26

Should You Be Posting That On Facebook?

I haven’t been in too much of a rant-y mood in a while, and while there is way too much anger in the world, I just have to get this off my chest. Call it a cross between a rant and a Staying-In-And-Getting-Real night, even though I’ve actually only been home for only about an hour.

I’ve made several posts in the past about my pet peeve with social media.

But now, I think that it’s just gone too far.

Not that it had too much farther to go.

In my opinion, once you’re at a certain age or place in life, you shouldn’t be posting stupid stuff. I’m not talking about pictures of dogs with their heads stuck in lawn chairs, I’m talking about statements that demonize human beings, whether individual or an entire population. It used to be that only politicians did it; now everyone’s got their own soapbox and megaphone, and most of what they yell is complete and utter garbage. And most of the time, it’s not like they stand by any of it or believe in it or do anything to take action about it; they just want to attract attention to themselves. A “friend” of mine recently posted a photo of two people walking in a parade in Native American headdresses, with the caption, “name what’s wrong with this picture.” What wrong with the picture is that no one cares, and leave them alone to deal with anything themselves because it’s none of your business.

The worst part of it was that this person was another graduate student, just like me. Not trying to get too judgmental here, but when you’re an undergrad, or a kid, or are a professional parodist, you can get away with posting stuff like that. But if you have a reputation to uphold, or you want one, you just can’t post stuff like that on Facebook. I learned that the hard way. I posted a few things that raised some eyebrows among people I knew both online and in real life, and I faced a certain amount of consequences for being stupid. It wasn’t anything political, and some of what I wrote did reflect how I felt at the time, but in hindsight, it wasn’t something that needed to be shared. And even some times when I do write something that I don’t see a problem with, someone else might, and then it’s up to me to judge how I feel about it. Even if you don’t think anyone is going to read it, the person you least want to will probably end up seeing it.

I could post about how “inappropriate” post X is, but instead, I chose to “hide news feed” from those friends who post things that are ad hominem, ad feminem, antagonistic, hateful, or just plain stupid, while still remaining friends with them. Suddenly, I felt so much better. At this point, I’d rather see pictures of cute babies or animals.

Oh, and I got my 36,000th revolver map visitor today, from London.

6

Let’s Face Facts, People

Not The Facts of Life, but the facts of The Face.

Yes, Facebook.

I feel like Facebook has been getting a lot of flak lately. Yes, there are things about it which are terrible and awful, like the games, and News Feed, but I think that people are approaching Facebook with a completely wrong attitude.

Facebook is, first and foremost, a social media website. I don’t know if people don’t understand that, but the point is that if you have a Facebook, there is something about your life that you want to be made public, because in theory, anyone can see your profile; even people with whom you’re not connected in any way. If you’re on Facebook, you’re going to be found.

Which brings me to my second point. Lately, the big trend has been changing your name on Facebook to a completely different one so “employers” or “bad people” or whomever can’t find you. Such a load of crap. I have a friend who recently got a “real job” so he changed his name on Facebook from Mike Johnson (names made up for this post) to Jeremiah Maxwell. Yet, in the url for the “Jeremiah Maxwell” profile, it still says http://www.facebook.com/mike.johnson.1234! Seriously, that’s just dumb. It only confuses your actual friends, and people will still find you. If you don’t want to be found, then just don’t have a Facebook account at all. It’s that simple.

Here’s a true story that happened to a friend of mine in college. We’ll call her Lauren.

It was 2005, right around the time when Facebook really took off, and it was a very different site. People had more personal information up, such as their dorm, so you could find out who lived near you, and your class schedule, so you could connect with people you went to class for notes and such. It was also only open to students back then, and students at other schools could not see your profile, so it felt a little safer. Anyway, Lauren and I met freshman year through her roommate Meg, who was a good friend of mine. I didn’t know Lauren that well, but what happened to her quickly gained attention not only from the school but from the mainstream media. Basically, Lauren was friended by an older student, we’ll call him Seth. She felt like she’d seen him around campus, or maybe he was a friend of a friend, so she didn’t really give it much thought.

Then, strange things started happening.

She kept running into Seth all the time; outside her dorm, in the store where she worked, walking outside the buildings where she had class. For a while, they didn’t talk, but she noticed him more and more frequently. Then, one day, as she got off the bus, he was at the stop and asked her what her favorite Pink Floyd album was, since she’d listed it on her profile. The next day, he was waiting outside her dorm and he told her that he liked the new dress she was wearing in her new profile picture. When she told him that she wasn’t interested in him, he said something like “I know where you work.” That kind of did it; she got off Facebook and all social media, despite it being too late, because he already knew where she would be 95% of the time since he knew her class schedule, dorm room, and workplace. She reported it to the police, and then basically had to change her life around: she moved into a different dorm, changed her classes, changed her work schedule and then quit altogether. Pretty soon after, she gained a modicum of fame for going public with her story and being smart enough to potentially stop an incident with someone older than her who she did not want anything to do with, led talks on nearby college campuses about her experience, spoke to the media, and became a huge advocate for the anti-social media movement.

She had a legit reason for leaving social media, and she did, cold turkey. She was inconvenienced by it, but she learned and grew from the experience and a lot of other college students did too. Now that Facebook is a much bigger thing, it’s potentially more dangerous, but if you’re that concerned about someone seeing your pictures or finding you, do what Lauren did. And if you’re not being stalked, consider yourself lucky.

And that’s why you shouldn’t complain about Facebook.

5

News Feed = Bad News

I’m pretty serious about this one.

Every time I scroll through my Facebook news feed, it’s garbage. Old garbage, new garbage, political garbage, garbage about racism.

It’s just plain bad news. Don’t do it.

I started writing this the other day but didn’t get around to finishing it.

Anyway, I keep getting sucked into this endless trap of suck. I mean, there are a few things that are worth keeping up with. One of my friends is going to give birth any day now, and is posting updates about contractions and such. Another friend posts a lot of cute kid pictures and funny stories, and I have a few more friends who get me with their witty one-liners or a funny meme or something. But if it’s a link to an article about something political, whether it’s race relations, the Presidential campaigns, Israel, gender discrimination – and now, the $20 bill changing to Harriet Tubman – I tend to not scroll past them as quickly as I know I should.

Yet, I still subject myself to it. I guess it’s important to me to know what’s going on with my friends, even if it is pictures of what they ate that morning or them checking into airports in exotic cities I’ll probably never get the chance to see. However, that doesn’t stop the Facebook feed, from becoming a dangerous place. Often times I’ve found myself practically agreeing with what a friend posts, even if it’s totally against my own belief system, because it’s well worded, or looks official, or something. And then I wander off and suddenly it’s two hours later.

Maybe I just need to get more positive friends.

13

As Told By Ginger and Other Things That Are Not Coming Back

Facebook informed me today that As Told By Ginger, probably one of the most true-to-life and thoughtful animated series of all time (or at least on Nickelodeon) was going to come back. With all the recent hype about Fuller House and the general nostalgia trend, I wanted to believe it. I hoped it was true.

Then, I learned that it was based on a post by a site called MoviePilot.com, which has been known to a) spread lies and b) steal content. If you really want to go to that site, you can, but it’s utter crap. If it were really coming back, Nickelodeon would say something about it (like they have about the Hey Arnold! reboot movie), and not release some crappy drawings on some site run by a third party.

So, despite the fact that Facebook’s news feed, though bearing questionable content (such as what color dress Eva Longoria wore to the Golden Globes, alongside a headline about the body of a missing teenager found in Nebraska) is usually correct, don’t get all your news from there. And don’t get your hopes up about As Told By Ginger returning either, because it is not happening.

And before another false hope crosses into your horizon, let me shoot down a few other things that are not coming back.

1. TRL. When was the last time regular MTV played music videos? Every so often this pops up, and no, it’s not happening.

2. Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. There have been rumors of a reboot of this Christina Applegate-led classic getting a reboot with every teen star from Selena Gomez to Ashley Tisdale to Miley Cyrus, and though it could be fun as a 21st century adventure, not happening.

3. Rugrats. It ran for ten years, including specials, movies, and a spinoff series, All Grown Up. While I loved watching Tommy and crew, I can’t think of many more situations they could get into without reinventing it into something else. Unlike with Spongebob Squarepants (going on seventeen years!), the people behind Rugrats are happily counting their money, and when the public wants to see it again, they can go online, or maybe Nickelodeon will re-air it in syndication. A classic is a classic, and it shouldn’t be messed with.

4. Mrs. Doubtfire. There were rumors of a sequel for awhile, but along with other Robin Williams films, I think that’s off the table.

5. HairsprayEven though I love the old movie with a passion (and to some extent, the musical – the movie musical, meh), I wouldn’t bet on a Hairspray 2 anytime soon.

6. Murphy Brown. I heard a weird rumor one time that there was going to be some sort of Murphy Brown reboot, with someone like Julia Louis-Dreyfus or Jenna Elfman in the title role, but I think that once the ground’s been broken, you can’t call it virgin territory anymore. Plus, nobody can be Candice Bergen. Remember Rachel Blanchard as Cher in Clueless, the TV series? Thought so.

7. The Golden Girls. They tried it with Hot in Cleveland, and it shouldn’t be rebooted. Ever. It’s golden, hence the name.

8. The Cosby Show. I think it’s safe to say that this is forever dunzo, in any way shape or form.

9. Friends. Hopefully, it will be back eventually, but I feel like speculating on a return of friends is like asking your parents for a pet; the longer you ask, the more they’ll say “not now, Alexis, eat your chicken nuggets.”

10. Mean Girls. Other than the weird non-sequel sequel with that girl from Wizards of Waverly Place, I highly doubt it will come back. Every time there’s been talk of a reunion movie, either Tina Fey or Amy Poehler comes out with a new project. I think that we’ve moved on, and going back to revisit Cady Heron and Regina George just won’t work. They’ve already learned their lesson once, in a big way. It’s not going to happen, so stop trying to make it happen, Gretchen Weiners.

7

Dump

The other day I did something that I don’t normally do. Mostly because I don’t take the time to think about it, but I have my reasons.

I cut down my friends list on Facebook, unfriending people who I do not believe to have a place in my life any longer.

I have never been a vengeful person (okay, maybe just a little), nor an extremely private person, but after a conversation with Julie in the car on the way back from Wyoming last week, I decided that it was finally time. For the record, there is nothing on my Facebook that I wouldn’t mind anyone seeing, future employers included, and the way I see it, the Internet is basically like a bulletin board piled with advertisements and flyers; some might be concealed, but if you really wanted, you could read every one of them. And people out there knowing about me and my life doesn’t really scare me that much. If I don’t want someone to know something, it’s as simple as just not putting it out there.

I tend to keep friends around on Facebook once I make them, just because unless they post something really offensive, I have no reason to unfriend them. Whenever I do hover over the unfriend button, I get a small wave of guilt, as if I’m burning a bridge. What if I might need that person in the future? What if they become really famous and because I clicked a button, I can’t prove I know them? What if, what if, what if…and then I go and do something else.

But I made up my mind to do it, and see just how many of those 1,750 people are worth keeping a connection. After I scrolled through the obvious keepers, like family members and friends I still talk to with some degree of regularity, I came upon the people who I haven’t thought about for years, from high school, freshman year, summer camps. Delete. Some guy I had one class with freshman year, some girl I met at a Starbucks, a guy I never met but liked some of my pictures, a girl who now lives in South America and probably would not even recognize me if I walked past her in the street. Bye bye. A few names didn’t even ring a bell. Unfriend.

In the end, I didn’t think I’d made much of a dent, but my Friends list was down to around 1,630. In a matter of minutes, roughly 120 people disappeared from my life in a few key strokes. And to top it off, I probably couldn’t name more than ten of them if you asked me who they were and how I knew them. I don’t feel much different, but interestingly enough, it did make me think how many connections I actually cared about maintaining. So, maybe, I’ll go through it again sometime and pare down the list even more. A lot of my friends have less than half of the connections that I do, and they seem to be doing just fine for themselves.

Then there’s the question of deleting Facebook altogether, it being a source of drama, a time-waster, and just and overall life-sucker-upper. Julie said that the only real reasons she keeps hers active is so her mother could see family pictures and she can have an extra avenue to contact relatives in case of emergency. My reasons are pretty similar, although I also have the added weight of having lived in several states and countries, and wanting to keep tabs on friends from all over, especially those in Israel who I can’t text anytime I want, or if I ever want to visit them, only to find out that they moved or something.

Alternatively, I can look at “the dump” as a way to clear out space for new friends, like the influx of friend requests after a conference. It’s a thrill when you log in and have 10 new friend requests from people you’ve met who you actually care about and might have a chance of building an awesome new friendship with.

5

Staycation, All I Ever Wanted

So, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed this morning and came across a link to this story about Zilla van den Born, a 25-year-old from the Netherlands, and her fantastic five-week adventure through Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.

Except…she didn’t actually leave her apartment.

Well, a few times for photo opportunities, but in essence, she took a five-week staycation in her Amsterdam apartment, using the magic of Photoshop to tell her family, friends, and Facebook about her life-changing adventures in southeast Asia, with only her boyfriend in on it. Two days ago, she revealed that she’d been in town the whole time, and had used this as a sort of reverse-undercover mixed media project/social experiment to prove how social media impacts our lives, or in van den Born’s words, “…to show people that we filter and manipulate what we show on social media – we create an ideal world online which reality can no longer meet (Victor).”

More commentary on this subject after I finish my schoolwork.

***

Works Cited

Jones, Will. “Dutch Girl Fakes a Trip to South East Asia.” Gapyear.com 9 September 2014. <http://www.gapyear.com/news/230749/dutch-girl-fakes-a-trip-to-se-asia&gt;.

Victor, Anucyia. “What a scam!” Travel News. The Daily Mail Online. 9 September 2014. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2749306/What-scam-Student-boasts-friends-trekking-Asia-visiting-stunning-beaches-tasting-local-cuisine-meeting-Buddhist-monks-using-FAKE-photos-taken-home-town.html&gt;

1

I Had One More

Today, I came across this list of 7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook.

It reminded me that about a year ago, I wrote this post and then this one a month later, on the exact same topic.

However, in that time span, people and their Facebook status updates have become no less annoying, in fact, quite the opposite. But just for kicks, I wanted to see how much this person’s list of 7 and my list of 8 align.

Mine were:

  1. The Facebook Guru
  2. The Prayer Warrior
  3. “My Life is Awesome”
  4. The Serial Liker
  5. The Social Commentator
  6. The Jehovah’s Gamer
  7. The Activist
  8. The False Sense of Intimacy Person.

Theirs:

  1. The Brag (and various forms thereof)
  2. The Cryptic Cliffhanger
  3. The Literal Status Update
  4. The Inexplicably Public-Private Message
  5. The Out-Of-Nowhere Oscar Acceptance Speech
  6. The Incredibly Obvious Opinion
  7. The Step Towards Enlightenment.

Okay, so we have a lot in common. My #1 is his #7, and my #2 is his #6. My #3 is his #1 and #5; just for the record, mine are in no particular order but I’d put that as the top annoyance any day. My #4-7 don’t really match up with any of his, but my #8 has elements in his #2, #3, and #4.

So, now that we agree on four out of his seven, there are three left. And honestly, I don’t really care about #2 and #3.

For The Cryptic Cliffhanger, if it’s someone I don’t care about, I just ignore it. If it’s someone whom I’ve seen recently or about whom I deeply care, I’ll comment, but usually I’ll text or call that person. I’ve actually done it a few times in the recent past, and it’s yielded good results; sometimes those people just want someone to care. The Literal Status Update? Not even on my radar screen. It’s like…good for you? And for The Inexplicably Public-Private Message, two thoughts. One: people do make mistakes like that, whatever. Two: if you have to check yourself and your Facebook friends in somewhere and brag about it, how much time are you really spending with them?

So there you have it, a complete comparison.

But mine came first and you have one less, one less, problem than me.

 

2

On Colorblindness in the Theatre

Today, one of my friends posted this as his status on Facebook:

You know what really grinds my gears? When all white high schools put on black shows like Aida and The Wiz.

I’m not usually that person who goes there with someone’s Facebook status, but I found this to be somewhat offensive and felt the urge to say something.

So I did a little research, and responded, saying something along the lines of:

I don’t think that this is a fair statement. MTI, the company that holds the rights to Aida and is very strict about their rules, suggests that ethnic actors would be good for the show, but does not say that the director must cast actors of color; that would be discriminatory. Plus, if it’s high school, it’s for educational purposes, and some rules may not apply.

By the time I pressed the comment button, several other of his friends, black and white, commented similarly, saying that The Wiz was based on The Wizard of Oz, Quvenzhane Wallis is going to be the next Annie, Broadway had an all-black Hello, Dolly!, that not all schools have black students (or enough interested in the arts to cast the show), etc. I was not alone.

His response to me?

Jacob, when did I say MUST? You’re the only one talking about licensing; I’m just saying that they shouldn’t be putting on shows about my people. White people telling the stories of colored people is wack.

My response?

Maybe directors at these schools choose those shows because they like the beauty of the story, not to mention the music and the message. Aida and The Wiz are just as much part of the American musical theatre canon as My Fair LadySouth Pacific, et cetera. They have all the rights in the world to put on whatever show they like; you don’t have any control over that.

His response?

Seriously?

Over that?

A little background: this friend, whom I’ll call Kevin, is an African-American guy I met at the 2006 APO nationals, and again at the 2008 nationals. When I met him, I thought he was funny and nice. I haven’t seen him for a long time, but we’ve remained friends on Facebook. His posts are, one could say, inconsistent. One day, he’ll post something about how black stereotypes are wrong, and the next day, he’ll post something that is a complete stereotype (one of the hard things about Facebook: detecting sarcasm), something like “Oh honeychile’ there is some fake weaves in this here bar.” I always thought that if you’re a person who hates stereotypes, don’t go slinging them around, and then get offended when someone calls you out on it.

The topic of colorblindness in show selection and casting is something I’ve wanted to write my thoughts on for a long time, and I guess now is as good a time as ever.

Since Kevin started us off with high school, let’s rewind to the early 2000s, aka my high school days, where I was so involved in theatre that I actually got a little plaque about it. 100% of the students in my school were Jewish, and 98% of the school was, you could say, white. That didn’t stop us from putting on shows with nonwhite characters. I mean, what are we supposed to do…Fiddler on the Roof every year? Sure, we did some very white-bread shows (Hello, Dolly! and Bye Bye Birdie come to mind), but we also did West Side Story and South Pacific, despite having very few students of color in the school. We didn’t do Aida or The Wiz, but I don’t think anyone would have stopped us had we done them. The two shows Kevin chose, actually, are particularly bad examples…Dreamgirls and Hairspray would’ve been harder to pull off, owing to the racial nature of the plot, but apart from blackface, I don’t see a problem with a school that is entirely or predominantly white putting on Aida or The Wiz.

Kevin, you are a well-educated and well-spoken person, but this is not the 1990s and you’re not Lauryn Hill (who, by the way, apologized for her remarks about white people). If high school theatre went by your logic, does that mean that high schools that don’t have any Asian students shouldn’t put on Flower Drum Song or The King and I? Or that a predominantly black school shouldn’t do My Fair Lady or The Sound of Music?

Sheesh Louise.

Back to my high school days. In my freshman year, we did both West Side Story and South Pacific. Our West Side Story, in particular is a great example of exactly why casting should be talent based, and not looks-based. Two of the main characters, Maria and Anita, are quite clearly Hispanic. We only had one girl with a Hispanic background in the whole school, and even though she auditioned, she didn’t get either part. The part of Maria went to a white girl, who I think did a pretty good job of playing Maria. She was not wearing any sort of makeup other than stage makeup, and she didn’t speak with a Puerto Rican accent, but she got the job done. Anita, on the other hand, was played by one of the only other non-white girls in school; a girl of East Asian descent who happened to be a very talented dancer. Though the character of Anita does a lot of dancing, she also sings. The girl who got the part did not. In fact, she refused to sing, period. For “America,” another Shark girl took her role, and for “Tonight,” Anita sat onstage while the other Shark girls sang around her, as if she was getting ready for a party. I can’t remember what they did for “I Have A Love,” – that number might have been cut for time – but she didn’t sing a note. It was a shame; even though she is a very talented dancer and looked beautiful in the part, she was not cut out for Anita at all. Several of the other girls could have done that role even better, and would have loved to have Anita’s singing lines all to herself. For South Pacific, the girl who played Anita didn’t get Bloody Mary or Liat, roles she probably wouldn’t have liked anyway, instead, she danced in one number while other non-Asian girls played those parts. In contrast, when we did Bye Bye Birdie, the Hispanic girl I was talking about was a front-runner for the role of Kim McAfee, arguably one of the most white-bread roles in the American theatre, and when I’m talking front-runner, I mean that out of all the girls who auditioned, she got called back and was probably in the top four of the director’s choices for the role.

Moving right along, you also say that ever-so-problematic phrase “my people.” Okay, so you’re saying that these are the stories of “your ancestors,” like the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow? Let’s look at the facts. Part of the beauty of The Wiz is the inventive music, which makes it different from The Wizard of Oz but does not make it exclusively for one race. And funny you should bring up Aida, a story from Africa with music and lyrics by “your people”…Tim Rice and Elton John. The original Aida is about as black as a lightly toasted pizza crust; it was a story created in Italy. Furthermore, the story is about Ancient Egypt, and even though Aida was Ethiopian, the other characters may or may not have been dark-skinned. Traditionally, Cleopatra is thought of as “black” or “African,” but even though she was born in Africa and lived there, she had Macedonian and Greek ancestry through Ptolemy. She was most likely olive-skinned if not white, and possibly had green or blue eyes and blond hair. In all likelihood, she probably looked more like Jennifer Aniston than Cicely Tyson.

Now, I don’t know your actual ethnic background, but I do know that you were born in America, and that were you to go to Jamaica or Ghana or Kenya and proclaim them to be “your people,” they’d probably all either laugh at you, or think that you were weird without saying anything to your face about it. The Wiz is as much your story as The Wizard of Oz is my story; basically, not really. All the people in these shows are fictional characters who have been and will be portrayed by actors of many ethnicities, and even mixed ethnicities. I think that’s as far as I’m willing to go in this post about defining ethnicity/race, so let’s move on to another topic.

Before I left Houston, my friend Monica and I were having lunch and talking about musical theatre. Monica is a singer and actress, and I was working on Fiddler on the Roof in Baytown. She also happens to be African-American. When Fiddler entered the conversation, she said something along the lines of how she wouldn’t fit into that show; if you put her in villager clothes, she’d probably look like a slave, which might be true. I agreed with her, saying that even though she could sing and act Golde, it would be tough for her to pull it off. In hindsight, I think I was wrong. In fact, I think she’d make an awesome Golde, regardless of whether Tevye or anyone else in the cast was black. In fact, we did have a black girl in the chorus; granted, she was very tiny and hardly noticeable onstage, but she was there and dressed like a villager. Furthermore, when The Crucible was done at U of H, there were many black actors among the citizens of Salem, and not just Tituba; in fact, the girl who was initially cast as Elizabeth was not only black but of Caribbean descent, and race is very much an issue in that show. Had she stayed, she would have made a wonderful Elizabeth.

If an actor can do the part well, they should indeed, regardless of color. And if a mostly or all white high school wants to do The Wiz, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

Oh, and Kevin? Good job showing your true colors; defriending someone who disagrees with you on something in a very nice way without getting riled up about it is obviously a sign of maturity.

That was sarcasm.

And I probably didn’t want to be friends with you anyway.

3

More Types of People I Dislike on Facebook

So, I kind of cheated last night on the post. I was writing writing writing at super-speed yesterday in Black Hole…and I clicked “publish” about 30 seconds too late :-/ but I fudged the time because I had actually spent ten minutes before midnight on the post.

It’s morning, though, and you know that song “Life Looks Better In Spring?” Well, life looks better in the morning. I woke up at 9 and relaxed until 11. Yesterday, there must’ve been an electrical short in my car because the “open door” light stayed on unless I physically held the driver’s side door shut with my hand. This would not do. I resolved to get up early (well, in the single-digits, anyway) and take it in to the garage. Well, I get in my car, and what do you know, no light. Even when going over bumps. So, I went to River Oaks Coffee House (where I am right now) for a coffee, egg salad sandwich, and scone for breakfast and am hoping that I’m not putting my foot in my mouth about this car thing. Also, my foot would probably taste terrible.

I have so many ideas for posts, and then when I have the time and wherewithal to post, it’s like they disappear. No matter – I’ll just continue airing my thoughts on types of people I dislike on Facebook.

4) The Serial Liker

This person likes EVERYTHING that you post or do, from “I got a new job” to “I have food poisoning, diarrhea, and I think I have crabs.” For some reason, I imagine that this person is sitting at their computer, refreshing their news feed, and WAITING for me to post something so that they can be the first person to hit the like button, as if they’re going for some sort of super-speed world record or something. How is it physically possible to “like” everything a person does? In real life, wouldn’t that be annoying? The Serial Liker is not to be confused with…

5) The Serial Commenter

This person may or may not like everything constantly, but feels the need to post something under your status constantly. My dad does this a lot, but usually he was something witty or interesting to say, but then again, he’s my dad so I don’t mind. What I’m talking about are the people who constantly have to get a word in. More recently, there’s been someone who’s used the commenting feature as a way to guilt trip me/initiate a conversation with me, which is what messaging is for. Again, I don’t mind when people post appropriate responses, but if you want to post something that is not about what I posted, just post it on my wall or message me. Or, y’know, if you want to talk to me…just give me a call or text me or something.

6) The Jehovah’s Gamer

Facebook games are fun, but on the rare occasion when I play them, I don’t like to force it upon others. Some people do. I call this the Jehovah’s Gamer because not only does this person invite you to play Candy Crush or Farmville with them, but they do it REPEATEDLY, even when you turn them down, and the only choice is to ignore them until they lose interest or defriend you. (Defriend? Unfriend? Dump?) If I wanted to play that game, I’d play it myself. Also, there’s this thing called life…you should try it. This person is akin to…

7) The Activist

“Sign my petition!” “Take my survey!” These are the types of people who in real life, annoy the crap out of you in the street or on your college campus, and you just wish they’d go away. However, on Facebook, it’s a little more complicated – you can choose to block everything from that person, or be forced to witness a constant barrage of petitions. Most of them are not even legitimate, and just screw up your feed. And it’s not like you can totally ignore it either – it’s there for you to read, instead of having the option of walking away. A friend of mine used to send me petitions about abused animals which littered my wall/timeline with pictures of half-dead dogs. Ew.

8) The False Sense Of Intimacy Person

This person is someone you met in passing, or at a party, who somehow found your name. When they friend you, you know it’s the right person, because you just met them, so in the spirit of friendship, you accept their request. But then…they start commenting. They start liking. They start sending you games and petitions. When you post something about someone, even if they don’t know them, they comment. They invite you to events that are not in your city, state, or country. They message you at random times with personal questions. They even look back into your timeline history and comment on past events, posts, and pictures. One time, I posted something about remembering my grandmother, and this girl sends me a message, “is your bubbe okay?” First of all, you don’t even know my grandmother and you never did since we just met and she’s been gone for years. Second, just because I’m Jewish, doesn’t mean I call my grandmother “bubbe”; it’s actually a Yiddish term, and neither of my grandmothers spoke that as their first language (one spoke English, one spoke English and some German). Third, that’s just so patronizing. It’s well-intended, yes, but the tone and the phrase is equivalent to asking someone about their “mommy” or “daddy,” which is just so, so wrong.

Of course, I could always defriend these people. But I have this thing called a conscience and I don’t have the heart to, unless they continually harass me or repeatedly post annoying things on my page. You never know when your car will break down in their town and you’ll need them to come pick you up so you don’t die on the side of the road in the middle of the night.

 

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Types of People I Dislike On Facebook

These are some types of people I dislike on Facebook.

 

1) The Facebook Guru.

Example: “Life’s not about how many breaths you take, it’s about the moments that take your breath away.”  – Someone ❤

So many of my friends do this all the time, and I don’t get it. It’s like, are you the next great American (or insert nationality here) guru? Have you made some intense epiphany, and instead of sharing what it is, post some crappy platitude about it? That’s why Facebook has a “quotes” section in your profile, you moron. Especially when two or more quotes are posted in a row. Well, now what am I supposed to believe? And…do you actually know who this person is, or if they actually said the quote? There was a cool BuzzFeed the other day about misattributed and misappropriated quotes, from Shakespeare to Audrey Hepburn. Marilyn Monroe seems to be the biggest scapegoat – she probably wasn’t that witty in real life. I mean, she started out as a factory worker. A welder, I believe. Then she was an actress. Welder + pinup girl actress does not = great guru of a generation. And posting some probably made-up quote makes you look like an idiot. Look, I can make up a quote too!

“This world is not only one where we can look up at the future, but dig up the past.” – Elmer Helfensprudle ❤ archaelogy ❤

“A pencil may not be a pen, but it has a point.” – Mary Cecilia Potter-Wallace, 18th century English poet

“A lover is like a brassiere: he should be soft, he should support and uplift you, and when he is released in bed, you should feel free.” – um…Marilyn Monroe?

2) The Facebook Prayer Warrior

Example: “My prayers go out to Nigeria – 54 dead today 😦 6.10.13 😦 ”

Ok, so most of these are probably pretty sincere. Hurricane Sandy, Sandy Hook, Boston, etc. Some are not so important. But first – do you really care that much? Second – are you really praying? Third – Did you even spend time meditating on anything today? Fourth – does it make you a better person? Fifth – Are you doing it just because everyone else is? Answers: 1) No, probably not, just doing it because it seems appropriate, everyone else is doing it, and maybe someone will give me a like. 2) and 3) I know most of my friends pretty well, and some I can conceivably see praying every day, but most, probably not. 4) No. It does not change anything that happened, and it does not make you a better person. It usually makes you look a little desperate for attention, in my opinion. 5) Yes. It’s okay to put important news on Facebook, but just clogging up the feed by repeating 86 other peoples’ statuses without even offering me any new information, news-wise or personal, is a waste of feed space for me. Ugh. I can’t even. Moving on.

3) Posting that Your Life is Awesome

Example: “My life is so awesome right now. I love my job. So blessed <3”

BUT IS IT? Because mine might be, or it might not. If it is, then whatever. If it’s not, well then, screw you. Bragging about how awesome your life is is something that shouldn’t be done in real life, so why do it here? Actually, in real life, people usually tell you more about how much their life sucks, rather than sitting around basking in their own glow all day – but apparently Facebook is the place to vaguely bask. This happens mostly with my young actor friends. Being in the theatre field but not an actor (well, primarily) and reading these posts from you – ok, so you’re doing something that you like and worked hard for…good for you? You don’t see people like “I cut an old lady’s hair today and made her smile – I love being a hairdresser,” or “Changed a tire for someone on the freeway. He said thank you. AAA = best life ever,” but some of those people may enjoy their jobs just as much as you do, but they shut the hell up about it. Also, some of us losers don’t get to have these opportunities and don’t want to live vicariously through your ridiculously amazing life and your awesome Facebook statuses. Rarely do I post anything about dramaturgy being “effing amazing” or “so incredible” unless I do something really, really cool like that time I carried rocket shells through the streets of Jerusalem for the Israeli government. Either tell us something cool about what happened to you, or just shut up. Well, mostly, just shut up, because no one cares that you got to ride a horse or dance dressed up like a swan or die in a sword fight. It’s not a sin to be happy, but keep it in your pants a little more often, people. Also, “blessed?” Overused and on the dislike list. Meh.

In short? Status does not = status symbol.

This rant has been brought to you by Facebook and annoying people on it.

Also, adding to the words/phrases I dislike list: “working backwards,” “polish,” “fella/fellow,” “I’m beat,” “straight play.”

Oh, and even though I did get to do dramaturgy today, and make a presentation to actors, two things I enjoy doing and I went to school to learn (read: largely teach myself) how to do and want to keep continue doing, today sucked.