What Not to Do On Facebook (Especially in LA)…Part Two

It’s been a while. Your Facebook page has evolved. So has how you use it. And by “evolve” I mean, gotten way, way worse.

It’s to the point where the original What Not to Do On Facebook (Especially in LA) doesn’t come close to accounting for all of the inane shit you are (or maybe only I am?) forced to wade through on a daily basis.  So without further delay…

Last time I wrote about an epidemic level of narcissism.  I doubt much about that has changed.  It’s certainly as real and as omnipresent as ever.  But here’s the good news – and all of you who are obsessed with your self-help books and your replacement churches will love this – it’s totally not (all) your fault!  I know how much you need to hear that everything you do is wonderful…and it, like, soooooo is.  Don’t change a thing.  If other people don’t like every damn thing you do…well, you know…they’re just not positive enough.

The truth is this.  When you get attention on social media – Facebook ‘likes’, retweets, Instagram ‘likes’, cock pics on Snapchat (that’s all Snapchat is for, right?), your brain releases all the happy chemicals that it used to release when you were actually doing happy things, like laughing, or cheering, or hugging, or receiving cock pics in a text message like it was 2011.

(For the record, cock pics are never a good idea.)

And while it is completely your fault for being an attention whore who can’t survive without other people’s admiration or glowering jealousy, it’s not your fault that the chemical reaction in your brain has you addicted to repeatedly validating yourself in the face of all those ridiculously unnecessary insecurities.  So, with that said, please remember that it’s okay if you do these things.  You just suck in the eyes of everyone around you.  Even those who clicked ‘like’ on that picture of your cat.

Their last twenty ‘likes’ were on the pictures of your tits.

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If You Look Up “Gullible” in the Dictionary…

Facebook for Dummies

Every couple of months, a new status update worms its way through Facebook promising to protect the “private” information you’ve been sharing with a bunch of virtual strangers on the internet.  The newest one hit last night, and boy…it’s really…something?

Let’s just cut to the chase here.  If you reposted that, there’s a big part of you that is a gullible moron.  Now, I know that sounds mean, but seriously.  You just read something online – a place not known for its veracity – and then reposted it without doing any research at all.  People repeating what other dumb people tell them is one of the surest symptoms of being dumb.

In the future, you should realize that if a bunch of your dimmest friends on Facebook are reposting something on Facebook and engaging in an internet meme, that internet meme is probably total bullshit.  Let’s consider some of the biggest ones the last couple of years:

Remember when you guys all posted that video about that mean African warlord so some rich white kids could make money and encourage U.S. military involvement in an oil-rich foreign nation…because we all know how well that usually turns out, and how many innocent children that saves?  Oh, wait.  No it doesn’t!   And remember how you were going to buy your anti-Kony kits and bring him to justice this year and have a special day on 4/20 (you still did that) for that Christian evangelist organization who’s running it?  Remember all the research you did before you reposted that?

What about the time when you changed your Facebook profile picture to a cartoon to help prevent child abuse?  I know, it sounds silly now, but you were just trying to raise awareness about the problem of child abuse and cover that 0% gap of adults who aren’t already aware of that problem.  We can all agree that raising awareness is a good thing, right?  Well, no.  Raising awareness in an incorrect way is a very, very bad thing, because you’re encouraging people to do something that doesn’t need doing and then making them feel good about the nothing they just did.  Those are bad things.

Also, willfully disinforming people is a bad thing.  Everyone has the right to their own ignorance.  But go ahead and skip spreading it, okay?  There are enough of you already.

Remember how you, you internet anti-geniuses, convinced everyone that there was a question about Obama’s citizenship status?  Or how you convinced your uneducated friends that Einstein thinks The Secret really works, or how the Tea Party formed thinking the United States was founded as a Christian nation?  Those are all products of dumb people reposting things they don’t understand without questioning them.  That’s the mark of the anti-intellectual and it’s a good reminder of just how the education in our country is declining.  But let’s move on…

Let’s go straight for the actual status update:

There are ways to know that the “legal notice” isn’t a legal notice at all without doing any research.  First off, there’s an exclamation point – “For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!”  Legal notices generally don’t feel the need to yell at you and the validity and strength of the statements held in them don’t change on the basis of exclamation points.  That should seal it right there, by the time you finish the first paragraph.

If that wasn’t good enough, the convention the post refers to is the “Berne” convention.  Not “Berner”.  Although, I suppose, if there was a Berner Convention, and if it did discuss this, and did decide that there were new laws, and that your statuses were binding legal documents, it STILL wouldn’t supersede Facebook’s privacy policy which YOU ALREADY AGREED TO!!!  <– Exclamation points (not legally binding)

But let’s throw that away.  Let’s say that you reposting that nonsense really was legally binding and compelling.  That actually makes you look worse, oh bottom of your class.

If you just read and reposted something that in some way was going to legally affect your rights as a person and you did so because you read it on the Facebook Wall (!!!) of one of your dumbest friends you, my dear, are the dumbest friend.

We’ve established that you have no legal knowledge and no ability to research subjects and find answers.  Could you possibly expect yourself to know which passages of legal mumbo-jumbo (or in this case nonsense) would even be GOOD for you??  I could call up a lawyer right now and have him write a couple paragraphs that would probably commit you to serving a prison sentence in solitary confinement and you would repost it right away without knowing the difference.

And that’s the point.

Now you may think that this is trivial and I’m a jerk and why would I take the time to write this…and you may be correct on all counts.

But, it’s this sort of passive idiocy that allows Fox News to exist and for elections to be about topics which don’t matter at all.  It’s this sort of thing that lets people believe that the gays are ruining their marriages.  It’s this sort of thing that convinces people that global warming doesn’t exist or that evolution isn’t real.

Just because a bunch of people you know think something is true, that doesn’t mean it is.  Especially if those are your dumbest friends with the worst taste.  This is why you feel like it’s okay to listen to Nickelback.

Remember when your mom asked you if your friends all jumped off a cliff, would you?

Well, congratulations.  You just did.

Perpetual 9/12

** I generally hate to preface anything I write with a warning about being offended, but with as sensitive as this subject is, I assume there are some people who invariably will be offended (which I generally don’t care about, and also don’t now) but I hope that if they are offended it’s actually from something offensive I wrote (which I doubt I will) and not from the snap judgment to stop reading early.**

The theme of the ten-year anniversary commemoration of 9/11 was, in almost every circumstance, some version of “never forget”, which is unquestionably one of the most vacuous and empty thoughts to have about the whole thing, and it’s important from a lot of perspectives to understand why.

Now, I want to mention right up front that 9/11 is undoubtedly a horrific human tragedy. The loss of life that day should in no way be demeaned. The sacrifice of the first responders is truly noble. The courage and motivation of many young men and women to enlist in the military and volunteer for service is admirable.

The effect that the event has had on the American psyche is profound…but is that a good thing?

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What Not to Do On Facebook (Especially in LA)

Just don't.

I suppose Facebook and Twitter are basically, by definition, mildly (or maybe strongly) narcissistic…

…and it’s absolutely true that neither of them are going anywhere anytime soon.

Narcissism – a narcissistic person: Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognised as superior without commensurate achievements); Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion; Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people.

So the question then becomes, how can you use them without seeming like a complete vapid asshole who thinks that everything they think and do during the day is somehow even remotely interesting to other people?  Well, here’s a simple list of things not to do on Facebook – especially if you live in LA.

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Time Saver

Thanks, Facebook. You just saved me time.

Last night I learned about a great new time saver.  It’s called Facebook Places.

The best part is that you don’t even have to use it.  In fact, that would be counterproductive since using Facebook Places is obviously an astounding waste of time.  But if you just keep an eye on it, you’ll know who you shouldn’t be Facebook friends with anymore.

Whenever Facebook rolls out one of their new features, they always make sure to prominently feature it on your page, no matter how uninteresting this new information will almost inevitably be to you.

For instance, Facebook informed me that 101,019 people had checked in at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  Now I know that there are 101,019 people that I don’t even need to worry about being friends with since “checking in” at the airport is unequivocally one of the most boring things imaginable.

This is especially true when you consider that in the days prior to whatever trip this “Facebook Places” user took, he or she almost definitely led up to it with a string of fantastically mundane status updates like:

“Three days till my trip!”

“Two days till my trip!”

“Dreading packing.”

“Hooked on Jersey Shore.  Haven’t even started packing yet!”

“Packing for my trip.”

“Is eleven pairs of shoes too many for a four day trip? I think not.”

“I hate waking up early!  Oh well.  Off to the airport!”

“Cab’s late.  Ugh.”

“Curbside check in.  Is it rude to only tip $5?”

“Longest line ever.”

And after you’ve gotten through all of those thrilling details, you see that the person has officially “checked in” at LAX.

Thank goodness that they’ve proven they’re really there.  If they went through all of that and weren’t really there, man, that would be nuts!

But instead they’ve just proven that they’re the most boring/narcissistic person alive.