Facebook Faux Pas

Inspired by www.yourstatusisannoying.com, a website that and is both lovable and objectively hilarious.

The line between “social networking” and actual, real-life “socializing” is constantly getting blurrier.  And it seems that users are finding more and more reasons to put even more information on Facebook.  Sure, Facebook is handy when your mom asks what old so-and-so from high school is up to and you want to find out without having to make personal contact.  It’s also great for sharing vacation photos.  However, there are many things I believe Facebook should never be used for.  And so follows my angry list.

1.  Airing your dirty laundry.  Facebook is not a dispute resolution forum.  Starting or trying to resolve arguments via status updates and/or comments thereto may be mildly entertaining for us bystanders, but think: you’re putting that stuff online for all to see.  All 400 of your Facebook “friends”, that is.  Yes, it’s funny for us (to a certain extent), but rather than cathartic for you, it’s just embarrassing and likely regretful.

2.  Offering condolences.  This is the worst.  If someone died or lost someone, or got fired or dumped, condolences should be offered in person or over the telephone, NOT by wall post or status update.  You don’t need to invite everyone on Facebook into someone else’s personal suffering.  Worst case scenario – you absolutely cannot call or visit – send a private e-mail or message.  And if you’re not close enough to give them a direct message, then you’re not close enough to be obligated to comment on the situation at all; it’s none of your business, so leave it alone altogether.

3.  Quoting lyrics incessantly.  Annoying.  Extremely annoying.  This behaviour will fast-track you to deletion.

4.  The same goes for constant “inspirational” quotes and strange rhetorical questions.  If I was in the market for inspiration, Facebook would not be on my list of places to look.

5.  TMI: too much information.  This can be any number of things: health issues, relationship woes, conflicts at work and school, anything at all about your sex life or lack thereof.  If it’s something you should probably keep private or only within your inner circle, it should stay far away from Facebook.

6. Discussing bowel movements.  Of anyone.  This falls under the realm of too much information, but occurs frequently enough to deserve special mention.  Potty training your child?  Congratulations.  I have zero interest in learning about it, and these types of statuses and any accompanying photos will get your profile hidden at best, but more likely removed completely.  There are, what, almost 7 billion people on earth?  Most of them figure out the toilet eventually.  A miracle is it not.

7.  Your daily minutia.  I really don’t care what you’re wearing or what you ate for dinner the last 20 days in a row.  If you feel you must absolutely must share this meaningless information via the internet get a Twitter account.

8.  Flirting.  Gross.  Sure, she does look hot in that photo from Cancun (that is probably two years old), but at least drool via text message.

9.  Discussing your diet/work-out regime.  I’m lazy, I know.  I don’t need you to make me feel guilty about it.  You’re just bragging, anyway.  Which brings me to…

10.  Unnecessary and transparent bragging.  Yes, Facebook allows you to show off and edit your information in order to portray your own notion of the “ideal you” (that does not exist in reality, FYI).  We all know this, so showing off is not required and/or should be done with tact and subtlety. 

11.  Baiting your friends.  Here I’m referring to the ambiguous status updates that don’t say anything in particular but hint to deep emotional turmoil, begging for follow-up comments like “are you okay?” and “what happened?”  I make it a point to never indulge these attention seekers.

12.   Be a Debbie Downer.  Hate your job?  Your parents?  Your ex?  Generally depressed?  Vent elsewhere.  Write a haiku.  Go for a walk.  See a counsellor.  Do something, anything, other than sharing these woes through Facebook, because Facebook is not going to help or change anything.  Also, it’s not wise to put any feelings you may regret later (or that may find their way back to the subject person) on the internet, because once it’s out there, it’s out there.

13.  The infamous “is” update.  “Bob is.”  That’s it.  The end.  How very Descartes of you.  Clearly you’ve run out of ideas.  If you don’t have anything worthwhile to say, don’t say anything at all.

14.  Exhibit why you failed high school English.  I appreciate proper spelling and grammar in Facebook content, what can I say?  So until Facebook implements a spell-check feature, do us all a favour and go easy on the capital letters and exclamation points.  Learning the difference between “there”, “their”, and “they’re” will truly make you a better person.

15.  Coordinate important events.  Wedding invitations via Facebook?  Really?  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: tack-y.

16.  Posting anything racist, sexist, or generally offensive.  This should be self-explanatory, but sadly is not.

17.   Updates that read something like “If you can read this, you made the cut”.  I’m happy you discovered the friend-removal function and have now realized you don’t need to be “friends” with everyone you’ve ever had a conversation with, but is this supposed to make me feel special?

18.  Your legal problems.  Lost custody of your kid?  Spent the night in the slammer?  As much as we all love to revel in the misfortune of others, sharing this information with the masses is just another instance of the poor judgment that probably got you into those situations in the first place.

19. TV spoilers.  In the age of the PVR, it is completely inappropriate and totally inconsiderate to announce the results of finales, evictions and plot twists in your status update.  Any wrath incurred as a result is warranted.  You’ve been warned.  The same applies to any movie that hasn’t been out on DVD for more than a month.

20.  Statuses that request you to copy and paste them as your own status.  You know, so a wish comes true or something.  They are the chain letters of Facebook.

Please feel free to comment with your own grievances or post how awesome this is as your status update.

A special prize will be given to anyone who can devise a status update that violates all 20.

The “Pro” List

In the spirit of fairness, we also did our best to make a “pro” list. If you missed the previous Con List, click here.

The Official Pro List of Procreating

  1. You get to play with/own all those awesome childhood toys, such as Lego, Etch-A-Sketch, and Mr. Potato Head.
  2. You have someone to take care of you (for free, or at their cost) when you’re old and decrepit (if society still does that kind of thing).
  3. You learn to eat healthier (read the hidden con: no cookies before dinner applies to everyone).
  4. Maternity leave = paid leave from work!
  5. From a parent: “You truly experience unconditional love”.
  6. “Expectant Mothers” parking.
  7. You get presents when they are born.
  8. If you feel it absolutely necessary to have them, you can pawn them off on the grandparents for a while when you’re sick of them. (*Disclaimer* When the “good” grandparents live 5,000kms away, pawning them off is not always an option.)
  9. Giant boobs, if you’re into that sort of thing
  10. A good scapegoat for bailing on events you have no interest in attending or want to leave early (“we have to relieve the babysitter…”).
  11. Getting knocked up is trendy these days.
  12. Valid excuse for packing on that extra 50 lbs.
  13. Babies look cute in baby clothes and holiday-themed costumes.
  14. You get to play on the playground equipment and go to fun kids events without triggering a call to the police.
  15. Cute foreign babies.
  16. Your mother/mother-in-law will finally stop nagging you about grandkids.
  17. Less hassle with airport security when pregnant or with small children (until someone straps a bomb to a small child).
  18. Tax breaks.
  19. You can teach your child to say “God bless us everyone” and put on an annual production of A Christmas Carol.
  20. Kids sometimes say hilarious things.
  21. Disguising child labour as “chores”; kids can eventually take over some of the housework.
  22. Holidays become full-blown holidays again: Easter egg hunts, Valentine’s Day cards, hand turkeys at Thanksgiving, etc.
  23. MILF status.
  24. You can literally eat whatever you want (as long as it’s not pregnancy-prohibited) whenever you want to for 9 months and no one can say crap about it.
  25. Making your kid learn a valuable skill (e.g., a second language, a musical instrument, a particular sport or activity) you never had the chance to, on the premise of enriching their lives and opening doors for them, while essentially re-living your youth vicariously through them.
  26. There will be no more talk of your “biological clock” and its ticking.
  27. Even if just for a short while, your kids will look up to you.
  28. You get to tell them outright lies and it’s socially acceptable (e.g., Santa Claus).
  29. People (might) give you their seat on the train.
  30. You could have the next Neil deGrasse Tyson, Margaret Atwood, or Elon Musk.
  31. Disney movies.
  32. From a parent: You get to embarrass them in front of their friends just like your parents used to do to you. = Hours of fun.
  33. Pregnant women can get away with a lot – sweat pants in public, rude comments, bailing on events last minute – simply because they’re pregnant.
  34. Children’s books.
  35. “Family vacations” / road trips
  36. You will fulfill the curiosity about how your offspring will turn out.
  37. You get to teach them stuff, share your knowledge, and witness several “light bulb moments” (from a parent).
  38. You can now legitimately criticise other parents and their unruly children.
  39. You might eventually become a grandparent.
  40. “Kids keep you young.”
  41. “Children cure boredom.”

Yes, this list is significantly shorter.  Feel free to comment with your own additions, or to tell me about how offended you are by this assessment of child-bearing and rearing.

The “Con” List

A long-standing joke amongst like minded 20-something childless (child-free) friends, turned into an official document.

Read with a sense of humour and remember offence is taken, not given.

The Official Con List of Procreating

  1. Say “good-bye” to a solid 8 hours of sleep for the next ~decade.
  2. The “doctor-recommended” list of things you can’t eat/drink while pregnant/breast-feeding keeps growing: tea, coffee, pop, anything caffeine, sushi, fish in general, soft cheeses, deli meat, pate, any raw meat, hot dogs, artificial sweeteners, pineapple, papaya, sesame seeds, canned foods.…
  3. No booze while pregnant/breast-feeding (yes, this is deserving of its own point separate from the above).
  4. Finding, retaining, and paying a reliable baby-sitter.
  5. Sticky hands, sticky kitchen counters, sticky floors, ruined sofas.
  6. Total home destruction.
  7. Children in public – enough said.
  8. Baby showers.
  9. When pregnant, complete strangers often feel they have license to strike up a conversation and touch your stomach.
  10. One word:  stretchmarks.
  11. Quoting a friend who was 9 months preggo at the time (Facebook status):  “…no one told me that when the hips start to split it feels like I’ve been kicked in the box by a steel-toed boot.”
  12. Diapers. Shit. Urine. Vomit. Baby rash cream.
  13. Having to lose the baby weight afterwards.
  14. Baby clothes; they outgrow them in 3 hours.
  15. Potty training. Until they “get it” be prepared to change bed sheets on a daily basis.
  16. Giving birth to the placenta.
  17. Good-bye, sex life.
  18. Shopping for, paying for, and hauling around car seats, strollers and cribs.
  19. Complete and utter devastation to the vagina and surrounding areas.
  20. The sick thing that happens to a pregnant lady’s belly button where it looks like the foetus is trying to escape.
  21. Those TACKY pregnancy pictures (if people tell you yours aren’t tacky or awkward, they’re lying).
  22. You get shafted at your birthday and Christmas since people will start getting you pregnancy- or baby-related gifts.
  23. You absolutely cannot bring your offspring to social events.
  24. MILF status.
  25. Out of control mood swings and food cravings.
  26. Quote from a mother: “If you have to make a pros & cons list, you shouldn’t have a kid. It’s not like buying a car.”
  27. You can’t scuba dive while pregnant.
  28. Kids are expensive in general.  Feeding, clothing, schooling, extra-curricular activities, etc. for 18+ years.
  29. That’s the end of adult-only interactions until you find that coveted baby-sitter.
  30. Crying, whining, fussing children.  Temper-tantrums in general.
  31. You could have the next Hitler, bin Laden, Britney Spears, etc.
  32. Minivans.
  33. Breast-feeding. Ouch.
  34. Breast-feeding in public. Controversial.
  35. Children’s music.
  36. “Family vacations” / road trips
  37. Those awkward, obnoxious, rebellious teen years (approximately 9-21).
  38. Worrying about your kid getting knocked up, addicted to meth, getting in a car accident, and their general well-being and safety at all times.
  39. Worrying about just screwing up your kid in general.
  40. You might eventually become a grandparent.
  41. Crazy hockey moms are now your peers.
  42. Good-bye, spare time.
  43. Mandatory bed-rest during 3rd trimester is apparently pretty common.
  44. Diminished chance of exciting, long-term, or international travel.
  45. Morning sickness.
  46. Cankles.
  47. No pedicures, manicures, hair colouring, etc, during pregnancy because of “chemicals and fumes”.
  48. Frequent constipation/gas
  49. People are going to want to watch/videotape the whole birthing procedure (at best, you’re going to have to repeatedly explain that there is a waiting room for a reason).
  50. Teletoon
  51. After becoming a parent, addressing your own needs/wants first suddenly becomes horrible and selfish.
  52. “What are you going to name your baby?”
  53. Attending school theatrical/musical productions.
  54. “Mom jeans”.
  55. Parent/teacher interviews.
  56. Kids will put ANYthing up their noses – or any orifice, for that matter.  And you have to get it out.
  57. As explained by a parent: “You will no longer get the same enjoyment out of Quentin Tarantino films and their senseless violence”.
  58. Play-dates & sleepovers, where you just obtain more kids and you can’t even punish them.
  59. Spanking is frowned upon.  Oh, no, wait, now it’s okay.  Oh, nope, spoke too soon, spanking is awful and will cause permanent mental damage.  Oh, nope, it’s actually a useful parenting tool….
  60. You are 100% responsible for another human life.
  61. Career could be put on hold or set back.
  62. “Baby-proofing” your house.
  63. Kids tend to repeat what they overhear at the most inopportune time: “Daddy says Auntie is a slut.”
  64. They learn to divide and conquer: “But Dad said I could…”
  65. Grandparents / extended family will always complain about not seeing them often enough.
  66. Kids + cell phones/technology = nightmare
  67. Allergies: say goodbye to Mr. Fluffy (ed note: hopefully not! There are options!)
  68. Constant, unsolicited advice from “more experienced” mothers.
  69. Strangers will come in to touch and adore your baby without asking.
  70. Quadruplets can happen.  Naturally.
  71. The word “womb” and other pregnancy-related jargon.
  72. “Baby on Board” window stickers.
  73. While pregnant, you have to start measuring all time in weeks.  Once the kid comes, all time is in months.
  74. Your kid could be stupid or a bully and you won’t even know because “love is blind”.
  75. Toy, furniture and food recalls – total paranoia (“that wasn’t made in China, was it?”).
  76. Ultrasounds – uncomfortable and the technician can be a jerk.  And now they have the extra-creepy 3D photos.
  77. “Are you getting him/her baptized?”
  78. The awkward newborn tour around the office.
  79. There are about a million different possible “birthing experiences”, about which even perfect strangers will be highly opinionated.
  80. Global over-population is a real epidemic.
  81. Even seemingly normal people will often involuntarily revert to baby talk simply in the presence of an infant.
  82. There’s rarely a “right age” or a “right time” to have a kid.
  83. Labour in general.  Ouch.  And apparently they only reserve c-sections for special circumstances.
  84. AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com – that could be you!
  85. Even if your child is a perfect little angel (good luck), chances are he or she will have a “best friend” who is a total pain in the ass, and a bad influence on your kid, but you can’t really forbid your child to see his/her best friend, can you?
  86. You will get to fight internal battles between your inner child and your inner parent on an ongoing basis, usually in public, and often while your child is waging the same battle externally. (“Why can’t he have that?” “Do you want to give in just because he asks?” “Is it wrong to give him what he wants?” “When does it end, and how do you define the end point?” “Isn’t it good for them to have a little fun, get something ‘just because’?” etc.)
  87. It’s hard to feel like you’re doing the right thing.
  88. Your kids will eat your food. Off your plate. And then put some of it half-chewed back onto your plate. Get used to it.
  89. Homework. At least 12 years of it.  I hope you remember long division.
  90. Nature or nurture?  It doesn’t matter – they’re both your fault.
  91. Post-pardem depression.
  92. You get to experience hubris in a new way. “Whoa, we made another whole creature, and we didn’t even ASK if they wanted to be made!” Who do we think we are, anyway?

Feel free to comment with your own additions!

We also tried our best with a Pro List. It’s admittedly shorter. Click here to see it.