I’ve been on Facebook for several years now, and during all that time, I have met all kinds of characters. Some have been nice and charming, while others have been… let’s charitably say “eccentric”. Most of whom are enough to make you doubt your own sanity.
Now I want you to read the following descriptions carefully, and if one of them sounds like you, I want you to confess in the comments section (henceforth known as the Confessional Box). Father O’Neill is ready to hear your sins.
If there is one thing Facebook is good for, it’s providing an outlet for the world’s narcissists to brag about their fantastic life, and to post their selfies. For them, the world revolves around only them, and they are always the first to “like” their posts, show us what they are having for lunch, and invite us to admire them greatly for being them.
Narcissistic people also like to collect Facebook friends, so if you see someone with 2,000 friends, then you know they are suffering from NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Time to call in the specialists.
The Nagging Spouse
We men have it tough, and after a hard day’s work down at the docks, and drinking our salary away in the bars, we like to come home for dinner and a nap. But we are set upon by the fearsome wives who tell us to take the trash out, walk the dog, repair the washing machine, nag, nag, blah, blah…
So you would think that being on Facebook is a safe haven for us poor downtrodden victimised men? Nope! Now our nagging spouses are continuing the running spiel on Facebook! “pay the bills, buy the groceries, pick the kids up from school…”
I tell you, it almost makes you want to become a monk and enter the monastery.
The Judgmental Parent
I am thankful in that my parents would rather strip naked, and run down the street covered in grease, chased by a pack of starving dogs, before getting a Facebook account. So I need not fear my mother one day popping up on the site shouting “coo-eee Marky-poos! Let’s see what you’ve been getting up to behind Mommy’s back!”.
But I know some good friends, whose parents are totally relentless on Facebook. They “like” every post, as if they are saying “just letting you know I saw this — we’ll chat later”, and every single opinion and decision expressed by their offspring is met with “you’re being immature”, “you think this is funny?”, and “like hell are you getting an all-over body tattoo”.
And if another of your relatives is a Facebook friend, you can bet that Mommy and Daddy are getting full status update reports sent to them, faster than the speed of light.
The Political Activist
I am this type of Facebook user, and I can’t help myself. I keep saying over and over “stop watching the news, and your blood pressure won’t spike”. But every time I see something or someone in the news that makes my blood boil, I head to Facebook to vent. My Facebook friends are well used to this by now, and pretty much ignore me, which is the best policy.
I’m sure you or someone you know is like that too. With the US Presidential primaries and then the election campaign itself coming up, there’s plenty for the political activist to get their teeth into online.
After all, President Obama is planning to launch a coup d’état and serve a third, then fourth term. How do I know? Someone told me on Facebook. So it must be true.
The Conspiracy Theorist
How many times has someone you know engaged you in conversation on Facebook about Roswell? Or the 9/11 conspiracy? Or that the CIA has radio waves monitoring every conversation of every single US citizen, with the government’s secret police picking up anyone who they don’t like, and throwing them into secret camps? Yes, the X-Files’ Agent Mulder is on Facebook!
The conspiracy theorist could also be the political activist, as conspiracies and politics nearly always merge. They are always desperate for people to believe them, and Facebook is the perfect platform to, shall we say, display one’s opinions on certain issues? And if you tell them they’re whacko, then they get rather upset.
But there are some much nicer conspiracy theorists. Our managing editor for example, Ryan Dube, runs a site called Top Secret Writers. Some “interesting” ideas on there, boss!
The Glass-Half-Full Person
These are the most annoying people on Facebook — those that I call the “Facebook Hippies”. They are permanently cheerful, with full of feel-good slogans plastered all over your timeline. As if they are permanently high on some great drug.
You have a hangover, feeling depressed, the wife has walked out on you (and the dog packed its suitcase and went too), the roof has come off your house, all four walls then collapsed, the toilet has exploded, a backdated tax bill for the past 5 years has arrived, payable immediately, and then your pants fell down. You go to Facebook and the first thing you see is “Well, it could be worse! SMILE! The world is wonderful!”
When you reply that life is terrible, and you want to become a professional alcoholic, you get a heart-shaped infographic telling you that “lots of LOVE has been sent your way!”. Does lots of love pay the tax bill?
Sometimes someone, who may or may not be The Narcissist, wants attention, so they write something very vague and meaningless, and hope that their billion Facebook friends will all ask what the matter is.
Dave wrote a cracking article on the art of vaguebooking, back in 2012. A vaguebooker will say something like “I am shocked”, without saying why. This will then get a trillion followers to ask why they are shocked, and the long meaningless Facebook thread begins.
As Dave says in his article, there are many reasons why someone vaguebooks. Maybe they are just lonely or depressed, and looking for company. In that case, you should sympathize with them. But some others are just “hey, I’m over HERE people! Start giving me attention!”. In which case Facebook should invent the virtual equivalent of a slap in the face, so we can send it the vaguebooker’s way.
I am divided on this. On the one hand, I love jokes. I am a man who appreciates humor (provided it’s not cruel), and I admire and respect the art of stand-up comedy. So I regularly enjoy a good chuckle, and hearing new jokes (if they are funny) is quite often a highlight of my day.
But there are some people who take it too far. They forward every single joke they find on Facebook (funny or not) — even the “why did the chicken cross the road?” jokes. When they descend to the level of “Knock, knock, who’s there?” then those posts definitely need to be flagged to Facebook as “abuse”.
The Arguing Divorcees
Have you ever had the feeling that Facebook had suddenly turned into Divorce Court, and that the estranged couple was going at it, like hammer and tongs? Maybe even the attorneys are there too, billing their clients for arguing their guts out on the world’s biggest social network.
Grab your popcorn and listen as we find out who gets little Timmy. Whether one of them gets the dog, or it has to endure visitation rights. Listen in rapt attention as we see who slept with who, who said what and when — ALL IN CAPS LOCKS! It makes Judge Judy look tame by comparison. It’s a fight to the death, and only the attorney’s billing can win.
The All-Sharing Tourist
Finding out where someone went on holiday is great. After all, doesn’t everyone like to show off their holiday snaps when they get back home, and back to work? They want to show off the exotic locale they’ve been to (Detroit), the fancy restaurants they’ve eaten in (Hooters), and the movie action scenes they witnessed when they were there (a gangland war, fighting for control over drug distribution networks).
On Facebook however, and with the advent of smartphones and constant wi-fi, we are now treated to a constant stream of photos in real-time. It’s almost as if we are right there with you in the dodgy part of town, where cab drivers refuse to enter. Watch out! Behind you!!!
So Which One Are YOU?
Facebook is a great medium for expressing yourself, but some people are just a little bit irritating, either accidentally or on purpose. If they are family, you can’t unfriend them because well, as the Mafia would say, family is family. If they are colleagues, you can’t unfriend them without looking like an anti-social outcast.
So what’s an ordinary Facebooker to do? (Answer: Unfollow them.)
Which category do you fall under? Do you know anyone who falls under one of these descriptions? Have I missed anyone out? Confess your Facebook sins.
Image Credits: confused via Shutterstock, Pretty Girl Selfie – Shutterstock, Annoyed Woman – Shutterstock, Suspicious Mother – Shutterstock, Blissful Woman – Shutterstock, Cat In Tin Foil Hat – Shutterstock