I read the above statement somewhere (probably the internet) when I was about 19. It is good advice and has served me well ever since, as it basically dictates that you might as well be yourself, because there’s always someone out there who will think you’re weird even if you’re desperately vying to be ‘normal’.
Following on from yesterday’s post, I’m pretty sure this can be updated. Everyone is someone else’s Facebook freak. Seriously. No matter how ‘normal’ you think you are online, someone in your friends list is secretly festering away with hidden outrage every time your name pops up on their news feed. What could you be doing to incur this wrath? Well…
1. Do you post a lot of cat pictures?
Ok. I think they’re adorable. And funny. And so damn cute. Seriously, a cat climbed a wall outside my house when I first got up this morning and I lost my shit because it was so damn squee. But there’s a cat hater in your midst who is disgusted by it. Trust me.
2. Do you have kids?
Yeah, we know that you need to post a lot of pics so that family members in far away places can see how much they’ve grown. This may surprise you, but not everyone else is as enamoured with your little ones. Some people don’t like the photos where little Sebastien has covered himself in tomato sauce. Some people don’t care to see little Lulu perched upon the potty. Some people quite honestly hid you from their news feed the moment the first baby scan was uploaded to your wall.
3. Do you like politics and current affairs?
You like to post a lot of news stories. You like to spark debate. You think yourself to be well informed about the things that matter and cleverer than your average Kardashian. Well, there’s at least one person who is supremely outraged at your opinions and can’t stop gawking in wonder at the conversations that fill up the wall. They possibly even screen shot some of them and share them privately with friends because “OMG someone has a different opinion to me!”
4. You’re grieving
This is a horrible one, but it’s true. I’ve seen it many times. Everyone grieves differently, and if you see someone on Facebook flamboyantly grieving in a way that you wouldn’t it’s easy to judge them. It’s not necessarily right, but it’s easy. The thing about Facebook is that you can feel like you’re amongst a safe group of close friends, because they are the ones interacting with you the most, but really you’re doing something very private very publicly. I’ve heard people complaining because someone is talking too much about the death, talking too little, looking too happy in subsequent photos, posting too many sunsets… You get the idea. Everything will be wrong to someone. And the sad thing is that when you’re the one watching an ex-colleague from 7 years ago who you really don’t speak to anymore struggle with the death of a brother, you can’t actually do much to help. You can avoid watching car crash TV, but car crash social media sneaks up on you, unawares.
5.You don’t post photos
You keep quietly to yourself. Your profile photo is either a very pleasant head and shoulders shot from a nice occasion a year or so ago, or it’s a nice landscape from your holiday a while back. Sure, you got married, but you’re not going to put photos here because that’s private and you’ve read all those privacy warning articles all over the web about Facebook. You just like to scroll through occasionally and catch up with what you’re friends have been doing. Well, some of those friends are probably ticked off that while they are sharing with you, you’re giving nothing back. Why do you even have Facebook? Or conversely, what’s so absolutely terrible about your life that you’re hiding behind a nice shot of a lake? Is it juicy? Why won’t you tell us?
BONUS: This can’t be me, I don’t have Facebook
You think you’re safe because you didn’t sign up, or you deactivated your account? Well, to an awful lot of people no account directly translates to “drama queen”, or “serious weirdo”. Ever looked up an old school friend, been unable to find them and worried that they may have died? That’s how much people expect you to have Facebook.
The moral of the story folks? You’re being judged from every which angle by people who don’t really matter. Be yourself and do what you’ve got to do. And keep posting cat photos. Because that shit is awesome. Here’s one I found on the net: