If you have been active on Facebook for any length of time, undoubtedly there are a variety of friends who interact with your posts. Since there is no official book written about social media rules, people often develop their own code of conduct on these types of outlets. During my years of being on Facebook as a self-confessed FB addict, coupled with my love for the psychology of people, I have summarized a few categories that some of my FB friends fall into. My intention isn’t to offend anyone. I just wanted to present my observations and offer a few social media suggestions here and there. Also, just for laughs, I want to see if I am the only one who has noticed these friend categories! So, here we go….
1. The Late-Liker- This is the friend that periodically goes through your posts and photos and likes them….5 years after the date you originally posted it. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but you know what I mean, right? There’s nothing wrong with the late-liker at all. It’s just that “liking” a post puts it right back into the current newsfeed. It can be great if you posted something exciting or extremely helpful to others because it will have the probability of positively helping more people that just didn’t see it before. On the other hand, it can be not so great if they liked a post that you don’t care to be reminded of. I believe these people get on Facebook periodically, so they play catch up whenever they log on. Or sometimes they just go through all your FB post history all at once. It’s cool though. We still love them, right?
2. The Irrelevant Commenter– You just did a post, sharing a wonderful testimony about the surprise romantic dinner your spouse just planned for you, complete with a live music serenade. All your friends are commenting with ohhhhs and ahhhhss…and then…they comment something like this, “Does Scandal come on tonight or is this the week it’s not being aired?” or “Did you get my text message?” HUH???? What does that have to do with the price of tea in China??? Comments made on posts should be relevant to what was posted. If not, use the wall post or inbox feature please! I think they are just looking for the easiest way to catch you live on FB and get an answer to their question. Yeah, that’s what we will say about that! (wink)
3. The Stalker– They read every one of your posts and look at all your photos. In fact, they purposely search you out to check you out. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s why you post things on a public social networking site. You already know others will see it. The only difference in these people and your “regular Facebook friends” is that the stalker rarely hits “like”. You only know they stalk you because when you see them in person, they recall all of your Facebook happenings to you with full accuracy. Ironically, I just met two of my stalkers after I wrote the first draft of this blog. It was a little scary. To clarify – I know that people keep up with me, but sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the degree in which they do it. The level of secrecy in which they do it is a little suspect in my opinion. Honestly, it is always optional to hit “like”, whether you really like the post or not. I would just like all the stalkers to know that if you post things as well, and would desire more interaction on your own posts, the best way to do that is to like the posts of others. Yes it is true. Even Facebook complies with the Biblical principle of gaining friends by showing yourself friendly. Likes and comments on FB are equal to showing yourself friendly!
4. The Secret Lover– No matter how many pictures you post of your spouse or your boyfriend or girlfriend, no matter how happy you appear to be in your posts, no matter if your profile picture features you and your spouse, the secret lover will inbox you just to be sure you’re not open to any options. Many times, they don’t even read your posts or look at your pictures. Their first interaction with you after you accept their friend request is a flirtatious comment to your inbox, or sometimes just a “hey” message in your inbox. REALLY???? And let us not be deceived, they are not necessarily interested in you because of your good looks or intellectually stimulating posts. Oh no, they are just interested in anybody that will give them an ear. In such cases, the block button is a beautiful thing. I refuse to give one second of attention to those interested in becoming my secret lover. In fact, as a rule, if I don’t know you, I won’t reply to inbox messages that only say “Hey”. I love my relationship, and I won’t allow any other relationship to ruin it, especially not a virtual one!
Now if you are reading this and getting a lot of unsolicited attention from secret lovers, I think you should consider doing a self-check first. Does your profile picture look provocative or inviting to secret lovers? You know, ladies, is your cleavage showing? Is your profile picture a picture of your behind in tight clothing or of you in your shortest shorts or mini skirt? If so, you look easy and will continue to attract those looking for someone easy. Men and women, are you married but rarely mention your spouse, even if they are not into social media? Are they left out of most of your posts or pictures? Do most of your pictures depict you out with your friends and never with your family, although you are married? Well, that is probably the main reason why you are attracting that type of attention. Change what you present to help change what you attract.
5. The News Blues– I don’t even watch the news anymore. One reason is because I find it extremely depressing. But since I am active on Facebook, I don’t have to watch the news. I have a friend or two or three or more that always post the doom and gloom of the day like who got shot, who molested a child, who killed someone, who got run over, etc. There’s nothing really wrong with posting things from the news or being abreast of what is happening in the world around you. It’s just that there is a difference between being abreast and being absorbed. The friend that constantly posts the bad happenings of the world has contracted what I call The News Blues. You watch it long enough, listen to it enough, read about it enough, talk about it enough, you ingest it into your system and you catch it. Once you catch it, it brings you down. You have a bleak outlook on life and the entire world. Since our lives are dominated by our thoughts, we should think on things lovely, pure, and of a good report. Focus more on these things. Furthermore, consider posting news stories from a positive angle. For instance, if someone needs prayer due to a tragedy or if there is a missing child we can all band together and help find, that is a better angle. Maybe there is a weather storm heading to a particular area and others need to be warned and covered in prayer. This gives people a chance to react in a way that can positively affect our world rather than shake our heads and say, “what an awful world we live in.” Your world will be as awful as you believe it is. Look for good and see good!
6. The Diary Dialoguer– This friend’s posts could very well start off saying “Dear Diary”. In other words, all of their personal issues, their shortcomings, their offenses, their faults with themselves, and the fault they find in their family and friends are all posted publicly as a Facebook post. Facebook becomes their online therapy session. Posts made about family and friends are usually made without their consent and often result in damaging those relationships even the more instead of healing them. Facebook is a great resource whereby you can benefit from those that are willing to share their solicited and unsolicited wisdom with you, but the way you go about obtaining that wisdom speaks volumes about your character. If you have identified people that you believe can help you, try the inbox feature! That way you can still get the help you need without the whole social media world seeing it. Everyone does not need to know everything about you. Once you’re over it, they’re probably not! Use discretion on what you share. Also, remember that words have power to hurt and to heal. Facebook shall pass away but relationships with your family will still be there. Get out of your emotions. Think before you post.
These are just a few FB friends I came up with. I forgot to mention the Tireless Tagger (tags you on everything that has nothing to do with you), and the Game Inviter (the name says it all). Can you think of any others??? Remember, keep comments fun and helpful!