By Kate Richlin-Zack
Facebook really pissed me off last night.
This reaction is actually highly unusual for me since I spend an exorbitant amount of time on the site. I love keeping up with old friends, watching everyone’s funny YouTube videos, and I even get a kick out of the effervescent political rants that are becoming more and more popular recently.
But for some reason as I was scrolling through the newsfeed reading a bunch of inane status updates, I suddenly thought to myself, “Who gives a crap?!”
Facebook is incredibly self indulgent. It’s a way to let everyone on your “friends” list know who, what, when, where, and how you’re doing. Also known as a way to make them jealous of all the awesome things you have and do and all the fascinating people you hang out with. Barf.
Look at my Instagram photos. I can turn everyday objects, like the EZ Mac I had for lunch, into art thanks to a filter and a border. And my ironic captions serve as social commentary.
Here are 27 webcam photos of me. I’m really really ridiculously good looking. Check out all the interesting faces I make.
All of my friends are really really ridiculously good looking too. Here’s a photo of us at a trendy bar. It’s trendy because you’ve never been there. I even check into my apartment, which is also trendy because you’ve never been there.
Here’s a picture of me making kissy face with my cat. She rescued a child from a well last year.
And if that wasn’t irritating enough, then you start dating some former-model-turned-nuclear-physicist who’s so gorgeous he looks like he’s from another planet. So now in addition to all the usual obnoxious posts, every relationship milestone is documented online and the status updates reach a whole new level of irritating.
Pictures of the flowers he sent “to my office for no reason!”
As if getting flowers for no reason while you’re at work wasn’t enough a of spectacle, now everyone on Facebook has to know that your boyfriend thinks you’re special on a random Tuesday, not just Hallmark holidays. Got it.
Status updates on what your “amazing boyfriend” did while left to his own devices.
Because much like when a tree falls in a forest and no one’s there to hear it, when your boyfriend cleans the house and cooks dinner, it only counts if you announce it on Facebook. I suppose normally, he spends the day navel gazing and thumb twiddling so anything more advanced than that deserves a shout out? Not only does he know how to work the vacuum and the stove, but he probably s*!#$ rainbows too. Guess chivalry isn’t dead after all.
Couple self portraits.
Clearly there was no one else around when you took the picture in a public location and/or you still haven’t figured out how to work the timer. The only thing more annoying than couple self portraits are sequences of couple self portraits: smiles, funny face, you kiss me on the cheek, now I’ll kiss you on the cheek … now hold my hair while I vomit.
Relationship statuses in general.
Because it’s not official until it’s on Facebook. Your frienemy Cindy from college starts posting photos of her with her Ryan-Gosling-look-alike boyfriend. Intriguing. But until you get the notification, “Cindy is in a relationship,” you’re just speculating. A few months go by and Facebook informs you, “Cindy is single.” Maybe Ryan should have sent more bouquets of flowers for no reason or cooked dinner more often instead of studying the contours of his belly button? At least he was easy on the eyes. Make sure you comment on Cindy’s newly single status with your condolences and offer support you have little intention of actually giving her.
Engagement ring photos.
Everyone needs to see your four carat emerald-cut bedazzler. And no way would you post the photo before you got a manicure. The only time these photos aren’t irritating is when the girl has chubby sausage fingers; then they’re sweet in a way.
Wedding day countdowns.
Only 372 more days until I become Mrs. So-And-So!
Well, not exactly. You’re not going to be Mrs. Anybody until you spend two hours at the town clerk’s office getting extra certified copies of your marriage license, three hours at the DMV, five hours at the social security office, and two hours at the post office updating your passport. According to my calculations, you won’t officially be Mrs So-And-So until three years from now, and even that is a generous, but likely inaccurate, estimate.
Professional photographer photo shoots.
Photo shoots are great for your Save-The-Date card and it’s a perfect way to document a really special time in your lives. Unfortunately most of the photos that come out of these shoots are awkward and should remain on the cutting room floor. Don’t feel too bad. Professional models can spend hours taking hundreds of photos and only get ONE usable shot. And that’s considered a successful shoot. You are not walking the runways in Milan for a reason. Posting every single photo of you awkwardly holding hands with your fiancé, frolicking in a meadow, or feigning a tender moment as the sun sets in the distance will only emphasize that you’re an amateur on a good day. Pick one photo. That’s plenty. We get the idea.
These don’t have to be photos of your actual honeymoon. Any couple’s vacation photos fall into this category. Examples include pictures of the lavish hotel room, the view from your balcony, your knees with the ocean in the background and a drink in your hand, either of you frolicking on the beach like a Victoria’s Secret model reject. We get it; you’re having a fabulous time in paradise and we’re all sufficiently jealous. But I’m wondering why you’re spending so much time posting photos instead of ravaging your significant other in a cabana somewhere. Just a thought.
Three years ago today I married my best friend and the love of my blah blah blah…
These are usually accompanied by a photo from that “special” day. Congratulations, but even if I went to your wedding, you’re probably the only ones celebrating your anniversary, so this post is really superfluous and irrelevant to the majority of your Facebook audience.
Photos of your 5 star dinner.
Whether it’s a birthday dinner, anniversary celebration (see above), or a regular Wednesday night, you just can’t resist posting a picture of your girlfriend leaning over a jellybean sized dessert on a big white oddly shaped plate with “Happy Whatever” written in chocolate sauce. Bonus points if this photo is from your actual honeymoon.
But perhaps the most irritating thing about all of these types of posts: I’m guilty of all of the above!
It’s one thing to look at everyone else’s perfect Facebook life and mutter, “Ugh, they’re so annoying … there’s no way they’re that happy all the time.” It’s another to have that reaction to your own perfect Facebook life. Truthfully, my life is far from perfect. But looking at my own Facebook posts, I do want to mutter “ugh … so annoying” and punch myself in the face. And I think that is probably the most telling fact about the existences we curate online.
Kate’s Dates runs every other Wednesday on Kate-book.com. It is written by the lovely Kate Richlin-Zack, who fully admits to majoring in engineering to meet guys. Check out her guest article on Romance Never Dies. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.