In the pre-social networking era, Mom would thrust our childhood photo albums into the hands of every female who entered the house. Guys blushed and girls smiled, but we knew that “what was shown in the house, stayed in the house.”
Fast forward to today and oh my, how things have changed!
Proud moms and dads post baby photos faster than Facebook can publish them. Is this cool?
Would you want every potential boyfriend, girlfriend, employer or stranger to see you sitting in a stroller, drooling with a tacky hat on your head? I hope not. There’s no need to unfriend uncool baby photo publishers, just unfollow their feed. When they ask, just say, “After the first 100 baby photos, I needed a break.”
Some babies are more indexed on Google than Jesus. Here is a deeper reason why posting baby photos is uncool:
You are prematurely destroying your child’s right to privacy. What if the little drooler grows up and decides that he or she doesn’t want to be massively indexed on Google? What if your kid doesn’t want a Facebook profile? It’s too late, mommy.
There’s also a psychological issue at play here.
Social media encourages self-exposure. Like a dirty old man opening his raincoat and exposing his (ahem) to a stranger on a sunny day, social media encourages a subliminal theme that says “if you don’t share it, it didn’t happen; the meaningful things in life are shared.”
The most meaningful things in our lives are private and not meant to be shared, especially not with your 500 Facebook friends, of which 50 you would recognize on the street.
Moms and dads of the world, listen up. Share whatever you want of your lives, but leave the kids out of it.
Memes are Not Cool
What the hell is a meme? A meme is a picture accompanied by cheesy, cliche text. If you have a Facebook account, you probably run into about 10 a day. Memes cause those “ha ha” or “oh” moments. After seeing the first 21,482 memes, you will realize that memes are super uncool. In fact, they suck. Here are a few wisps of meme wisdom:
“Sometimes, when I need a miracle, I look into my son’s eyes and realize I’ve already created one.”
“One day, someone will walk into your life and make you see why it never worked out with anyone else.”
For reasons unknown, cats (which thanks to their independence and ‘tude are cool) star in many memes.
“Did I do something wrong?”
“This cat is cuter than you.”
“Someone is stealing my poop.”
Perhaps the most commonly used meme photo is one of Gene Wilder from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Wilder is in a “wise, smiling pose,” leading meme creators to a treasure chest of wisdom, usually beginning with the two words, “Oh you ..”
If I type any more of these, I’ll need a suppository. Memes are shallow; they don’t go anywhere. If you want to fill your life with “ha ha” moments, go for it; just don’t claim to be cool.
The Facebook Couple – Uncool on Steroids
Watching the Facebook Couple in action will make you reconsider your aversion to waterboarding. Like the raincoat wearing (ahem) exposing dirty old man, some couples just can’t hold it in.
“Oh <female name>, you are the shining light in my eyes. I love you more than my collection of beer caps. You are more delicious than a super-sized Slurpee.”
“<Male name>, I love cuddling with you while watching Baywatch reruns.”
“<Female name>, I love every hair on your back.”
“<Male name>, me too. Can you get me a beer, dear?”
Do your best not to stick a finger in your mouth and blow chunks! What kind of loser couple shares their intimate thoughts with the world? Why would anyone want their private moments indexed on Google? Tell your baby boomer parents about this phenomenon and watch for the “are you kidding me” look in their eyes. No other generation in history has ever hosted such ridiculous public displays of schmaltz.
Do the Facebook Couple a favor and unfollow their uncool feed. If you are close to one of the perpetrators, buy them a few sessions of therapy or a straight jacket for two. Encourage them not to pass on their uncool DNA.
Is it cool to post photos of a party or hangout with friends?
You’re at a party at a friend’s house. Everyone is snapping photos from their $900 smartphones. You had a good time and want to let the world know (an uncool thought). Is it cool to post them?
Ask the party host before posting.
Maybe his or her parents don’t even know there was a party. They don’t need to know what went on in the bedrooms and bathrooms. Remember, mom and dad have Facebook accounts too. Facebook is the worst place in the world to keep a secret. If the host says no, respect his or her wishes.
What about parties that take place at a restaurant, alleyway or undisclosed location? Don’t post your photos. Unless it is a view of an amazing sunrise or sunset, keep the memories in your head and away from social networks. You can easily get in trouble with friends by posting their photos online.
Think of your worst drunk or wasted (or both) moment. Would you want a photo of you holding a <be creative here> in your hand? Have you ever passed out at a party? Wouldn’t your trashed face look nice on Foursquare? Not! It’s one thing to tease a friend about their worst reaction to <choose a chemical> and another to share it with the world.
People have the right to get wasted in public with friends and not star in a YouTube video.
How Much Time Do You Spend Interacting With People You’ll Never Meet?
Add this one to the list of things our parents will never understand – and they’re the ones who are right.
Let’s start with Twitter, the “one-liner social network.” Twitter is great for shooting off one-liners and even better for promoting business interests, but it competes with memes for the “most shallow internet invention award.”
Twitter doesn’t even allow friends. You have to be “followed” by someone in order to be able to send them a private message. Twitter therefore discourages private messages. (What social network encourages them?!) Unless you gain a deeper understanding of the universe via 140 character messages, why would you waste time on Twitter other than for self-promotional reasons?
Facebook, on the other hand, does allow private connections and messages. It is a great way for cool adults to keep in touch with friends from the past. You may not be interested in following your high school buddies’ day-to-day lives. Add them as friends and unfollow their feed.
Facebook is a time-wasters paradise. There are groups and pages covering every mundane aspect of life. Want to reminisce about that grey building across the street from your high school? Odds are there is a post about it with hourly comments droning on and on.
Facebook is a great place to interact with people who share common hobbies and interests. It *is* cool to chat about your favorite album, Caribbean beach spot or 4 star meal; just do it in small portions. You can find yourself becoming active in a virtual scene packed full of people that you will never meet and wouldn’t recognize on the street.
It’s not cool to waste a lot of time with strangers.
The key is in finding balance. There’s nothing wrong with a few posts every so often about a hobby; just don’t be obsessive. Let someone else be the admin and “run the scene.”
BOLO For Trolls!
Facebook and every comment section on the internet are full of trolls. These are people who live with their parents past age 40. They create new Facebook profiles and use them to troll. When you post the most innocent, positive hobby related comment, they will say the most vicious, vile thing imaginable, just to get your blood boiling. Take a deep breath and move on. Don’t succumb to troll pressure!
The cool rule for online hobby time is “keep it positive or I walk.” When people start engaging in heated arguments over the best printing of a Village People album, you’re in the wrong place. When you encounter an online brawl over Pee Wee Herman’s best movie, it’s time to move on.
When strangers become trolls, ask yourself this question – “Would I allow you in my home to talk to me like this?”
The Stranger Trap
Politeness to strangers is a cool virtue. The underlying business goal of social networking sites is for you to connect with people non-stop. This isn’t your interest. You can live a perfectly fulfilling life by discussing your hobbies a few minutes every week.
For those who spend endless hours discussing the mundane with people they will never meet, get a life!
Set personal rules for your social networking time. Spend 99% of it interacting via private messages to real friends and 1% interacting with virtual friends about hobbies and common interests. Your real friends deserve nothing less and virtual friends deserve nothing more.
Which Rectal Wipes Do You All Recommend?
“Today I woke up. Then I went to the bathroom. I brushed my teeth using a soft toothbrush and made a bowel movement. Then I drank a cup of coffee and read the newspaper. I went to the pharmacy to buy Anu-Med Rect for my Hemorrhoids. My proctologist told me to apply Anu-Med after every bowel movement. Which rectal wipes do you all recommend? I await your comments.”
Do you want to know more?!
Facebook has a way of getting out the mundane in us. This type of post reads like a third grade essay. Bart Simpson writes better. I wish I could say, “no one cares about your day to day life and we don’t care which rectal wipes you use on your tuchus,” because unfortunately, it’s just not true. Millions of people care about the most boring asinine, inane things you could possibly imagine. The masses are logged into Facebook, waiting to offer anus advice.
You have every right to post your day to day life on Facebook, just don’t call it cool. Stick to the things that matter – finding a lost Beatles recording in a dumpster, Elvis sightings and winning the lottery (let every stranger know of your good fortune!).
“Our politicians suck. The police suck. My school sucks. The system is always trying to screw me. I’m tired of working for the white man.”
Social whining sucks. Some are seeking Facebook sympathy and others were just born that way. Before the era of social media, they whined to the wall. When you need to whine, find a real friend or your favorite drink.
Be very thankful that you are alive today. Our generation has more opportunities than any in history. Sure, we have problems – the economy isn’t as good as the one mom and dad grew up in, but we have thousands of cool jobs that are much more interesting than what dad did at the office for 40 years. Best of all, we can move around in the work scene every 2-3 years and it’s considered normal. Baby boomers who did that were called “hippies.”
Don’t waste any of your precious time and life energy on whiners.