Ten things I don’t want to see on Facebook

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Your medical condition(s) discussed in gory detail  — surgeries, relapses, medications and their side effects and/or (lack of) effectiveness. If you’re really, truly a friend, I already know what you’re going through and, of course, have come to visit you or spoken to you on the phone about it all. If not, why burden others? You have no idea what we’re already — privately, tight-lipped — coping with.

Photos of your medical conditions, including blood and bruises. What are you — five? Call 911!

Photos of dogs/cats with pleading, desperate eyes with a caption demanding I run to the shelter holding them rightthissecond to rescue and adopt the animal before it’s killed. These shelters are usually thousands of miles from where I live. How is such emotional manipulation “friendly” behavior?

Political rants. Nothing you say is going to suddenly change my mind. It’s just going to annoy me with your mono-maniacal boring bullshit.

Religious rants. Ditto. I’m delighted that you love Jesus. But don’t tell me this a gazillion times a day. Jesus, I swear, is just as bored with this as I am.

The same post, every day, about something your kid is doing. I get it. You’re proud and excited. I was too, the first time I read it and “liked” it. Move on!

Stupid sayings. You know the kind. Just stop.

More stupid sayings. I mean it!

What you’re making or eating for dinner. By the time I’ve read it, it’s probably long-eaten and digested.

Sexualized images of women. Keep your porn to yourself, please.

Here’s what I do want to see:

Something that will make me laugh

Something I didn’t know about and very likely want to — a gorgeous photo, a great TED talk, a cool music video

How you’re really doing, not some fake, perky, sanitized version of your life

A photo of something beautiful

A link to a great article or blog post I might really enjoy

What drives you nuts about Facebook?

Do you unfriend or block people — and what for?

45 thoughts on “Ten things I don’t want to see on Facebook

  1. Well, I’m not on Facebook, but I do not want to see anything that involves people acting out their twisted fantasies (and I don’t mean BDSM). If you see a video of someone hurting a kitten, call 911 for the love of God! Same thing if someone commits suicide over livestream, don’t egg them on or call them losers. Call the police!
    Also, why do people see something horrible going down and the first thing they do is whip out their video phone? It doesn’t make sense to me. Why make a video like that and post it on the web? Seems narcissistic and cruel, if you ask me.
    Sorry for ranting, but I think it’s crazy as hell.

  2. crgardenjoe

    What about the messages that ask you to repost some inane prose or image to show support for people suffering with Athlete’s Foot? (Insert some horrible, real problem for Athlete’s Foot). I do not repost these things because I feel that it’s out of place on this kind of social networking site.

  3. Yes! I might have to post this on my FB page…lol! Yes, I’ve unfriended people. Namely because I “over friended” when I joined and friended people who I hadn’t seen or heard from in a few decades. My rule is, if you don’t hear from them in a year or more….are they really “friends”?

  4. The vague, seemingly sexy posts women do “for breast cancer awareness.” When the mass message sent out is “Don’t tell anyone what you’re talking about! Just say such and such, make people wonder why all the women are doing this!” The first big one that I can remember was the “Start the sentence with ‘I like it…’ and finish by where you keep your purse when you’re home.” This does absolutely nothing for breast cancer. You’re not raising awareness, you’re just being an attention whore.

    Also, on an only somewhat related note, can people just stop raising awareness for things and actually do something about it? I’m pretty sure everybody’s aware of breast cancer or whatever other disease you choose to talk about, so stop raising awareness and donate money or volunteer your time to actually try and help people.

  5. I’d repost your list to FB, but then a lot of people might unfriend me. Could I add to your list that I don’t need to see every random thought in your head as you’re trying to decide what to wear to go out drinking and partying that night. Or that you are heading off to bed early. What? Did you assume I’d be in a panic if I didn’t see a post from you every 15 minutes so you just wanted me to know you’re not dead, just going to bed early?

    1. I may post this on my own FB page, but I know the very first rule would deeply offend or possibly hurt two people I do care about…but am SO weary of medical overshare.

      I think people are starved for attention. Why else would they do this?

      1. When I was on FB, I had a made-up name, didn’t post any pix of myself, etc. That was my call. I had some friends who would post stuff like “My husband and I had awesome sex last night and this time I SWALLOWED.”

        Ooookaaay…not a prude but this is a case of oversharing and it’s also attention whore 101.
        I never got the whole medical overshare deal. why do that?

      2. OMFG.

        You have got to be kidding me. I would unfriend that person so fast their head would spin, whatever activity they were involved in.

        Any sort of sexual (over)share skeeves me out. If I do overshare personal shit (and I try hard not to), it’s more likely here than FB where I am linked to many senior people in my industry.

      3. julesagray

        Oh i did unfriend her eventually…The piece de la resistance when a status was about how her kids heard her & hubby doing the nasty, and asked about it. Ohhh..boy.
        “Mommy…what did you mean when you said ‘give it to me now?’ What did daddy give you?” I just about wet my knickers I was laughing so hard.

  6. Hmmm. Good post, but you know, I’m certainly guilty of some of these sins on both my blog and Facebook. It is inevitable if you want to tell people “How you’re really doing, not some fake, perky, sanitized version of your life.” I have a private Facebook group site with family members where we can and do post all of the above. It is an excellent way to stay in touch when we are spread across the country. One thing we do always try to do, is make the reader laugh.

    I don’t have very many Facebook Friends so it isn’t much of a problem, and I don’t need to block or unfriend anyone. However I use the feature of declaring some people as being Acquaintances and not having to read about them daily.

  7. davewakefield

    I re-entered the Facebook world recently after having deleted my account only to find it to be just as painful as before for the reasons you state. I must concede that it does play a role in the world that we live.

    1. I keep hoping it will improve but it doesn’t. I guess we have no idea how boooooooooring we can be. 🙂

      Having said that, I have found FB a surprisingly useful place for story ideas and sources, so I will keep reading it.

    2. I was the same. I deleted it because it was dominating my life, but because I live on the other side of the planet to many many very old and good friends who I care about, using Facebook was really the easiest way to keep in touch. I find it hard to accept that many people accept at is the means of communication on a day-to-day basis. Although, as annoying as many posts may be, there’s enough there to keep me interested. Oh and this time I’m not adding everyone who asks to be my friend – friends are friends, and I mean the traditional variety (at least I try to keep it as close to that definition as possible.

      1. I use it for the same reason — I have friends on there in Istanbul, Paris, Austria, Britain, BC, etc — and there’s no way I can stay in touch with all of them one on one, nor are we super close. But I do want to hear their news and, becs so many are journos, it shows me what they are working on or thinking about.

  8. I dumped FB for various reasons…the main one being was it was sucking my creativity. But, the last straw was the stuff that was being written about FLOTUS–horrible, racist stuff. I don’t care what your political views are, but saying you’re not racist then saying racist stuff ummmm…makes you a racist.
    So, I took off to space and nuked my FB account–that was the only way to be sure that I’d never re-engage again.

      1. I’m a journalist too and while most of my friends work in this field or similar ones, it’s their friends of friends who comment on stuff. I was quick to hide the offending folks from my feed but now I’m just happy I don’t have to deal with that crap any more.
        GREAT POST by the way!

  9. Maggie

    ‘Jesus, I swear, is just as bored with this as I am.’ Gosh, you made me laugh with this. And I’m sure you’re right.

  10. I detest religious and political rants along with update requests that suggest that most of us won’t repost whatever message they want to pass along to the world such as those related to loving Jesus, their children, kicking cancer’s ass, or some other topic that is making the rounds. I will absolutely unfriend people who spew hateful sounding political comments. I don’t want people like that around me in real life and I don’t want to see their crap on my Facebook page!

    1. I find it odd and fairly pathetic that FB allows/encourages people to say really stupid inane shit to a LOT of people at once (which this blog does, too…) I figure, if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it there either.

  11. The “you might like” stuff can go. Not sure I need Facebook feeding me advertizing. I have a televisions for that.

    I haven’t blocked anyone because you never know when you are going to see something totally cool. Maybe i chose my pseudo-friends well. Dunno. Frankly, I like the medium and the idea of sharing the “fun” in your life is a good way to approach the platform, for me.

    There’s a lot wrong with Facebook but for all its faults the platform is what you make it. You can shape your news feed and treat your contribution very creatively. Speaking of that, I will seek you out there. Maybe we can share our thoughts there too!

    1. I’m still there for the reasons you cite…I try to keep my posts fun, interesting, neat photos…Occasionally I will let off steam about work frustrations (or triumphs) because so many of my friends there are fellow journos and authors, so they really get it.

      I love sharing the fun stuff and I love seeing others’ images. It’s a little weird, perhaps, but I have two friends with gorgeous small dogs — one in Paris and one in rural Austria — who often post pix and videos of Remi and Oscar. I look forward to those and even miss them when they are not doing it. The pix of Oscar near every major Paris monument, his entire FB entourage insists, would make a lovely children’s book.

  12. what i don’t like on facebook are the people who feel they don’t get enough attention and then announce that they’re tired of facebook so they’re leaving, deleting their account, only because they want people to beg them to stay. i hate that.

  13. After a brief trial I left FB as there was nothing I liked about it and a great deal I disliked. I enjoy Twitter though – following/unfollowing people there seems to be less emotionally fraught. I tend to unfollow people who post a lot of links that require you to be signed into FB in order to see them! Twitter seems (so far) much less bossy and intrusive than FB.

    1. Interesting. I should be using Twitter but the thought of adding yet another time-sucking distraction feels really overwhelming to me. For the moment, I have drastically reduced my TV time (which isn’t much anyway) and am able to get a lot more done as it is.

      1. You can send FB posts to Twitter, so you don’t have to post the same thing twice, which is useful for business/professional posts. Links must be to fully public FB pages though and you also need to be sure that you don’t make personal posts public. You can also automatically send blog post updates to Twitter from WordPress, so you can create a timeline with little effort other than the initial learning curve of how to post to it from FB and WP.

        However, if you already have more than enough on your plate, you are wise not to add another dimension to your social interactions!

  14. Those over idealistic pictures with suggestions about how you should live your life because it will make you a better person etc. = utter BS (not sure if you covered these in enough detail). The people who write these are clearly not alive, bored millionaires or those who have achieve Zen like enlightenment, or as is most likely, they’re internet trolls of the most evil kind,

    On the subject of trolls, I imagine loads have shared this on facebook and I hope not that many come and troll you for being, well, doing everyone else a favour!!!!

    1. Thanks for putting this on FB. I have not, because my first suggestion — re things medical — could hurt the feelings of a few people I do care about, one who has had cancer. But I still feel very strongly about it and, after one more LONG and insane post yesterday from someone I barely know, she’s getting ditched today. Enough.

    1. It’s interesting. When I was up in Canada I looked at it much less (my new rule) and did not miss it at all. But I enjoy seeing what friends are up to. I have zero tolerance for drama, but maybe my friends don’t post much of that.

      1. Andrea Kelly

        I definitely miss it for being able to connect to certain people, like friends who don’t live nearby, but for the most part, it’s been kind of refreshing!
        Glad you’re able to miss out on the drama side of things though, that’s lucky 🙂

  15. Nigel Featherstone

    Okay, so it seems that we’re pretty well concluding that everything on Facebook is annoying, that the thing itself is more trouble than it’s worth – and I can only agree with that. Perhaps the one thing I’m guilty of on this list (if ‘guilty’ is the word) is using Facebook to vent about politics, not long-winded polemic, but something to express my dissatisfaction about something or other – Australia is becoming more and more conservative and that’s a problem for me. Does this kind of venting actually achieve anything? Perhaps not, although in this country there’s been an extraordinary turn of events where social-media pressure has forced advertisers pull out of a very conservative (and idiotic) shock-jock’s radio program – obviously Facebook played a huge role in terms of distributing a petition that has now been signed by over 100,000 people, getting the desired result. So, whilst I’m in complete agreement that people do seem to clog Facebook with inane rubbish, it can be used for political good, even if rants have to be a part of that.

  16. I’m fine with people having political opinions. I have them too and occasionally vent them on FB. But, here, with the Presidential election in (!!) three weeks, the volume and noise on this on FB becomes nauseatingly repetitive. I agree that social media can effect social change and that’s great….I am being whiny about people not doing this for social change but just to whine to a large(r) crowd all the time.

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