Dear facebook user. Congratulations on your ongoing addiction with the network. You now have, or soon will have, many facebook friends. They need to be treated with care if you want to keep them in great condition for many years. I will try to cover some of the most common kinds that you will encounter, using examples from my own “collection”. In my friends collection, there are around 500 friends. I know most of them in my actual life and we have consumed calories together. This used to be my main criterion for accepting, for a while, before I “friended” anyone. I have now abandoned that and have friended some other people. Still, I have a rough idea what my facebook friends are ‘about’. I divide them in the following categories, with made-up examples:
A) The “too cool for facebook” people. These are generally professionals who go online, check what is happening, but rarely post anything. The message they are giving is “I am too busy for facebook”. In some cases it is true. In other cases, they just don’t want to do what most people are doing on facebook, for their own reasons. These people also rarely message via facebook. They are generally alright, but if you have this sort of friends, it is worth considering whether they make any effort to make contact any other way. Do they call you? Do they text? Do they return your calls and texts in the same decade that you called/texted them? Some will, some won’t. Act accordingly.
Typical post: Rare
B) The “my life is so amazing” people. Not sure I need to say more, they have been the subject of endless online ridicule and rightly so. They will post their incredible news from their award winning, jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, super-successful life, to go with their incredibly fulfilling relationship for all to admire. They typically spend most of their time online, checking who liked their posts. Fortunately, I don’t have many of these. If you do, do not be mean to them, they probably used to be nice people in the past. There is hope for the future.
Typical post: “I have been selected by the King of Swaziland to be awarded the Cross of Honour for Outstanding Contribution to Humanity. I am so humbled. Here is the picture of me and my beautiful wife who loves me so much and I love her too, looking humbled by the honour. Long live the King of Swaziland”
C) The photographer. I don’t mean the selfie people. I mean those who take pictures of other things than their own existence and give them to the world to see, sometimes with captions, sometimes not. I think I like this category. They show a level of engagement with what they think other people may bother to look at, may find interesting and possibly share a view about it.
D) The “Truman” people. I am borrowing the name from the movie the “Truman” show, for one reason only. Truman, in the movie, salutes everybody in his made-up community by saying “Good morning, and in case I don’t see you, good afternoon, good evening and good night”. The Truman people say “good morning” as if they talk to their neighbours whom they’ve just seen down the road. They don’t see their facebook profile as a painting that someone will only look at if they choose to. They probably think “I’ll say good morning, maybe someone will reply in whatever way, and even if not, what is the harm?”. Again, it is about how one understands their online presence. Mostly nice people, in my friends’ case.
Typical post: “Good Morning”
E) The “I saw it first” people. They are usually also the “I’ve been saying this all along” people. They will upload something, claiming some sort of intellectual possession of it or at least having been the first in some sort of group that knew about something. This ALWAYS, ALWAYS, vindicates their previously existing points of view, which other people may have challenged. Now that they have uploaded this post on fb from another source, it is obvious for everyone to see how right they are. After all, if something is on the web, it is undoubtedly true. Challengers for the most annoying category, in my case.
Typical post: “I’ve been saying this for years, you idiots” – (quasi-scientific article attached)
F) The “you’ve been reviewed” people. They will comment on almost anything, illustrating their intellectual superiority – at least in their mind. Often sarcastic, lobbying for years for a “dislike” button to finish their venomous comments with. The time has come, hasta la victoria siempre. They, like the ones above, talk in the same way in real life. Facebook is paradise for these people, as the fact that they have often been unfriended by many of their fb friends in real life doesn’t seem to register with them, as long as they can log on and contribute some negativity to any topic under the sun.
Typical post – comment: “No, that’s not at all like that you moron. You are clueless. Read some history”
G) The “Oh, so cute” people. Again, not sure I need to say much, picture goes up, they like it and comment on it’s cuteness, be it a a dog, pout, handbag, car, couple kissing, wedding picture, food, you upload it, they will “oh so cute!” it. Harmless for the most part, I suspect they wish someone said the same to them every minute of every day. Wouldn’t that be nice? Yes, it wouldn’t.
Typical comment: “Oh, so cute”
H) The travelling salesman (or woman). These people are promoting something they are doing for a living and they are using facebook for that. I have nothing against them. We live in a world where people are struggling to make a living and if someone can make a penny online, good for them. Sometimes they overdo it. When you know that every single thing someone is posting is a desperate attempt to make money and 99% or more of the time you have no interest in it, it becomes noise. Nobody reads it, because they think they know what it is about. Sometimes they get it right. I have often bought things like that and I always keep an eye, especially when I know some people produce or sell interesting things. I see them as I see shops I like, where I actually am. Part of me belongs to this category, I have a soft spot for it.
Typical post: “Hey, our team at whateverproduct.com has just released this fantastic potato-peeling wifi signal enhancer, have a look!”
I) The “I saw this and I thought it was interesting/funny”. I think this is my favourite category of fb users. They use facebook as they would behave in a live conversation that included friends AND strangers. “Hey, look at this thing I came across”. Some will find it interesting, others won’t. That is life. Moving on. P.S. If you are finding and sharing 150 “interesting” things every day, you may want to reconsider your definition of interesting. Unless you are 4 years old, in which case, leave facebook now before it is too late.
Typical post: Something off a satyrical or scientific website, without any comments.
J) The “conscientious” user. These people tend to promote good causes. It may be a charity, an event, an organisation, helping individuals, animals, anything that they thought was a worthy cause. I think this is one of the good things that facebook has helped with and I often find myself contributing, when I can and want to. Facebook has helped these people also enhance networks between them, and things become more efficient. I am fine with these people, I think you should be too.
Typical post: “Hi everybody, I have found this dog, if you think you know anyone who would like to adopt him, please give me a call on 077777777”
K) The “I have a view on something, here it is”. Here, you’ll find people who want to elaborate on something, current affairs, news, ongoing debates, anything, and they have written something longer than a few lines. They may have interesting or boring things to say, as does everyone in life. These people, of which I am one, are easy to figure out whether they are worth reading or not. Read a couple of their posts, you’ll know what to do after that. Love them or leave them. Win-win situation.
Typical post: You are now reading one!
L) The selfie people. Enough said.
Typical post: No, I won’t.
M) The “why is everything going wrong in my life?” people. They will not stop complaining online. “My boyfriend left me.” “I can’t stop putting on weight.” “I crashed my car.” “I lost my wallet.” “My boss had a go at me.” To be honest, I am not surprised your boyfriend left you.
Typical post: Well, you get it.
N) The GPS people. Checking in everywhere. I am hoping this will stop at some point. I don’t know why people post that they are at an airport. So, ok, you are going somewhere, so what? I mean, I would understand it if you were flying to South Africa to be given an award by the King of Swaziland but you are at Stansted flying to Mallorca? Really? Ok. Noted.
Typical post: Rigas has just checked in at Vladivostok International Airport, flying to Irkutsk.
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