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Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Facebook Memes I Never Want To See Again...

These days, it seems as though almost everybody is using social networking sites. I know I use them to promote this blog, as well as maintaining contact with some of my various friends.

One of the more popular social networking sites out there is Facebook. The site began in February 2004, and over the next eight years would grow to have a total of over 900 MILLION active users.

But in reality, it's more along the lines of only 500 million, as many people have two or more screennames for Facebook games and internet trolling (not that I condone either of these).

I've had a Facebook account since October 2007, and like so many others, trying to find your place in an online social community can be a bit challenging at first. I've likely made some mistakes along the way in what I post, and certainly have gotten caught up in a few drama-filled confrontations along the way, but just like the workplace or on the real life social scene, that is to be expected no matter where you go.

Nowadays, I mostly use my Facebook page as a promotional tool for my writing projects. Occasionally I might post a link to a funny picture that cracks me up (usually George Takei of Star Trek is guilty of providing me with at least one laugh per day), but I keep that to a minimum.

Yet, one thing I've noticed in recent months are many people clogging up my news feeds with hundreds of posts in the time frame of under five minutes. I suppose that would be fine if one was actively seeking a paid position of Facebook spammer. But, I find it a bit too much.

Most of the time, I let it slide though. I'm a fairly polite person, and it isn't as though they are constantly posting pictures to be malicious or annoying on purpose.

However, I will also be the first one to make this confession...

THURSDAY CONFESSION #17: I would die a happy man if I NEVER, EVER saw the following Facebook memes ever again!


I'm sure some of you have seen this lovely lady floating around Facebook at some point. I've gotten to know her quite well. No, I don't know what her name is, or what the original reason behind her...lovely pose is. But I feel as though I know her because I see her pop up on my news feed at least once a day.

Let's just say that whoever named her the “annoying Facebook girl” was dead on.

I get that the Annoying Facebook Girl meme is meant to be ironic. Most of the things she says pokes fun at some of the annoying behaviour that we are graced with on Facebook each and every day. But, I don't really see much charm in it, because it just seems so juvenile.

To be honest, I think the Willy Wonka ones are done much better. Of course, some of you may find those equally annoying as well.

ANNOYING FACEBOOK MEME #2 – What colour is your bra, and other fun questions that women answer and men are supposedly too clueless to discover the truth for themselves.

I'll admit to being confused as heck when one day in 2008, all of my female Facebook friends were posting random colours as their status updates. It didn't make any sense. But then a quick Google search brought the truth. They were posting the colours of their bras. Why you ask? They claimed that the reason was to raise awareness for breast cancer. It actually got a lot of coverage on the 6 o'clock news a few weeks later.

And, of course, shortly after that, the bra colour status updates disappeared because now we all knew their secret, which wasn't really a secret.

There have been many other variations of this “bra game”. The following year, women were posting various locations all over the household, which corresponded to places where they were leaving their purses. Then there was the whole idea of posting pieces of fruit as a status update, which corresponded to relationship statuses. And, don't even get me started on the whole “I'm going to Azerbaijan for 75 months” deal...if you really wanted to let people know what your birthday is, you'd have it posted on your profile.

I'll let you think about that for a second.

I guess the point I'm trying to make with this is that this Facebook status game idea might have started off with a noble cause, but future versions of it are not really my cup of tea. Anyone who is skilled in Google can find out what the secret it behind the game (I actually laughed out loud when I Google searched the fruit game, and the first result had “Don't let anyone know the secret once you discover it” in the description of the link). In fact, I'd probably go one step further and say that these games are perfect for getting people to admit to things (birthday, relationship status) that they maybe want to keep private, so just be careful about that.

I mean, what next? A status update asking men what colour underwear they're wearing to raise awareness against silly Facebook status games?



I just want to state a little disclaimer before I go and tear this meme apart. I am very, very sympathetic towards people who have lost a loved one to cancer. I lost my grandfather to lung cancer in 2000, so I know how it feels. I wouldn't wish cancer on anybody.

And if you can just focus on the picture, it is both heartbreaking, yet beautiful at the same time. The picture tells me that just because someone has cancer, it doesn't mean that they stop living.

I also don't have a problem with some of the text in the bottom. It says to “repost this in honour of those fighting cancer”. If that was the only text that existed, I would likely have this on my wall right now.

The thing that makes this picture turn from sweet to sour is the text that appears before the last sentence. You know, the one that reads “Most of u won't repost this because apparently your 'TOO COOL', but really your selfish.”

My, my, my, where do I begin with this?

I suppose it would be too easy to point out the fact that the person who wrote this fell asleep during the your/you're lesson in English class. But, whoops, looks like I already did that, so we'll move on.

I think the biggest issue I have is the tone in which it is written. It's written very defensively, almost as if they have something to prove. And, then they're calling us selfish because we don't repost it.

Of course I won't repost it. I don't appreciate getting guilt-tripped in regards to what I should and shouldn't post on my Facebook wall at any given time. And, if that makes me selfish, let me ask this...what do you suppose the odds are that the person who created this “lovely” sentiment have donated their time to cancer organizations, or donated money to cancer research? I'd be mighty interested in hearing the answer to that one.

But I will repost THIS edited version. I think it works better.

ANNOYING FACEBOOK MEME #4 – I hate the new Timeline on Facebook, so I'm going to post millions of images about just how much I hate the new Timeline on Facebook ON FACEBOOK!!!

Trust me. We get it. You hate the new Timeline that has been renovating Facebook walls since the beginning of 2012. And yes, the Mayans are responsible for it because they want our potential last year on Earth to be the most miserable ever.

My personal feelings about the Facebook Timeline is that like every new change that we go through, it has its pros and cons. I like the fact that the Timeline allows you to go back through the years to reflect on (or erase) your past. I like the fact that you can now like that you have been born! And I found that if you click on the stars on the upper right hand corner of each post on your Timeline, you can expand the boxes to full size so it looks more like a wall. Granted, it's more work for myself, but I learned to adapt to it.

I completely understand that some have legitimate reasons to hate the Timeline. The original layout is not the best (which is why I recommend the star icon trick), and for those people who are heavily in the Farmville, Cityville, Frontierville circuit, the new layout is horrible for game playing. And, I also agree that Facebook users should only have the OPTION to switch to Timeline or not...Timeline isn't for everyone, and nobody should be forced to use it.

I don't mind it if people don't like the new look. I DO mind it when I have to hear about it every five minutes on my news feed. And, when I see pictures like this all over my news feed...

...well, to be truthful, I find that more annoying than the Timeline layout. I guess maybe there's just some things that take precedence in my life than worrying about a Facebook layout...but maybe that's just me.  I'm cool with people who don't like it, but don't spam my news feed or wall over how much you despise it. 

Because when you look at it...doesn't complaining about how much you hate the Timeline by posting about it every day on YOUR Timeline defeat the purpose just a smidgen? 

I guess the final point that I would like to make in regards to Facebook memes is this. I know that I can't control what people post, nor am I saying I want that control. And, the odd meme every now and then is okay. But if that's all we rely on to get our opinions across, then can we really say that our thoughts and opinions are really ours?

Why is it so hard for us to have our own thoughts and our own feelings on various subjects? Why do we need a picture with someone else's thoughts and opinions to showcase to the world how we feel when we are all perfectly capable of having our own ideas?

Just some food for thought today.

BONUS QUESTION: Which Facebook trends make you peeved?

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