It’s interesting–facebook used to be entertaining. And fun. It started out as someplace where people could virtually meet or reconnect with people from their past. Everyone had all kinds of things to say and share. I loved the family updates and the realness that I could identify with. I enjoyed the reading the various points of view and engaging in spirited debates with people who resided at the opposite end of the belief spectrum. Lately I have noticed that it has become either boring or vitriolic, and, for the most part, people are becoming one-dimensional. It seems that people have found their niche and rarely step away from that. It has become a social stranglehold, choking the life out of anyone it touches, limiting social expression to one or more of the following:
- The “selfie slut”–OMG. The selfie slut. I get that kids like to take pics of themselves, but grown-ass adults? Oh. My. Gawd. One from this angle. One from that angle. One making this face and one making that face. Not sure what it says about someone when they are over the age of 21 and take more selfies than an insecure 14-year-old girl, but totally cringeworthy. You look good. You know it, we know it. Please just stop. Or maybe just slow down a little bit.
- The “happy couple”–You’re in a relationship. We get it. And it’s perfect. We can tell because you are always telling the world just how perfect it is. You repeatedly say how blessed you are and you use terms like Bae, Baby, My love, etc. It drips of liquid sugar and we get a cavity every time you post. Keep it real sometimes. We are happy you are happy, but no one is that euphoric all the time.
- The “religious nut”–I am a Christian. I have a lot of Christian friends, some new to the party, some have been there for a long time. Some are super judgmental and can be downright nasty. All the time. Some can only talk about their testimony/conversion/faith in every single post. It’s like everything in their lives just disappeared and they are only capable of praise and worship in each post. I am all for testimony and worship, but I think sometimes that obsessiveness pushes people away rather than draws them in. Real life is messy, imperfect, bumpy and unpleasant, even for Christians. We are human too, after all and subject to the same pitfalls, feelings and screw ups as everyone else. Share those too. I like to know that I am not alone. I am sure most people do.
- The “political junkie”–These are the people that like to post nasty, one-sided, not even remotely objective articles about the candidate(s) they hate. They use those articles to point out just how stupid the other party is without even bothering to listen to why they vote and think the way they do. Both sides are guilty of this. Both sides have good points and not so great ones, but they spend so much time yelling over each other (technically impossible online, but you know what I mean) and doing the playground “neener neener” thing, that there is no meaningful discussion. They purposely act nasty to start fights. They lose friends this way. Not just on social media, but in real life because they have zero self control and zero tact and zero ability to even try to see from someone else’s point of view. And they are always super shocked and offended when you fire back something equally condescending and rude because you have had it up to here.
- The “peddler”–makeup, pink drink, ketones, wraps, essential oils, candles, etc. They could make a hundred posts per day and 99 will be bragging about the product they are hocking. Hashtag this and hashtag that, all referencing their goods. Most of these people had cool lives before the cult of multi level marketing took hold. But now, I have a newsfeed full of “ads” promoting products I could never afford. I am glad you are happy with your stuff, but no, it doesn’t work for everyone. What else are you doing? Really. I want to know.
- The “drama queen”–If there is drama, they post it. No matter how personal it is, it goes on social media. Every. Stinkin’. Detail. Sometimes it is way more information than anyone deserves or wants to know. We get a play by play of the whole dramatic scene(s) or process. We now live in a bizarre world where there is nothing that is off limits or taboo. We hear it all, from Boo’s incarceration to who everyone is having sex with to what family member has been disowned and why. I have had my momentary lapses in judgment when I rant or bitch a bit, but I try to keep certain details out. I don’t post names and I keep certain details private. Vague bitching. Does that make any sense?
- The “Hater”–They spew hate on everything. They are angry and vindictive and more than happy to share their misery. With everyone. They like to belittle and throw insults and painful barbs every chance they get. They have little to no regard for who they hurt, insult or offend. And they get personal. No one is immune and it is a wonder they have any friends. I don’t know. Maybe people keep them around for when they want to fight or maybe they just find their misery amusing.
- The “perfect parent/perfect child”–Similar to the “happy couple” but in this case it’s all about the kiddos. Their kids are perfect. They do no wrong. They have a 5.0 GPA from all that extra school work they ask to do. They are always the most valuable player on the team. They get along with their siblings. Their children are selfless, generous and never do anything even remotely naughty. Meanwhile, my kids are beating the crap out of each other because they are brothers and they are close in age. One is semi-homeless and making choices that sometimes make me cringe, but he is resourceful and he is incredibly talented musically and is currently working on several short stories and a book. One has to take everything apart and leaves parts of everything all over the house and he struggles to make C’s in his classes because his mind works differently than most. One is a perfectionist that is incredibly hard on himself, artistic, like his mother and a very soft heart. He also has a very thin skin and takes everything way too seriously and way too personally. They are beautifully imperfect and I couldn’t ask for 3 better humans to call my sons.
Social media can be like a street pharmacy and each of those niches is a different drug. What is your drug of choice?