I’ve seen a few lists recently about all the things that people should please stop posting on Facebook because they are so boring or annoying or overdone or whatever. There are several of these types of lists circulating, and I find them interesting for a couple reasons.
First, I have to laugh at myself for searching these lists to see if I violate any of the writers’ Facebook rules. I hate the thought of being annoying, so I begin to make mental notes of posts to avoid. No workout photos… ha! I’m good on that one. No selfies or pictures of drinks or sunsets. No politics or religion or vague, mysterious statements. No quotes or pets or children. Hmmm… I think we may have a problem here.
So then I laugh at these list-makers as I am left wondering what these people actually post on Facebook that they deem so worthy. They have eliminated many of the posts in my feed, for better or worse. Maybe they only share politically and spiritually neutral, informative opinions and articles for the benefit of society. Or they only post artistic, creative photos depicting things other than themselves, their significant others, their children, their pets, or anything else anyone has ever seen before. Surely they post nothing too happy or wonderful or exciting about themselves, as that might imply they are bragging. Really?
I think people share what matters to them on Facebook, whether that’s a helpful article, a beautiful sunset, an inspiring quote, or a photo of themselves. Some people are passionate about specific issues; others try to encourage people or share some humor. It should come as no surprise if the nature-lover posts nature photos and articles or if the foodie posts about food. If you don’t like what someone is sharing, you can block their posts or unfriend them. And maybe you’re not really their friend anyway.
True, there are many posts on Facebook that are merely attention-seeking, but the fact is that humans like attention and connection, and Facebook is a great platform for that kind of interaction, like it or not. If no one sought attention, there would be no one on Facebook. Granted, some take it to an extreme, and they may have some issues to resolve.
Perhaps, rather than a call to abandon certain types of posts altogether, what Facebook users need is a call to moderation. Go ahead, post your selfies. Just maybe not so many. Tell us what’s for lunch if you’re excited about it, but maybe not every day. Share pictures of your sweetheart, kids, and pets now and then. Allow us time between posts to appreciate what you’ve already shared.
So forgive me, writers of Facebook “rules,” if I bore you with my selfie taken with my husband, children, and pets where we all look happy like our life is perfect so we must be bragging about it. Life is never perfect. Never.
Maybe we need to learn to enjoy each other’s happiness more instead of being annoyed by it or jealous of it.
Maybe we need to think of others more and ourselves less.
Maybe we can think of Facebook more in terms of them – all these quirky, crazy friends with their own interests and opinions and values – instead of us.
Maybe then some of us would not be so annoyed. Or maybe some of us need to cut back on Facebook time anyway.