I’ve noticed an odd and dangerous trend sweeping social media lately, and I want to talk about it here.
When I come home for the day, my cat often gives me this very serious expression, like she’s judging me for something. I think most cats have this ability, but Bast’s eyes have a natural slope downward toward her nose, so she usually looks angry or consternated.
In an attempt at humorous commentary about my cat, I posted this as my Facebook status:
“I’m really getting tired of coming home to my cat judging me for my poor life choices.”
Obviously this is a joke. I don’t really have any regrets in my life. When I examine the path that had led me to where I am and the choices I’ve made thus far, I’m proud. I’m college-educated, and I have a job doing something I love. This job allows me to live in a nice apartment and not starve. It also allows me to have fun on the weekends. I live within my means. I go to Mass every week as dictated by my Catholic faith. I give back to charity. I volunteer when I have the time. I call my mother every evening. I don’t do drugs and I don’t drink to excess (very often, anyway). The only thing in my life I could really consider a vice is my smoking habit, but even that pales in comparison to everything else in my life I do right.
In short, I’m a good person, and I have a good life I’m thankful for because of God’s grace and also because I’ve made good life decisions. So it stands to reason that my friends who know me well enough to know how I live my life would recognize my status as a joke. PLUS, I cats don’t judge people. Or at least I don’t think so.
But one of my Facebook friends commented,
“so stop making poor life choices….”
Thinking that he knew it was a joke, I replied,
“MY CAT ALREADY JUDGES ME, [Facebook friend], I DON’T NEED YOU CHIMING IN.”
But apparently he didn’t realize the status was a joke because he answered,
“Im not judging you, if you’re going to put it out there for anyone to read then expect comments. If you aren’t happy with choices/decisions you make, fix it. It’s your llife and you control it.”
All I could do was shake my head and sigh.
As I’ve already pointed out, I have a good life as a result of my good decisions. So yes, condescending Facebook friend, I know I control my life. And I know how to control it. In all seriousness, I don’t need you trying to tell me with your well-meaning but patronizing platitudes about self-empowerment.
Not to mention, I very rarely ever post anything serious on Facebook. Most of my statuses (Stati? I really need to figure that out) are about funny events or witty commentary about my life. Case in point: my last Facebook status was,
“Too much pressure and I’m nervous!”
This, obviously, is a lyric from “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus. I was hanging out at a karaoke bar with some friends and we made two of our macho, cowboy-hat-wearing soldier friends sing it for us. I thought it was hilarious, so I posted it.
So I explained to my friend that the status was just a joke. And he said,
“lol ive gotten used to people taking fb verrry seriously.”
I’m sure this is true, but this is what annoys and saddens me. Whyyy do people take social media so seriously? I know potential employers check social media before hiring people nowadays, but that doesn’t mean you have to automatically stay away from content that shows wit or character. In fact, I doubt that my Facebook status about my cat would have raised any eyebrows in any potential employer.
Not to mention, if I really WAS making poor life choices, why the hell would I post about it on Facebook? Why in the world would I make that shit public for my entire friends list to see? For example, say I was a drug addict. Would I post statuses(i) or pictures about the huge amounts of coke I’m about to snort? No! You know why? BECAUSE THAT’S IDIOTIC.
I also don’t post inspirational quotes or song lyrics (because they mostly come off as cheesy). And I avoid posting anything political because it invites a bunch of uninformed and ridiculous commentary.
The problem as I see it is that people are getting way to fucking personal on Facebook nowadays. Leave your problems off of your status because you come across looking like a needy asshole or someone who doesn’t have your shit together. And let’s face it: if you’re putting your shit on Facebook for the whole world to see, you probably don’t have your shit together in the first place. I mean, if you were going through some crazy break up with your significant other or if your family was driving you crazy, would you tell random strangers about your problems? No.
Sigh. Maybe my inner-hipster is just really annoyed by the fact that my Facebook friend didn’t understand my hilarious irony.