January 21st, 2008. "Robert Brumm is trying to figure out the point of facebook"
That was my very first post on Facebook, back when all the posts were in third person. Remember that? It's hard to believe I've been using Facebook on a regular basis for over seven years now. And you know what? I'm not ashamed to admit it.
I like Facebook. It's done wonders for my writing career, helped me stay in touch with old friends, helped to make many new ones, and offers plenty of entertainment.
There is a dark side to the second most visited website in the world, however. Like a loaded pistol lying on the ground, Facebook is neutral on it's own - neither good nor bad. It's the people that use it that can make it so damn annoying.
Annoying trends have come and gone over the years, but today while taking a selfie holding a sloppy Joe I made on vacation standing next to a newborn baby that won a spelling bee declaring "It's Friday, bitches! Who's ready to get yer drink on!", I mulled over the current trends on Facebook that annoy the hell out of me. See if you agree with my list (in no particular order) of my Seven Most Annoying Things on Facebook in 2015.
1. You Won't Believe What Happens Next!
Links to videos and news stories are as old as Facebook, but a particularly annoying trend showed up about a year ago. Click-bait headlines.
"A mom left her infant alone in the same room as a Saint Bernard. You won't believe what happened next!"
"This man gave a homeless vet a dollar. His response will leave you in tears!"
"A mom confronts her son's bully. What happened will floor you!"
Guess what, suckers? These links exist for a reason. They tempt you into clicking on the link, taking you to some sleezy website, and driving traffic to try and get better rankings for advertising dollars. In the meantime, you just wasted 30 seconds of your life being let down by a lame video that wasn't nearly as exciting as the headline suggested.
I'm not saying you need to stop sharing funny, informative, or interesting links to videos and stories. After all, if you're reading this, chances are you were directed here by Facebook. What I'm suggesting - nay, DEMANDING - is to stop clicking on or forwarding anything that ends in "You won't believe what happens next!" Seriously, you're annoying the shit out of people and breaking the internet at the same time. Just. Stop. Now.
2. Thoughtful Looking Celebrities Share Their Opinion
These celebrity quote posters have been around forever and never cease to amaze me. Remember the other day when you were reading People magazine and you came across an awesome quote from Johnny Depp? Then you fired up Photoshop, found a great picture of Johnny, and typed up the the quote into the photo? Then you posted it on Facebook and sat back with a satisfied smile on your face, right?
No? Me either. Seriously, who in the hell takes the time to make these things? They just don't appear out of thin air and I'm pretty sure Mariah Carey and George Takei aren't whipping these things up on their own.
Not to mention, is anybody fact checking these things before releasing them out into the world?
Anybody can make up whatever shit they want and plaster it on a photo of Jim Bob Duggar and call it a day. Mark my words - one of these days a bogus poster is going to go viral with a made up quote resulting in bad consequences. In the meantime, these lame ass posters are annoying as hell. Stop sharing them. And if you ever meet somebody that created one, run. Run away.
3. I Don't Play No Stinkin's Games!
Ah, game requests. An oldie but a goodie, right? Here's where you're expecting me to rant about all the notifications inviting me to play Mafia Farmer, and here's where you'd be wrong. What bugs me are the dopes that take it personally and think that their friends are deliberately seeking them out and inviting them to play Cranberry Crush - Pirate Edition.
Newsflash for you cranky non-gamers: These games may automatically send out invites to the friend lists of those who play them. Getting on your soap box and begging everybody to stop inviting, won't stop the invites but will make you look stupid. Fortunately, most people only do it once because their rant is followed by half a dozen responses repeating what I just said and instructions on how to turn off game notifications. I had hoped this annoying trend would have died out years ago, but alas, I just saw one today.
4. Crushed. Wondering What's the Point of All This...
I was going to refer to this as "cliff hanger attention seeking posts" but while researching this topic, I found it has a proper name: Vaguebooking.
You know the posts.
By all means, if you're sad or mad about something, go ahead and post about it. That's one of the reasons social media exists. But going about it this way not only makes you look like an attention seeking whiner, but can also worry people. Seriously, put yourself in other people's shoes before even thinking about pulling this crap. There's a possibility of you seriously making loved ones worry and be afraid if they don't know what's going on with you. So knock it the hell off and grow up.
As for the rest of us...
5. Yeah, Well...Better Safe Than Sorry
The bullshit public service announcement. It's been around since the dawn of the internet, ever since the first gullible rube signed up for a Yahoo! email account and forwarded a warning about rat feces on soda cans from Aunt Jackie. Unfortunately, these urban legends are alive and well in the land of Facebook.
My mom used to forward these "warnings" to me all of the time and 9 out of 10 were bullshit. I pleaded with her time and time again to take 2 seconds to Google the messages first before sending to see if they were real or not. "Better safe than sorry!" was her response. Sigh.
For the love of God, people. Before even thinking about forwarding any sort of warnings about hackers, child molesters, or everyday products that will kill your children, take 5 seconds to Google it. More than likely, it's bullshit started by somebody with too much time on their hands. By the way, if the public service announcement is a photo of a public service announcement printed out on a piece of paper, don't bother looking it up. I'm not sure why, but these are always phony 100% of the time.
Want proof? I whipped this up the other day, posted it on FB, and nobody called me on it. Seems legit. Shared. Not a public service announcement or warning per say, but still 100% false.
6. But I Don't Want to be ANY of the Baldwin Brothers!
Not much to say about the classic Facebook quiz. Does anybody get the slightest shred of entertainment from these idiotic things? Does anybody realize that most them are just data mining tools designed to get a read on what ads to throw in your face? Didn't think so. Just say no. If you really want to know which hair band you are, just email me and I'll let you know (It's Ratt).
7. Just Speakin' My Mind, Man.
Don't talk about them on Facebook. Ever. You're not going to change anybody's opinion, no good can come from debating them, and you're guaranteed to leave the conversation frustrated and annoyed. It's not worth it and you'll be a happier person once you refrain from doing it. And guess what? You're annoying the shit out of the rest of us. 'Nuff said.
Not to worry, Facebook fans. More annoying trends are sure to surface in 2016 and beyond. Believe me, I could come up with a lot more than seven things that annoy the hell out of me, but I just read another article listing articles about annoying Facebook things that are annoying, so I'll stop at seven.
What things that people do on FB annoy you? Share in the comments below.
Robert Brumm is the author of several books. You won't believe what they're about!