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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Don't Rain on My (Facebook Status) Parade

I have a bone to pick with someone.

I have been picking at this since Thanksgiving

I don't know who you are or who you THINK YOU ARE.

But I am P.O.'ed.

And P.O. does NOT stand for Post Office, IF you know what I mean.

Representation of how I feel

Over the past few weeks, there was a challenge that was put out there on Facebook by some positive and well meaning individual who (wanted to mess with my world order) wanted to make the world a better place.

This message has since spread like wildfire.

The challenge is to try and write something positive in your status line that you are grateful for EVERY DAY.

In your status? I thought.

HMMMMM. Really?

Just for the record, this is not what I signed up for, MR. POSITIVE STATUS SPREADER. When I signed up for Facebook, I knew exactly what I was walking into, MR. LOVE SPREADING DO-GOODER.

And part of it was to earn my GOD GIVEN RIGHT to have a status message where I get to complain to all my friends and anyone who was (unaware of how annoying I am) nice enough to accept my friend request.

How COULD you?

If everyone is being all nice and positive, what's it going to look like when I throw in a whiny facebook status? I don't want to be THAT GIRL.

Isn't this the forum where we get to seek out the empathy of our friends and acquaintances and that girl you THINK was in your Math class in tenth grade (you are still not 100% sure how you know her, but you accepted her request anyway). What am I going to tell that girl, MR. IN YOUR FACE NICE?

And where we get to send out virtual hugs and pats on the back when we realize that people are having a less than stellar day?

Don't you want me to use up my quota of XOXO's, MR. KILLING MY BUZZ? Without that right, X will just go on being the most ignored letter of the alphabet.

But you weren't thinking about the casualties of your challenge, MR. POSITIVE MESSAGES MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND. Were you?

Thanks to people like me, the letter "X" has been given a second chance. A rebirth, if you will.

bringing xoxo back (My Dad pronounces it "zoe-zoe")

THAT, my friends, is the sheer beauty of the Facebook status.

Giving new life and meaning to letters of the alphabet. A second chance.

Breathing new life into friendships that have faded.

You are not here to be judged. You are here to be xoxo'ed. Let us offer our love this way.

And that connection is most often solidified through the status message updates and our stinking co-dependence on seeking redemption through our friend's comments.
If you don't feel like you are free to b!$% and instead have to say something like "I am grateful for the pie my husband tried to make us tonight. Yay!" that is also great, but the gamut of comment options is smaller. People may say they "Like" this status, but after that, inspiration kind of runs dry.

If you want to foster true community - the negative status messages are really the way to go.

Besides, HOW ELSE will I know that you had to deal with crappy traffic today and that your kids didn't let you sleep last night? HOW ELSE will I be able to empathize with you about your co-worker who has not learned to use breath mints? What will happen to my day if I can't feel sorry for that friend who is complaining of a hangover?

THE SYMPATHY STATUS IS IN JEOPARDY

Below, I would like to dissect an example of an empathy seeking status message that is facing extinction (Thank you very much MR. ENLIGHTENED FACEBOOK KARMA PERSON).
If the status below seems familiar to you, or if you have written a facebook status that resembles this, you have been exposed to the standard empathy status. You may wish to seek help immediately if you have had to refrain during this (stupid) REALLY REALLY AWESOME challenge.

Wilmer Corona . . . is sad that Little Bobby is home today with H1N1. Furthermore, the cat just died and our furnace is broken. Did I mention I hate my boss?

Hmmm. Tough day for Wilmer.

So what does one say to someone like Wilmer when you read his status?

Just watch and learn.

My Comment: That is horrible! I hope that Bobby feels better. Bosses suck! Sorry about the cat and hopefully it won't be too cold tonight!

There is an art to commenting.

Did you observe what I did above? I was able to offer condolences on Little Bobby, the cat, the boss while still also offering a shred of hope re: the furnace.

Please also note the use of the exclamation points. This is KEY. This indicates that I am vehemently commenting, not just "apathetically" commenting.

Ok, so you see the technique I used with Wilmer. What else might work? I have also seen the following techniques employed, but with mixed results. (Please use with caution).

The Blanket Empathy Commenter: Dude, that sucks. Sorry. Go Yankees!

This is a fairly safe way to respond but shows a little less intimacy than the first comment example. This commenter shows that he is empathetic, but not exactly committed.

Wilmer may in fact read this and be like WTF "Why the Face"? (If you watch Modern Family, you get that one). Why did this commenter even bother to respond?

But Wilmer ALSO needs to understand that he put it out there for all of his 500 friends to have an opinion on, so he really just needs to chill if he doesn't like the response.

Wilmer, a wise man once said "It's up to you to check your status before your wreck your status." I think it's on a fortune cookie or something.

Overzealous Commenter: OMG!!! I AM SOOOOOOO SORRY. I didn't know that little Muffy passed. She is in a BETTER PLACE. Me and the kids ARE PRAYING. AND DON'T GET THE H1N1 vaccination, WHATEVER YOU DO. Our neighbor's kid just HAD AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO IT and HAD TO GO TO THE HOSPTL!!!!! You are grate and we hate your boss. I hope he dies!!!

The overzealous commenter is generally more rare, but tends to have a somewhat toxic effect. People will usually not comment after seeing a response like this because they figure, "heck, now my response just seems silly. It lacks passion!" and walk by your status message.

The overzealous commenter scares me a little but because of how vocal they can be, I try not to upset them too much, for fear of what they may say on my wall. Studies show that they are also statistically more likely to make spelling errors.

I have a sneaking suspicion I'm about to be de-friended by a few people. Sorry, just being honest.


WHEN BAD COMMENTS HAPPEN TO GOOD STATUSES


There are other times where the status messages are good, hopeful and positive ones. However, it is the comments that bring the status writer down. See how the following comment techniques can make a pretty comment ugly REALLY FAST.

Example Status:

Brandy Brains
is so excited that her cousin is getting married tomorrow to the love of his life, Michelle. Yay guys!

Appropriate comment: Brandy - your cousin and Michelle are so lucky to have found each other! Take lots of pictures!


This on the other hand, is an inappropriate comment, and should not be posted.

Inappropriate comment: Brandy - no way? This isn't the Michelle who really knows how to HAVE A GOOD TIME (wink, wink). Sex tape scandal Michelle? Go figure - I didn't think she was the marrying type! Anyway - I'll see you in yoga tonight! I have the cutest new yoga mat. Om Shanti!

I think you see how this comment could possibly upset Brandi.

Let's just hope the commenter doesn't think to tag "CALL ME FOR A GOOD TIME" Michelle in a picture. Or put a link to the so called video.

There are several other commenting styles which can be used safely, if employed appropriately. Please feel free to share some of the ones I have missed.

As a member of the Facebook community - we all owe it to each other to comment, tag and interact responsibly.

BUT we also owe it to each other to keep our status messages interesting so that every time (I) WE hit refresh, (I) WE have something interesting to read.

Please Facebook responsibly. And I don't like to (bitch) I mean, reflect alone. It's just anti-social. Drinking alone, I understand. But complaining is a social activity, I think.

Keep the sympathy status alive, I say!

Don't desert me Facebook comrades. I am all on board with supporting MR. I'M SO GRATEFUL's challenge, but let's just make sure we pepper in the good stuff too.

12 comments:

Bridget said...

Bringing xoxo back? Really?

I think that facebook was a little dead for me the past few weeks. Not just because of the holiday but because my friends couldn't complain in their statuses.

I know the overzealous commenter. I am that person.

♥ Braja said...

xoxo never left, for me...:)

As for making some stupid rule like that on Facebook: it's not blogland, where people try to push memes and themes on others. If FB took that turn, I'd seriously delete anyone who was into it. It's a personal space, so leave it personal, I say.....

Beth said...

I really just haven't gotten into the swing of Facebook. Most of the time, I just comment here and there on other people's comments.

The whole clicking of the LIKE option cracks me up. Not long ago, there was a campaign to get and UNLIKE option. Now that would be fun!

xoxo,
Beth

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

I have kind of been on a Facebook hiatus lately. I think it was that stupid grateful commitment thingy, for sure.

Anonymous said...

Remember when Babujee asked what XOXO meant after he received a card from Haley..he said zozo!

Masala Chica said...

Bridget - say it isn't so. DOES THAT MEAN YOU TALK LIKE THIS IN YOUR COMMENTS?!!

Braja - It was a well meaning challenge - definitely in the spirit of Thansgiving. If only I wasn't a curmudgeon.

thanks for not giving up on xoxo. (pronounced zozo).

Beth - you need to enter the madness. so you can become as bitter as me.

Monique - see comment to Beth above. You're a stronger person than me.

XOXO!!!!

Anna See said...

Okay, so I'm a little afraid to comment, but I loved this post. I am a big xo xo-er.

xo,

Anna

I mean, "bye."

Masala Chica said...

Dear Anonymous - I know this is my sister Munni. Especially if you are going to bring up our father, you can probably put your name down (I think people will catch on ;-)

And yes - I actually say zo-zo in my head when I write XOXO.

It's really bringing zozo back.

Anna - don't be afraid. I know I come off as a snarky, judgmental know it all. But that's just the holiday spirit talking!

Anonymous said...

Kiran, you hit the nail on the head with this one. Half of the time my sarcastic comments come off as nasty and spiteful, which as everyone knows I've never been. Keep up the good work!!!! Exclamation marks for added zeal and a :) for good measure! - Elizabeth Radloff Madigan

Masala Chica said...

Liz - you have never been nasty and spiteful. Those people obviously don't know you very well. Yeah - I don't know if everyone gets my sense of humor. My husband says I laugh the hardest at my own jokes but that's ok with me.
XOXO!

Anonymous said...

"When bad comments happen to good statuses" ROTFL!!! I must admit, I am a repeat offender. I'm getting better, though - I send the comments via emails! - Senita L. Sullivan

Masala Chica said...

Senita - but you spell so well. :-) No, I can't believe that you are part of that group.
XOXO!!!

 

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