School of Thought

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Facebook follies

By Natalie Serafini, Opinions Editor

There is some Facebook etiquette that I must blushingly admit to not following. I tag myself in my own pictures, I’m always on the prowl for my next profile picture, and the majority of my status updates are of the self-promotional persuasion. Nonetheless, I don’t consider myself to be the worst offender—at least, not out of my list of Facebook friends—due in part to my unspoken Code of Facebook Honour. This basically means that I avoid thinking of Facebook as a diary, and I don’t have any public feuds or arguments.

The breeding ground for narcissism, over-sharing, and self-promotion still has its fans, but most people have at least one Facebook pet peeve. How do students feel about Facebook? Have the times and the terrible brought Facebook to its knees, or is it still “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”?

Asked what she thought was the worst offence on Facebook, Kiran Thandi pointed out the very real issue of bullying on social media.

For Felino Ponio, the most annoying Facebook habit is the over-exposed selfie-shot: “I think it’s the self-pictures. Sometimes it can go overboard. Like, not having shirts on, or underwear… it kind of gets weird. Like, why is that there?”

Fatima Magbanua has a similar issue with this excessive narcissism. She stated, “They’ll take a picture of themselves, and they’ll be like, ‘The day is so pretty,’ ‘The weather’s so nice.’ And all you see is their face.”

The dreaded over-share is a problem for Loren Andres. She recounted how, “I unfriended someone because it was, you know, ‘So and so’s getting ready to push,’ because she was having a kid.”

Similarly, Alyssa Ford avoids sharing too many personal details on Facebook. She said, “If a family member dies, I’m not putting that up. I know when my grandma died, my cousin, I told her multiple times, ‘Do not put that on Facebook.’ What does she do? She puts it on Facebook.”

Ekam Badyal also avoids sharing too much information. She stated, “Keep things to yourself. I don’t post statuses up every day.”

Another issue was with individuals dominating the newsfeed. Karan Bains said, “I just don’t like it when it’s the same person over and over again, you know? I don’t really have any problems with people on Facebook, but it’s just when it’s the same person taking up your whole feed, that kind of gets annoying.”

Keeret Saggu agreed, mentioning that she unfriended someone because they were taking up her newsfeed.

For Harpal Singh, the most annoying part of Facebook is the check-in feature: “The check-in thing, that’s like a punishment. The newsfeed is full of people saying, ‘I eat at McDonald’s, I went to there, I went to something.’ … They don’t enter the place, first they put in a check-in. If there’s some annoying friend with me and they’re like, ‘Okay, can I tag you in a check-in? Can you accept it?’ That’s so annoying.”

Most of those interviewed felt Facebook would maintain its popularity, but pointed out that with so many other social media sites, Facebook wasn’t as strong as it used to be. Some mentioned Google+, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr.

As far as I’m concerned, the annoyances on Facebook have become a part of its charm. We all have friends whose albums are dedicated to selfies. You can always count on one of your acquaintances to post an overly personal status, or a dramatically vague update that begs for attention. All of this sates our thirst for knowledge about other peoples’ lives. I avoid posting about my personal life on Facebook, but I’m perfectly happy to know what couple broke up, or what pair of friends is now in a feud. Facebook’s follies are part of what make it Facebook, and I wouldn’t have it any other way—even if my newsfeed does get clogged up by the same people.