Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Different Ways People Use Facebook - and why they're all okay!

Lately, I’ve been thinking lots about the different ways that people use Facebook—and the rude, mocking, judgmental ways that some of us respond to those different ways. Several of my friends on Facebook have pointed this out, some of them seeming very apologetic about the way they present themselves on Facebook, some being hurt and offended (and rightly so) that certain of their friends don’t like the way they act on Facebook.

So my post below is for all those who are passive-aggressive on Facebook/twitter, who bully others (especially indirectly), who sub-tweet, who are easily annoyed with the way other people chose to use facebook/twitter, who take their anger out on others for using social media differently than they themselves do. If you're anything like this, please stop. Let people do whatever they are comfortable doing on social media so long as it doesn't hurt you or anyone else.

P.S. It may get a bit too repetitive than you might like, but that's okay with me :) I feel the examples are necessary.

We all have at least five friends on our Facebook who use passive-aggressive behavior to make their point—in the Twitter world, it’d be called “sub-tweeting.” It’s when someone is saying something mean, wrong, un-called for that’s directed at you and they know you’ll read it and will be hurt by it. The intention is always nothing but to hurt you. Why they have to make it so public, I don’t know. I used to sub-tweet when I was a child (or childish, I suppose) and was a miserable, immature little girl who actually got pleasure from sub-tweeting. I don’t pity myself back then now, but I’m relieved to have grown up and to not be doing such immature things anymore. Passive-aggressiveness is wrong. Sub-tweeting is wrong. Bullying people anywhere, directly or indirectly, is wrong.

You know what else is wrong? Telling other people how to use Facebook or other social media. Below are some of the unacceptable things you may have told someone, you may have been told, you’re thinking all the time, and/or you have otherwise heard elsewhere:

Damn, you change your profile picture all the time.
Your statuses are so sad all the time.
You show off too much.
You make it seem like you have a perfect life, but we know you don’t. Stop lying to yourself!
You put up too many pictures.
You’re always too happy on Facebook.
You’re always talking about human rights issues.
You’re too serious on Facebook.
You need to be a little fun on Facebook so people don’t think you’re boringYou don’t put up enough/any pictures on Facebook.
You share too many personal things on Facebook, knowing that everyone is reading them!
You don’t share enough/any personal things on Facebook.
You only post links on Twitter/Facebook.
You use too many hashtags.
You post too many selfies.

To all of the above: Yes, so what?

I’ve heard some of these things said to me, others to my friends. Others, I’ve just overheard people mentioning or talking about to show their frustrations with such comments.

Seriously, people? We need to realize that Facebook, and other social media like Twitter, are people’s own spaces to use them however they like. So long are they are not attacking you or are being violent to you or anyone else, you don’t get any say in how others should be using social media. If you don’t like the way someone writes or talks or posts on Facebook, please, PLEASE either delete them (but I know this isn’t always as easy as it may be suggested), or do what I prefer to do: utilize the Facebook option where you don’t get any updates about those people. If neither of these sounds appealing to you, do the more mature thing: just scroll down. 

But nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, gives you any right to complain about the way that someone else uses Facebook or Twitter or other social media without in any way hurting you or anyone else. Someone posting too many or no pictures isn’t your business. Someone being too happy on Facebook isn’t a cause for you to be angry and to hate them or to tell them to stop being happy on Facebook. Someone preferring to share their accomplishments on their Facebook is no reason for you to be angry at this world. Someone changing their profile picture every other hour is none of your business.  
People can do all of these things and a lot more on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, and they have every right to do so. We don’t know anyone’s reasons for what they do, and it is silly to sit down and ponder their reasons. They may be arrogant, they may be humble, they may be shy, they may be outspoken, they may support gay rights—and they can be. They need the space to be. Perhaps that’s the only opportunity they have to be that way. Perhaps that’s the only space they have where they can be as open as they are comfortable being.

You see, the thing is, most of us and most of our friends are just ordinary people who have had a long, tiring day, who have stressful lives for the most part, and who would just like to come home at the end of the day and post something on Facebook. Maybe it's their pictures, maybe it's a "long rant," maybe it's an accomplishment of the day, maybe it's boring, maybe it's exciting--but it's clearly something that matters to them that they were willing to spend some time posting/sharing on Facebook. They need that space to do so and their choice to do so needs to be respected. We all have our preferences and expectations of social media; we all prolly look forward to very specific, narrow things on Facebook--but that's wrong on our part, not on those who fail to meet our expectations and who fail to adhere to our preferences. You see too much public display of affection (PDA) on your timeline that you're annoyed it? Yeah, well suck it. While PDA can sometimes mean that intimacy lacks in the couple's life, it's none of your business that they enjoy showing off their love or whatever feelings they may have for each other to the rest of us. Someone photoshops all of their pictures and you're annoyed with that? Yeah, well, suck that, too. Because that, too, is none of your business. Just like everything else they do is none of your business. 

Me, I never understood why people have to say "awww, I love you" and "awww I miss you," etc. to people on their timelines when they can do so via texting, facebook inboxing, twitter DM'ing, emailing, calling, etc. But just because I can't understand or appreciate why someone might choose to do that doesn't mean it means something to those doing it. Ultimately, people's use of twitter/facebook is about their comfort, choice, and preference. We can either choose to ignore them when they post things we don't like or if we're annoyed with them, or we can simply accept their acts as a part of who they are and realize that we all have flaws that are prolly not that different.

The reality is that YOU, too, are doing something that's annoying a lot of your friends on Facebook/Twitter/etc. But you can't and shouldn't stop just because people don't like it, right? Precisely. You can't afford to try to please people - there's too many of them out there; you'll never be able to please all, or even some of them. That means you've to BE them to be able to please them. Sure, I think this world would be such a beautiful place if everyone in this world was like me, but let's face it - that's wishful thinking. So you should never change if your intention is to please others; you should change if the change is going to make *you* a happier and a better person :)

Unless you see something that’s violating some law (e.g., people having pedophilic tendencies, or bullying/threatening/harassing you or someone else), you don’t get to have any say in how others should use social media. What matters is their comfort, so long as it’s not threatening you or anyone else. And if someone’s accomplishment, someone’s sadness, someone’s happiness, someone’s personal pictures, someone’s personal beliefs are offending or threatening you, YOU are the one with the problem; you’re the one who needs to change mindsets to be able to embrace the diversity we have on social media or just ignore it if it bothers you that much. 

Bottom line: don't tell other people how to use Facebook just because you don't like the way you use it. There's no law on how to do that - and if there were such a law, I'd be the first to break it happily all the time. And you should break it, too.


  1. LOLOMG you're so cute!! 'Sure, I think this world would be such a beautiful place if everyone in this world was like me, but let's face it - that's wishful thinking.'

    I agree w/ you, though :) its true!

    Great post, as always!



    1. Lilith!! Good to hear from you :) Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment!
      LOL @ the part you selected - not cool :p But thanks for the nice words!

      Hugs back at ya!


Dare to opine :)

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