I sat my daughter down yesterday and as difficult as it was, told her the truth. She needed to go on a diet. A Facebook diet. She’s gaining some serious informational girth.
For the last month or so, she’s been photo-loading, binging on comments, and compulsively over-liking the pictures and status updates of others. Clearly she has some form of an oversharing disease. I tell her all the time to: Tone it down; Stay under the radar: Remember, people like a little mystery.
I’m being ignored.
Some of her FB friends have their own compulsive over-sharing issues as well and yesterday was the last straw for me. She posted this picture of herself decked out in a Steelers hat and shirt.
No big deal. Except she tagged 15 people on the photo which lead to a Steelers VS Ravens FB fight between middle schoolers which ended when I logged in with the following:
Just an FYI – this entire conversation was sent out to everyone tagged in the above photo. Jarin’s parents. Her grandmother in Pittsburgh. Her adult neighbors. Here’s the thing people. Facebook fights/disagreements/talking smack, call it whatever you want, are a bad idea, especially when people that don’t care are watching/listening. Everyone will be untagged as soon as Jarin wakes up.
It is my humble opinion that many FaceBookers are getting a little portly with their info. And although she didn’t do anything wrong, this time, she along with many people on FB, could benefit from some slimming down secrets. I’m not out to create a 12-step program or get famous from writing a self-help book, just a mom that needs to teach her daughter a few things.
Also, I’m not here to point fingers. I’m simply going to describe some character traits that I’ve noticed on FB and if on some intuitive level you feel I might, maybe, possibly be talking about you – feel free to do something about it.
Cryptic Messages: I’m not a big fan of the cryptic for various reasons.
- I’m lazy. I don’t want to guess at what the hell you’re talking about. Say what you and mean what you say.
- I’m also blunt which I know many find annoying, but I guarantee you, you’ll never walk away from a conversation with me and wonder, “Hmm…what was Linda, really trying to say?” You’ll know. Trust me. I would like the same courtesy.
- I (like most people) have to actually hear your voice to understand if you’re kidding or not – especially if we haven’t spoken since high school. If you post, “I know why people consider suicide…” it freaks me out. Should I call the cops or not?! If your day is that bad, call your best friend in lieu of messing with the minds of 297 of your FB friends scattered around the globe.
Liking Everything: I have no doubt in my mind that you really like all the shit you “like”. But after a while, if you like everything you see, your stamp of approval loses it’s power. It gets diluted a little. Instead consider:
- Reposting the link to your wall and sharing it with others in lieu of telling me how great it is.
- Maybe only “like it” if you truly “love it”.
- Getting an occasional “like” or comment from you , makes you seems discriminating and hence a better judge. If however, you like everything I say or do, it feels like you’re my mom (who’s sort of required by law to like everything I say or do whether it’s deserving or not.)
Constantly Revealing Your Location: This one really concerns me. I’ve threatened my children with a complete end to their FB accounts as well as bathroom clean up duty for a year if they EVER put their location out on Facebook.
Newsflash: This applies to adults as well. I shouldn’t know that you’re at the Jiffy Lube, or waiting to be seen at your gynecologist’s office or hanging out at a nude beach in France.
First off that’s clearly too much information. I don’t want or need to know about your yearly pap and pelvic exam. And unless you enjoy being burglarized, telling me that you’re away from your home is a bad idea. Do none of you people watch, Criminal Minds? Did no one see the episode when the unsub tracked down all of his victims via their social networking sites? Spoiler Alert – HE KILLED THEM! And posted videos of their killings to his social networking site. Oh and kept their bodies for his own sexual pleasure – ugh. So to avoid being the victim of a serial killer, consider the following:
- Post your vacation pictures AFTER you’ve returned home.
- If you must tell me where you’re going, just say, “I’m off to the beach”. Don’t post, “Can’t wait to get to the Marriott in Ocean City, Maryland tomorrow!”
- If you must tell me the status of your uterus..And truly, I do not need to know, but if you must…tell me after you’re in for the day.
- Turn off whatever tracking shit you have set up between your mobile phone and your FB account. Do you realize that I not only know where you are, but I’m given a map to your exact location in real time!? I would crack my kids in the skull if that did.
Digitally documenting EVERY moment of your day: I don’t need to see every photo you took today. Just post the highlights or at least, delete the blurry photos or crazy closeups of your nose hairs. A nice one of you and the family ocean side, is plenty.
Look, I had diarrhea of the mouth at 13. But 13-year-old Linda had to dial a phone, keep the phone calls within her area code and could only talk to one person at a time. Since she didn’t have call waiting and was attached to a wall, her talk time was limited in case others in my family were expecting a call or my conversation in the kitchen was interrupting the TV watching in the next room. I can’t imagine what would’ve happened if I had the ability back then to share my every fucking thought with everyone I knew while roaming the streets with a mobile device.
My daughter’s diet is going to consist of a few levels:
- We’ll start via a cold turkey approach. She’s to go 1 week without posting, liking, or commenting. She can log on, read and enjoy all the idiotic stuff that her middle school friends post, but I’m asking her to merely be an observer.
- Then will move on to moderate postings where she’ll be asked to think a thought and then wait 15 minutes or so before posting it to see if she even cares enough to post it at all.
- She’ll also be barred from posting from her phone. She’ll have to stop what she’s doing and if she has to post something that badly, post it via the desk top computer. This distance between thinking the thought and sharing the thought would be the dieting equivalent of wanting a Ho-Ho but forcing yourself to wait to see if you’re still even craving the damn thing or forget all about it completely.
If you’d like to join her feel free. And if you have any other ways to stay a lean, mean Facebook machine, let me know. I’d love to hear about them.