU. Wanna show off something else beautiful? Make it your Cover Photo.
We get it. Not everyone can confidently write a status update that they themselves find absolutely hysterical. Some people just need to sit back and see what others are doing. (In some circles, this is referred to as stalking). But, for the love of all things Not Sucking On Facebook, click “Like” on something. Seriously, do you hear me?!?! The “Like” click is the socially awkward Facebook programmers’ answer to letting socially awkward introverted Facebook users let the rest of us know that they’re out there. Use it!
Next to the “Like,” this is possibly one of Facebook’s most brilliant inventions. Putting someone in your “Acquaintance” group does two awesome things: First, it makes them show up less in your Newsfeed, thereby stopping the torture of having to see people doing stuff on Facebook but never saying a word to you. Second, making someone an Acquaintance allows you to hide your posts from them. Acquaintancing is sort of like Unfriending, but without the Supreme Commander of the Universe douchy-ness.
Unfriending should be reserved for the most extreme instances, like — say — if someone is abusive in the tone of their comments, or, if the “personhood” bill is up for a vote in Mississippi and a guy whose name you barely recognize sends you a friend request and you mistake him for the unknown younger sibling of a beloved, but now deceased, classmate because you are terribly forgetful and also because the friend-requesting guy’s last name is eerily similar to said deceased classmate’s and that guy (the alive one) posts stupid crap on your wall the day of the personhood vote. Those people can suck it.
Everyone else? Do you really want to unfriend someone so that when they discover you’ve unfriended them, they’re left wondering why? Grow some breasts and tell the person why you’re unfriending them.
If you can’t stand to tell those you want to unfriend why you want to unfriend them, then just block them. That way, they won’t think you’re still on Facebook being friends with all your other mutual friends. (I’m talking to you, Steve Lauber! )
Although you will be tempted to unfriend some of your family members or tell them that you are hiding their posts, DO NOT DO IT. These acts are just more evidence that you suck on Facebook, and possibly have sucky social skills.
We’re not friends and I can see all your pictures and posts. I’m less concerned here about your personal data, and much more concerned about how this makes you look DAFT. I’m just kidding! This makes you look totally and completely daft.
Do NOT complain about programming updates on Facebook. #1. It makes you seem like you’re about 90 years old. Actually, I’m friends with a 99-year old woman and she handles minor transitions much better than you did when the Facebook Ticker launched.
Seriously, it’s a minor change. Think of it as a metaphor for life, except that it’s not your life, it’s a cloud application. You wanna get upset about something? Then take to the streets because the top 1% of wage owners have been paying less in taxes since 1980 but, despite republicans’ love affair, and all but referring to them as deities (Job CREATORS), the 1% have essentially sapped the economy dry and left the middle class with a wage decrease and massive unemployment. This is not me talking here. I’m just paraphrasing a multimillionaire member of the 1%.
#2. Actually, I don’t think we need a second point here. Carry on.
Continue to refer to the Timeline as your Wall. Calling it a Timeline is a way of Giving Into the Man. It’s your Wall and will never be anything else but your Wall. Please note that this is not “complaining” about the new Timeline, because the Timeline features really are better than the Wall’s. This is just saving you some syllables.
If you don’t mind the two syllables, refer to it as your Wall-line, because that’s funny and creative and still Sticking It To The Man-ish.
That’s the end of the guide…for now!
 And Kim Kernan, and Chris Bahuniak, and…
Categories: social media musings