by John Griffin
In today’s modern society we have more friends than we’ve ever had. It’s wonderful! We’re up to date on all of the latest goings on of everyone in our circle. We’re even keen to those who aren’t directly in our circle. It’s great! I still know what everyone that I went to high school with looks like, what my family is up to, and certainly who to call when it’s time for a career assist. It’s perfect!
Or is it? Don’t get me wrong. All of the above things are great – when consumed in the right doses. Maybe we all have a little “cake-and-eat-it-too” in us, but for the love of Pete, some of you need to tap the brakes on your sharing. It’s probably not you, but you know who I’m talking about. That ONE friend. Heck, it may be neighbor, co-worker, or even a cousin that, for the most part is completely normal, but somehow can’t manage an ounce of normalcy when those fingers hit the keyboard. Now, you’re faced with decision time. It’s your friend. You chose to accept the request somewhere along the way. So, now do you risk the wrath of a discovered “unfriend” situation or just suck it up and endure the beat down that is known as social media multiple disorder syndrome? This sickness is real. Here are a few symptoms that I’m sure you’ll recognize:
1. The Debbie Downer: Debbie is a tortured soul. Poor thing hasn’t had a good day in 10 years. Her wall is littered with UGH and WHY. It always happens to her, whatever IT is. Trying to cheer Debbie up is an exercise in futility, as she has an arsenal of depressing responses at the ready and waiting for whichever friend makes the mistake of feeding into her negativity. The only way to deal with Debbie is to… not deal with Debbie. Bless your heart, Debbie.
2. The Little Big Guy: Big Guy’s only satisfied when he’s making someone else feel stupid and small. He mocks your typos, lights fires on your posts, and is ALWAYS right about everything. When he’s losing an argument, you can count on this cat to Google the topic and cite some random blog post as evidence – because if someone wrote it on the Internet it has to be true. Little Big Guy dominates every conversation and will become an expert on any topic inside of 30 seconds flat. It’s funny how in real life, though, you can’t recall him being that profound and poignant.
3. Mary The Marketing Savior: Now, I’m all about a little extra hustling on the side to make a better life for yourself. But, Mary… Oh, Mary is straight up taking advantage of your friend space to spin your imperfections into an opportunity for whichever of her latest marketing miracle solutions that will not only change your life, but quite possibly make you a millionaire along the way. What a deal, Mary! She’s just looking for feedback. It’s a great excuse to get together at Mary’s house with the rest of your friends and for some reason you’ll all be strangely polite to each other but awkward at the same time. Oh yeah, Mary just borrowed $20 bucks from you last week, too.
4. Mother of Super-Children: Put those beautiful babies on Facebook. We love to see them. We do. When they’ve hit a big achievement you should shout it from the mountains. But hey, most kids do have an off day now and then. Oh no, not if you’ve got super kids! Tommy woke up this morning and prepared his own breakfast just before he warmed up the car, because he’s mature for a 10 year old. That’s him in the driver seat looking all handsome in his bow tie. He’s such a trendsetter. Lol. You will no doubt get 9 more updates about Tommy’s day today. Unfortunately for Tommy, most of his big moments will get lost somewhere in the shuffle of Tommy’s every move being blasted on Mom’s page. Even Clark Kent needed glasses, mom.
5. Billy Beast Mode: (or Suzy Sweats A Lot) Billy went to the gym today. Again. You know how I know? He told us. Again. Earlier in the day when he wasn’t in the gym he couldn’t find a thing to eat because restaurants in this town don’t respect Paleo. I feel bad for Billy a little because he smoked his quads yesterday and this deadline has him stuck behind a desk all day. It’s probably OK since Billy will let me know later that he knocked out 5.23 miles in under 40, bro. Keep it real, Bill. Keep it real.
6. Pete The Politician: Pick a side, Pete! I get it. Heroes in office are harder to come by these days, but what is this – 1940’s Germany? Nobody is safe and nothing is sacred. Pete is putting public office in the crosshairs and he doesn’t care who knows it. Who’s with me?! Here’s a link that Pete’s friend shared with him that no one really knows if it’s true or not but Pete and his gang are so succinct in their diatribe that you dare not “NOT Like” his page. Pete has no opinions at work and his voter registration card expired in 09′ but boy-howdy don’t get him started online!
7. Sarah Selfie (or worse, Selfie Steve): Ok, Sarah, we get it. You’re hot. Yes, you’re hair looks good like that and no, you’re not crazy for leaving the house with no makeup on because the complexion gods have infinitely blessed you. Well, at least I hope you’re selfie friend is at least easy to look at. There are the few selfie queens that should know better, but don’t. How anyone can manage 3 different hairstyles in the same week is a mystery. We all love seeing pictures of you at the lake or the gym while we’re slaving away at the office. We will continue to tell you how beautiful you are, girl, don’t worry. Duck lips, Steve, really?
8. Pam the Over-Poster: I’ll say this. If ever a day comes that I don’t know what Pam had for lunch or who she was with, you can bet I’m calling 911. Pam knows hashtags. She has also somehow managed to link a minimum of 7 social media apps together that will simultaneously send a different version of the same post to the intended group. Google maps buys stock in Pam’s Four Square account. I know what traffic was like, who missed the deadline at work, when her laundry is folded, and how many calories she cheated by today. I know Pam has a job because she tells us, I’m just not sure how she gets real work done. It amazes me. #craycray My nightly routine usually ends with deciding to watch the 10 o’clock news real quick or take a swim through Pam’s Twitter feed, if I’ve got the extra time.
9. No Filter Nick: Nick don’t give a good-gosh-dang! He’ll say it because you’re all thinking it. At least in his mind that’s what you’re all thinking. Nick makes frequent visits to Sarah Selfie’s page and gets down-right raunchy on Pete the Politician’s posts. Nick will straight up make you feel guilty about how hard you just laughed and all too often makes you feel just plain gross and sad for him. Whenever your boss catches you on Facebook, it’s guaranteed that his feed will be the lucky spot you have front and center. Dang it, Nick! People don’t talk like that. Although, I may keep Nick as a friend for the occasional comedic jabs he takes at my boy, Beast Mode. Good one, Nick, good one. We were all thinking it.
Now, I’m not saying that these are all bad, just that they exist. Because these symptoms exist you have to wrestle with the anxiety of whether or not you choose to “socially” engage with these guys and gals. What if they’re a close friend? Do I tell them? Do I risk our normal everyday offline relationship because of their inability to agree with my online preference? What does it mean if I think there’s nothing wrong with one of the above personality disorders, or heaven forbid, NONE? The answer is nothing. It means that we live in a new world where everyday folk have a platform to share their expression with the world in whatever way they feel moved to. Don’t sweat the small stuff. While some may judge you by the quality of your posts, they shouldn’t judge you by the posts of others. If they do then they’ll probably unfriend you anyway, so the point is moot. So, share on, my friends! Don’t get too caught up in the meaning of it all. After all, isn’t that what entertainment is for?