Social media is a jungle. And as we’ve all learned from Heart of Darkness, jungles can be hard to get through. Especially in a steamboat. That is why I am here to help you navigate through the dangerous world of the Internet, answering your pressing questions about social media and the ways you should and should not use it. Today’s topic? Facebook.
At what level of real-life interaction is it appropriate to send a friend request to someone?
Needs Some Friends
Dear Needs Some Friends,
Anyone with crippling social anxiety feels a certain amount of trepidation about whether or not to press the ‘Add Friend’ button. Here are some quick questions to ask yourself before you make the final choice.
- Would you feel weird if they friend requested you?
- At a social engagement, would they say hello to you in a cordial manner? Maybe ask about the weather or the number of people dancing? Talk about yesterday’s assignment? Or would they, if approached by you, say hi in an overly sweet voice, then spot someone in their Econ class across the room and just have to go talk to them about an assignment, even though you are in their econ class and there was no assignment?
- Do you really want this person to see how many times your grandma posts that she loves you and hopes that you are making good choices on your wall?
- Could this person accept your friend request merely so they have jokes to put in their Thrill articles?
These are just some general rules to go by. Use your discretion and listen to your gut instinct. The best way to make friends is through personal interaction. I suggest stalking their Tumblr, finding out about their secret love for Digimon, then using that information to blackmail them into being your friend.
Some of my friends have been telling me that I post too much. But people want to know when I’m going to the gym, right? I guess what I’m trying to ask is, how much is too much?
Facebook, like most of modern culture, is all about appearances. Unless you’re Jennifer Lawrence, and can get away with just about any faux pas imaginable, you really want to be the one that your friends, coworkers, family and acquaintances are jealous of. So think before you post—what do other people think?
So yes, maybe it’s okay to talk about going to the gym. But do not post that you feel like throwing up afterwards. If you really need to give a play-by-play, take it to Twitter. Also, does the world need to know about your new gluten-free diet? I think not. Keep your Facebook posts short and sweet, with a hint of irony or self-deprecation to keep people interested.
And please, in the name of Philander Chase, do not post those Blink-182 lyrics. This is not eighth grade and you are not super totally sad about that guy not asking you to Lighted Schoolhouse. If you have deep feelings, get a Tumblr or—better yet—a Livejournal, so no one has to read about them.
Take control of your life,
I have this one awkward girl I know from high school who is always commenting on my stuff! It doesn’t matter if it’s a status, a wall post (on someone else’s wall, even) or a photo. I open up FB and I have six notifications, all from her! How do I make it stop?
Sick of Creeps
Three roads to go on this one:
- Unfriend her. There are no laws against it. And there’s nothing she can do except climb into your room late at night and smother you with a pillow. But luckily, you’re in rural Ohio, so she’ll probably get lost before she gets here.
- Move your conversations to private Facebook messages and don’t include her in them. Sure, you don’t have the public knowing about that super cute cat that you just had to show your friend, but at least she won’t know about it, either.
- Suck it up. Unless her profile picture is of an embarrassing anime magic girl or with a cardboard cutout of a member of One Direction, there’s no real reason for you to be that upset.
Always remember that it could be worse,
There’s this girl that I really like. I like to watch her activity on Facebook. Like, she posts that she’s going to the KAC, so I go to the KAC. That’s not weird, is it?
I’ll See You at the KAC, Emma Specter
Before I call the cops, just think about how this would be if Emma Specter were following you around. Happening to be sitting at the table next to yours in Peirce. Always on the adjacent couch in the library. Outside the window of your Spanish class. Sweating on the treadmill next to you, grinning the entire time.
Now you tell me how much stalking is too much stalking.
The cops should be arriving soon,
More social media questions? Ask in the comments!