At the dawn of the social media craze, I was dubious, to say the least about the MySpaces and Facebooks. I was a slightly awkward high school graduate. At eighteen, I had plenty of opinions but I didn’t really know how to express them. I was also a bit too self-conscious to purposely ruffle any feathers. I just wanted to be liked. Besides, who really cares how my day was or what I was having for lunch? Did the people of the world really want to know that much about me? I really, highly doubted it.
I eventually succumbed to peer pressure and curiosity and set up my Facebook account. I created a vague, romanticized bio fitting that of a college freshman who was studying art and going through a gothic phase. I looked up everyone I ever went to school with and friended them. I sent out messages to reconnect with the ones I actually cared about. My status updates oozed literary wit and charm with such gems as, “Homework sucks!” and “Going to the movies tonight!!!” Wasn’t this what I was supposed to be doing? My news feed was filled with all the same thing, yet I couldn’t look away. Facebook appealed to my voyeuristic side. It added a whole new dimension to people watching. As I watched, I began to notice that people’s status updates tended to fit into one of a handful of categories:
1. The I-must-tell-the-world-about-every-incrimental-part-of-my-life Statuses
What’s Joe doing at any given moment of the day? Just check Facebook to find out. These people feel the need to inform you about everything they are doing without expanding on the subject. You will always know what Joe is doing, but you are never quite sure how he feels about it. I.e. Joe Status is taking a nap.
However, Joe may occasionally surprise his readers with a random LOL tossed into the mix. I.e. Joe Status is eating a turkey sandwitch. LOL!
2. The Only-music-lyrics-can-express-the-complexities-of-my-soul Statuses.
The fun thing about these statuses is that you can spot them from a mile away and they are rarely original. Feeling happy? What about a top 40 pop song? Depressed? Something emo should do nicely. Night on the town? Hip hop. Badass wannabe? Rap. Be sure to fill in the little cartoon cussing marks for expletives though. Grandma did friend you after all. I.e. Joe Status: I want to paint it black.
3. The Facebook Evangelist
This friend has made it their mission to save their fellow Facebookers’ souls via status update. These statuses are either delivered as Bible verses or in the friend’s own words. They also tend to come in the super uplifting or fire and brimstone varieties. They really want you to know that their glorious life has been brought to you by the big bearded guy upstairs and you should repent so you can be like them. Or, you could burn in eternal damnation. I.e. Holy Joe Status: I just can’t believe the glorious wonder of the glorious Savior and all of the glorious things He has done for me. I just can’t wait to get up to Heaven and watch the sinner bonfire with Him. I wonder if God likes s’mores?
4. The Lovers and the Haters
Joe and Suzie Status are so in love and they want the world to know…All of the time! We should all be so lucky to bask in the glory of their undying love. Until things start to go badly. At this little turning point, friends are dragged down into the ditches of this relationship gone wrong. We are subjected to every melodramatic detail as nausea-inducing expressions of love turn into venomous expressions of hate. If you’re lucky, Joe and Suzie just go their separate ways instead of dragging you along for a ride on the love roller coaster. I.e. Suzie Status: OMG! Joe is the best guy in the universe! I just love my little Honey Bear!/ I hate that two-faced bastard! What? My boobs aren’t good enough for you??? You’re never going to see them again after that bachelor party!!!
5. Debbie Downer
There is a perpetual raincloud hovering over this friend’s page. Nothing good ever happens and they hate everything. Everything. This little ray of sunshine’s statuses usually go something like this: Suzie Status hates her life. Everyone’s against me. 😦
6. The WOOOO! Friend
This friend is perpetually excited about everything. They are usually a bit of a partier and enjoy posting pictures of their debauchery. They also love to make their blood alcohol level known to the world. I.e. Joe Status is gettin wasted tonight bitches!!! WOOOOOOO!!!!
7. The Chain Status
Why hasn’t the evil that is the chain letter died out yet? It’s like a virus that just keep adapting as we evolve. Now they have hit Facebook and they are everywhere. Friends urge you to copy their status and share it as your own if you are truly against kicking puppies or something equally awful. They threaten you to share this status or something bad will happen. If you don’t share this status right now, a dozen puppies will be kicked! What are you? A puppy hater? I hate you chain-letter-status-person.
Years later, I am a social media addict. My statuses have gotten better, but I still find myself waxing poetic about the Mac & Cheese I had for lunch from time to time. I’ve probably even fallen into some of these stereotypes once in a while. Nobody’s innocent of this. Sometimes you just need to get something off your chest and Facebook seems to be the best place to do that. You can send your thoughts away into the ether. If you’re lucky, somebody will comment or like these thoughts and make you feel validated. The world knows how you feel, it empathizes. Everything is okay.