Did you see this article, "7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook?" It was initially on the author Wait But Why's site back in July, but went viral when The Huffington Post ran it on Oct. 13. If you haven't read it yet, let me sum it up for you briefly: Unless you are posting things that are interesting (to Wait But Why) or funny (to Wait But Why), you're annoying, insufferable and doing Facebook all wrong. According to Wait But Why, we are all just using Facebook to showcase our worst qualities, serve our own emotional needs and "bring down the quality of everyone's life" (yes, he actually said that).
Admittedly, the article is funny. The crude MS Paint graphics are very Crappy Pictures-esque and keep the post much lighter than it would be otherwise. But overall it just comes across as self-righteous, passive-aggressive bullying. It is a long list, with specific examples and witty categories, of how your Facebook status should and should not be. I came away from the article thinking unless I was posting something hilarious or linking to a really great article, I was one of the horrible Facebook offenders Wait But Why loathes. I felt like I was back in high school, being told by the cool kids how to act.
You don't have to read their posts
I understand some updates are annoying, and some people post irritating updates more frequently than others. But those people are easy to identify and avoid. If you know Kathy only posts things that are "Attention Craving" and "Jealousy Inducing" (two of Wait But Why's motivators for annoying posts), then move your eyes on down the feed when you see her profile photo show up. Or even better, unfriend her! Can't delete her for some reason or another? Take advantage of the handy-dandy "hide from feed" feature Facebook has. You remain Facebook friends, she still sees your posts, but you don't have to see her bothersome updates (and she is none the wiser).
What happened to face-to-face interaction?
Really, the main problem with Facebook (and all social media sites) isn't over sharing and annoying posting — it's that they have taken the place of personal interaction. Long ago in days of old we would talk to people, in person or on the phone. We would tell them about our lives and get instant, immediate gratification from the communication. Nowadays, people have their faces so buried in their screens that text messaging has become the norm, even replacing professional conversations in some cases. People are terribly busy, and the weekly get-togethers my parents' generation enjoyed with their friends seem to be a thing of the past. If they do still exist, folks sure aren't posting about them on Facebook.
Even worse, people are so isolated. Many jobs exist where the main portion of the day is spent on a computer. According to Forbes, work-from-home jobs are at an all-time high, which further disengages people from others. These stay home jobs can be a blessing for parents wishing to be more present for their children, but come at the high cost of minimal adult interaction. For many stay home parents, working or not, the only grown-up conversation they get during the day comes from social media. If these people are over sharing (and my hand is raised here), it's probably because they have no one else to share with.
Across the miles
And what of those separated from their loved ones? How many of our troops overseas have watched their children through social media while deployed? Again I'm raising my hand here, this time on my husband's behalf. I highly doubt my entire Facebook friends list is interested in hearing about my son's music class each week, but my husband — who hasn't seen his boys in almost eight months — certainly is. According to Wait But Why, those posts are "Image Crafting" and "Narcissistic" (two more of his motivators), but for our family they are a way for my husband to stay engaged and informed while he's away from home. Many, many separated families use Facebook this way, to stay in touch when otherwise they couldn't.
Share (or over share) on!
Wait But Why finishes his article telling us most of our Facebook friends don't love us. "Between 96 and 99 percent of your Facebook friends do not love you. People who don't love you don't care about you or your day or your life that much, they're probably not especially rooting for you, and they certainly want nothing to do with your worst qualities." No one loves you. No one cares. No one wants to hear what you have to say. More self-righteous bullying if you ask me.
Here's what it all boils down to: Much like life, your Facebook is your Facebook. How you use it is up to you, and what I get from it is up to me. We are the ones who are interacting daily. Not some random, anonymous blogger.