You used to check email first, but you get so much spam these days that Facebook seems the safest place to play.
Your Facebook inbox is flooded with messages and the good news is, they’re all from people you actually know!
After all, you “friended” them.
After replying to what you deemed important, you notice that you have some friend requests from a few people you haven’t seen in years! “That’s crazy,” you mutter, shaking your head, as you click on their profiles to see what they’ve been up to.
“Oh, how cool,” you think, as you click on the pictures of Rich’s trip to Italy. “He does so many cool things. Someday . . . “ Will’s on the golf course again. And Justin’s out on his boat. Do those guys ever work? Dana has a new car. Eric posted a motivational quote that gets you thinking. Wow, Jason and Kristin’s kids! How adorable. They’re growing up so fast. Oh, and look a “Throwback Thursday” picture of Lynn’s college days!
“I really have to make an effort to get back together with them all,” you make a mental note.
Say it aint’ so.
It isn’t. It is.
The Facebook Ass Clown!
And not just one. It’s a whole circus!
Your personal space has been infiltrated!
Johnny is trying to advertise savings in electricity. Roger is being a bully with his political views. Rachel is posting grotesque before-and-after photos selling weight loss shakes. Tim is selling insurance. Linda has a video talking about the “greatest home business in the history of the world.” And Kim is posing as an expert again (even though she’s the least-successful person you know).
You’ve been recording your favorite TV shows so you can blow past the commercials and now they’re being forced down your throat by your own “friends!”
Should I “unfriend” them? Will they know? Will they be offended? Will they like me anymore?
So you try to ignore it. But you can’t. It happens every damned day!
And every day your personal image of that “friend” gets lesser and lesser.
The world is changing. Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are actual words in the dictionary these days. If you’re not a part of it, it’s as odd as not having a color TV or a microwave.
The problem is nobody ever teaches you how to “behave” on there. You might be shy or stand-offish in a public setting, but behind the keyboard you are empowered to say whatever’s on your mind. But, like I tell my teenager, the whole world is watching (and judging).
If you want a sure-fire way to alienate yourself from 50% of your social network, then you should go ahead and post your political viewpoints! During the last election, Facebook was flooded with mean and nasty rants about the presidential candidates. When somebody posts a political opinion, though, they get feedback. It feels good. They get lots of people agreeing with them. It’s what they yearn for. Acceptance. The problem is, the other 3,000 people who are reading it now think you’re a jerk. So what’s the point?
And if you want to alienate 50% of what’s left, just talk about your religious beliefs. Countries go to war and kill each other over religion. Don’t get yourself killed!
A touchy subject to be sure. You’ll argue that “people who disagree with my opinions aren’t really my friends anyway.” Hmm. Think that one through.
The truth is, you can use your Facebook page to do whatever you want. After all it’s yours! But next time you’re about to make a post, instead of doing it behind the shield of your computer screen, imagine if you were standing in front of a room full of your friends. If you wouldn’t scream it out there – then don’t write it.
You wouldn’t want to be pegged as The Facebook Ass Clown!
* Full disclosure: I’ve done this in the past. Many of us have. My goal isn’t to insult anybody, just to be a friend. You can thank me later!