Last year, in this thought-provoking post, Elizabeth Bernstein, the popular columnist at The Wall Street Journal, wrote matter-of-factly about the rise of Internet braggarts – a trend which is increasingly worsening, thanks to the proliferation of Facebook.
Her concerns about this unhealthy social trend hit home the message and lay bare an obvious truth many of us choose to ignore rather whimsically. If nothing else, her observations about the popular conduct on Facebook indicate many alarming behavioral patterns that could spell doom for our social relationships in the years to come.
It’s quite easy to agree with her points if you’re an active user on Facebook. Facebook was sure invented to grow your network, make new friends and share your joy with your friends in a whole new way. But little did Mark Zuckerberg know that his gift to the Internet world would be used by millions of people in ways that would breed contempt instead of love.
If you’re an active Facebook user (or rather Facebook addict) who is conditioned to express themselves in a state of utter oblivion, make no mistake – you could be turning people off with your unwarranted updates that are unpalatable at best and offensive at worst.
Here’s a checklist that helps you figure out which way your Facebook reputation is headed:
Before you start checking the list, picture this scenario: you’re surrounded by a group of people that include your boss, high school teacher, clients, and even acquaintances. And, then imagine yourself acting weird. Get real – you would never do those things if you were surrounded by equal number of friends in real life, would you?
However obvious the answer is, many of us unfortunately continue to craft a bad impression about ourselves in rather futile ways to coming off cool. I’m sure one or more of the examples listed below could fall in this context. Let’s take a look:
Showing Off Your Status
They say humility is a virtue and it’s true. But an analysis of status updates would reveal the hidden popular desire to display one’s possession. Be it the repetitive status updates about that latest gadget you have acquired recently or the swanky car you bought last week, your unbridled display of materialism is a huge turn-off whether or not you believe it. Would you keep on showing off your latest iPhone to each one in your neighbourhood in real life? And how would they react to such an obsessive showy attitude of yours? Think about that!
Revealing the Bad You
Everyone one of us gets upset about something or the other, and when the Internet wasn’t mainstream, the best we could do to distress ourselves was engage in something we liked or simply sleep it off. But today, many of us would rather go to our rooftop and shout our lungs out, right? No? Well, then why do we see such rampant practices across Facebook on a daily basis these days? Aren’t we aware that everybody is watching us? How about a little discretion there? Trust me, your friends would thank you for that! And, for your bad mood, there are definitely a whole bunch of effective alternative solutions out there. Try those – they still work!
Slamming Your Enemies in Public
I don’t know what the world is coming to! Looks like suddenly, Facebook has granted the humanity with the license to criticise others in public. Wherever you see, there’s an acerbically counter comment that carries enough venom and absolutely little substance. If Facebook servers were humans, they would cringe to death at such ridiculous volume of nonsense they are being fed every day. Nobody likes to hear your vitriolic in public however frustrated you are with your enemy. And, being a turn-off yourself is hardly a noble deed. You’re most likely to regret such an act anyway. Stay off such tendencies! It’s good for your emotional health.
Recommended Reading: How to Grow a Facebook Brand Page
Sharing Your Bad English
Never was there a greater (read wider) platform to demonstrate our creative writing skills until Facebook arrived in our life. Every now and then, we see people update their status with a witty thought expecting friends to press the like button in a hurry. While some do it with success, many simply end up making a mockery of themselves with their innocent display of bad English. What’s more – some even offer comic relief in the process. While it’s good for some, you definitely don’t want to let them know how awful your grammar is, do you?
Status Update with Ugly Photos
The Facebook world is full of hoax and yes, ugly pictures! I’m not talking about the real pictures people click and impulsively share using their smartphones in the most private corner of their room; they are as bad as they get. But I’m also taking about the poor memes they share, most of which are crafted by the crazy Facebook pages they’ve subscribed to. Somebody tell them most of those jokes are in poor taste and speak volumes of their awful comic sense.
Status Update using Slangs
“Be Yourself” is probably the worst victim of the meathead. While they fondly assume using slangs make a bold statement, it actually makes their discretions highly questionable. It’s like those parents offering their five-year old access to adult content. You would think twice uttering those words in front of your family members; so why allow your propensity to run amok on Facebook?
Racism, sexism, trivialisation and stereotyping remind us of one thing these days – Facebook. When regular updates seem creatively monotonous, some resort to worst possible alternatives in an attempt to appear unique and updated. Even when they are miles away from current affairs on a regular day, they don’t mind jumping on the bandwagon if something seems like a cool update to them. Neither are they inquisitive nor are they conscientious enough to ponder over how their silly contribution could potentially spread misinformation among their friends.
They are right: there is a thin line between socialising on Facebook and demonstrating douchebaggery. Sadly, that line is getting blurred day after day.
Do you ever think twice before posting an update? Have you ever regretted posting an update to the extent of deleting it subsequently? Please, share it in the comment below.