Facebook Faux-Pas

Suckers. You’re reading this because you clicked on the link on my Facebook status update, didn’t you?!? Don’t deny it – I can track you. $100 says this blog entry gets the most hits of any all year long.

I’m not gonna lie… I love Facebook. Where else can you procrastinate at work by laughing at how the jerk you hated in high school has gained 50 lbs and still works at Blockbuster? Or figure out what your 276 “best friends” are doing right now by clicking on a single tab.

My recent obsession, as I prepared for Valley of the Sun, was to Facebook stalk everyone on the pre-registration list. Yea that’s right Amanda Miller. My buddy Mark Zuckerberg helped me find out that you rode nearly 100 hours in January. I gotta tell you, I’m not sure I rode 100 hours last summer, much less in one month. So needless to say, some Facebook stalking is more a cause for concern than reassurance or confidence-boosting. But I love the ones that say “too hungover to get out of bed” or “averaged 120 watts for 2 hours, yea!!” or “quick McDonalds run.” That shit makes me feel smugly overconfident as I pull up to the start line and glance over at your “sooo nervous for the first race of the season” lack of confidence. If you link to your blog and I can get the full details of your training agenda, that’s even better! Trust me, if it’s out there, I’ll find it. And I’ll adjust my training accordingly.

But then sometimes, when I see how hard some people try to think up (or outright make up) “cool,” “funny,” “sexy,” or otherwise “impressive” Facebook statuses – I wonder if the “on my first ride since October” or “sold the trainer on e-bay” status updates are all just a big conspiracy to make me train less… I digress…

But let’s be serious. We need some facebook rules. And we need ‘em now.

For example:

1. If I didn’t get along with you before, I’m not your “friend” now. You know what I’m talking about. You haven’t uttered “That Girl’s” name in over 10 years and yet you still get the angry shakes when you click on +1 Friend Request and see “That Girl” has requested your friendship.” Yes, That Girl, I will be your friend. But only so I can laugh at how lame you have become.
2. Stop broadcasting your sappy sad patheticness to the entire internet. “Oh Sarah, how could you sleep with my best friend, I loved you so much” or “gained 3 lbs this week for a total of 24 this month” or “be nice to me I just failed the bar exam” or “sitting here with nothing to do like I do every Saturday night” are simply NOT acceptable status updates. Do you plan to be a loser forever? Do you realize how many people read that crap and how ridiculous you look? Seriously… what can you possibly hope to achieve by letting the entire world know that you “just filled out a profile on match.com because e-harmony.com rejected me last week.” While I appreciate the entertainment value… you’ve got to be kidding me.
3. If you have a job you’d like to keep, do not post Michael Phelps or Madonna-esque pictures of yourself on Facebook. And if your friends tag you , de-tag yourself. Use common sense people. My mother can get on Facebook for crying out loud. Do you think your employer can’t? No matter how funny flashing the DJ was at 4 am after 10 shots – it won’t be that funny to explain it during your interview for your dream job. Or to the principal of the school you teach at. Or to a partner in your law firm when a client brings it to his attention.
4. Keep your lies straight. If you say you can’t attend a wedding shower because you have a bike race (love that baby beavis – and I plan to use it frequently!), don’t put “chilling on the couch and loving having nothing to do today” as your status. Just think about how many “so and so has installed Facebook for blackberry/iphone/treo/etc.” updates you’ve seen out there. Everyone knows what you’re doing. It’s embarrassing enough to get caught, but much, much more if it’s your own doing.
5. No matter how hard you try, you just really aren’t that cool. So stop thinking so hard before posting a status update. And no, your “25 things” weren’t really all that funny.
6. My “Inbox” is not my gmail. I don’t look at it, don’t check it, and am annoyed every time I respond to it. If you need me, call me, text me, e-mail me, write on my wall, but by god, don’t send me a Facebook message.
7. Just because you read my Facebook status, does not mean you know me.
True story:
A co-worker of mine came into my office the other day, shut my door (which is always open), and asked me if I needed to tell him anything.
Confused, I said “No, why?”
Untrusting, he asked again, “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” I said. “We had drinks last night, what else would I have to tell you?!”
Perplexed, he said “well I don’t want you to get mad when I ask this, but . . . did you quit?”
“What?!” I exclaimed.
He explained that the word on the street was that I quit my job. Later others informed me that they’d heard I quit to become a professional cyclist. We sat and laughed, incredulously, for several minutes before it hit me. My Facebook status said “last day, last day, yay!” in response to a big project I was working on finishing up that day. Turns out people I hadn’t seen or even talked to in over a year presumed that meant I quit my job to become a professional cyclist – and, in no time, the entire city of Indianapolis was on board.
8. NO I DO NOT WANT TO PLANT A LITTLE GREEN PATCH, WEAR A CYCLING JERSEY, ADD MY BIRTHDAY TO YOUR LIST, BUY YOU A DRINK, THROW OR FLING A SHEEP/ICE CREAM/COOKIE OR OTHER ITEM AT YOU, ATTEND YOUR STUPID EVENT THAT IS LIKE 100 MILES FROM WHERE I LIVE ON A TUESDAY NIGHT, DISPLAY YOUR “FLAIR” OR JOIN YOUR “I LOVE WEARING CAPRIS ON MONDAYS” GROUP. Do I even need to elaborate?

I mean, it could be worse, I suppose. At least I don’t get 500 bulletins a day containing ridiculous surveys to which every other answer you post is “No I’ve never been skinny dipping” and I don’t have to wait 5 minutes for your stupid song to load before it comes blasting on and I forget that my mute is turned off and the whole office is now jamming to “My Humps.”
(If you haven’t picked up on the myspace references yet, you’re clearly too old to be on Facebook anyway).

OK, I think I’m done with my rant for the day. I’ll leave you with a funny note – what if Facebook was real life??

I gotta go – someone just commented on my status and I need to respond.

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