Thursday, March 24, 2011

OMG! So upset right now! I can't believe this is happening!

Title get your attention?  This, my dear friends, is an example of my latest and greatest pet-peeve: cryptic Facebook statuses, also known as, Vaguebooking.

So, just for kicks, let's allow this example to play itself out, shall we?....

Amanda Bailey Hohenbery
            OMG! So upset right now! I can't believe this is happening!

Friend #1:What's wrong?
Friend #2: Whatever it is, I'm so sorry!  Hope it gets better.
Friend #3: I'm praying for you.
Friend #4: I just tried to call you and you didn't answer!!  Call me back!
Friend #5: Is this about what we talked about yesterday when we were you know where?
Amanda Bailey Hohenbery: Yes it is.
Friend #5: I know what you mean.  I would be so upset too!
Friend #6: What is this about?
Amanda Bailey Hohenbery: I'll private message you.
Amanda Bailey Hohenbery: Just sent
Friend #6: OMG!  That's awful!!!
Amanda Bailey Hohenbery: Yep.
Friend #4: Seriously! What is up?  You need to call me back!
Amanda Bailey Hohenbery: I'll inbox you.
Amanda Bailey Hohenbery: Friend #1, you're not gonna believe it.  It sort of has to do with what we were discussing last week.

How many times have you seen a status thread just like this one?  

You can't help but be interested in something that, if you actually knew what it was, you probably couldn't care less.  Maybe the dry cleaners didn't have my clothes ready at 3 pm as promised.  Maybe my co-worker snagged the last jelly donut at the meeting this morning. Or, maybe it actually is something big.  The point is, if it's a secret, please keep it that way.  And if it's not a secret, please tell us.  It's that black and white.

I tend to be Friend #2 in the above scenario... like, I don't want to look too interested but still show support. And maybe when the actual story comes out, I'll be in the loop. Because let's be honest, you got my attention.   But if it has to do with dry cleaning or jelly donuts, then I've just wasted 50 characters and 42 seconds on Facebook for nothing.

I can rationalize a counter point: "I'm not posting this for anyone else's benefit.  It's just for my personal release."  Okay, fine.  If you prefer the World Wide Web to a journal or a good workout at the gym, then I understand.  But think about what it creates:

  1. Facebook rumors.  We can't help but be interested in your dirty laundry.  If you don't want us to figure out what is it, please don't dangle the cyber carrot.
  2. Cliques.  Friend #5 is included, Friend #1 and #6 are almost included and Friend #4 wants to be.  It's kind of a weird hanging out at the high school football game sort of thing.
  3. You create sympathy or interest.  This is absolutely fine when warranted.  But if you post three of these a day, then you'll become the boy who cried wolf, or in this case, the friend who cried OMG. 

For those cliffhanger statuses, I'm going to start posting "bass" or "trout" because if they're fishing, I want to at least give them something to catch. 

Occasionally, I see Facebook users who are bold enough to actually detail the situation in the comment thread.  (Usually a vague statement is more status-worthy than the actual scoop anyway.)  And when this is done, I commend that user's bravery.      

So please, say what you mean and mean what you say.  Your Facebook friends will appreciate it.  We might even pick up your dry cleaning or buy you a jelly donut.