Why Facebook Status “Games” Sadden Me

by admin on August 20, 2013

The newest Facebook “game” is making the rounds of the profiles of many people with whom I am friended and I find myself increasingly irritated and saddened as each new one appears.

Don’t often do this but….It occurs to me that for each and every one of you on my friends list, I catch myself looking at your pictures, sharing jokes and news, as well as support during good and bad times. I am also happy to have you among my friends. We will see who will take the time to read this message until the end. If you appreciate your friends from all over the world, go ahead and copy this into your status too, even if it’s just for a minute. I’m going to be watching to see who takes care of the friendship, just like me. Thank you all for being a part of my life. Copy and paste please, don’t share.

If no one reads my wall, this should be a short experiment. This is a Facebook game to see who reads and who just scrolls. So, if you read this, leave one word on how we met. Only one word, then copy this to your wall so I can leave a word for you. Please don’t add your word and forget or neglect to copy!

1.  Despite the generic assurances that the poster really does enjoy his/her friends, there is a caveat.  This “game” is a litmus test to see who actually takes the time to invest in equal measure in the relationship as proved by following the game rules.   The poster declares he/she makes that investment in you but are you going to reciprocate by a) reading all the way through the post, b) copy and paste into your status, too, and c) reply with one word to describe how you met?

The manipulative quality of this particular game is in the statements that the poster has been a “support in good times and bad times” so taking time out to comply with the game rules is an “experiment” to see who is as good a friend as the poster alleges him/herself to be.   I am saddened that proof of friendship is so trivialized with an “experiment”.  If I were to play this game, how does this edify my relationship with that person?  Is it really in their best interests to have manipulation condoned and facilitated?

2.  It’s egocentric.  Fundamentally this is a plea that people stroke the poster’s ego in a manner that requires they invest thought processes and time thinking of the poster and then writing a reply that makes the poster the main subject of the comments.  Invariably the comments do include expressions of affection or love which, in my circle of acquaintances, is undoubtedly expected.  If you have to provide the spark of initiative to get people to praise you, declare their affections in public places and jump through arbitrary hoops to demonstrate their steadfastness of friendship, what does that really say about you and the quality of your relationships?   Does it edify my relationships to facilitate self-centeredness in a public forum?   I don’t think so.  I see these “games” as a sad commentary that I and others are guilty of not taking the time to privately affirm the relationships thus compelling the poster to go fishing for that affirmation in public places.

3. It’s a popularity contest.  This breaks my heart.   Within my circle of mutual friends I see various people posting the same game to the same circle of people.   It quickly becomes very evident who exactly are the popular people and who are not.  The number and quality of comments is often vastly different.   Facebook has recently been cited by researchers as a cause of depression, feelings of isolation and loneliness for as many as 1 in 3 people due to their comparing themselves and lives to others.  Facebook has become “an unprecedented platform for social comparison”.    Study author Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt University wrote, “The most common cause of Facebook frustration came from users comparing themselves socially to their peers, while the second most common source of dissatisfaction was ‘lack of attention’ from having fewer comments, likes and general feedback compared to friends.”   If you loved your friends, why would you engage in a game that has the distinct potential of causing others to stumble into sadness, depression and feelings of loneliness as they compare themselves to you and find that you appear to be more loved than others?

I confess to be tempted to play the “game” on the wall of less “popular” acquaintances (those with fewer replies)  to “even the score” in comparison to others.   But I feel manipulated and compelled to be drawn into a trivial public display on a social media site.   So my only remedy is to find the most edifying quote I can and post it to my status in the hopes that what I write on Facebook gives no opportunity for offense but rather uplifts people.

{ 108 comments… read them below or add one }

White Lotus August 20, 2013 at 9:31 am

I do not even know how to “copy and paste” on FB, and I wouldn’t do it if I did.. I do not do chain letters and I do not take kindly to emotional blackmail. I think it is perfectly correct to ignore this tripe. And that is what I do.

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Charliesmum August 20, 2013 at 9:48 am

Could not agree more. I refuse to do those things on principal.

I also despise those ‘Breast Cancer Awareness’ things where women are told to post something cryptic on their wall that ‘men won’t get’ to help raise awareness. Everything else aside, how does that help raise awareness if no one knows what it means.

And this of course leads into those ‘post this plea for an hour to show you care about *insert cause here* with the implication that, if you don’t post, you don’t care.’

I also don’t like people who post simplistic memes about some contraversial topic. I used to respond, but now I try to just grit my teeth and scroll past. I stopped posting my political/religious/whatever thoughts on FB, because it’s not worth the blood pressure!

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BeanSidhe August 20, 2013 at 9:49 am

This is part of the reason I left Facebook.

This, and the fact that after I developed a life-threatening illness, I realized my recovery would be considered “up” for public consumption. It wasn’t doing a thing for my anxiety, it was making it very difficult for me to focus on myself and my own healing…and so a year or so after I got sick, I just deleted my account.

No one noticed. No one cared, or asked where I went. Now when I tell people I’m not on there they look at me like I’ve grown a second head. People say “Oh, it’s all in how you use it” and that’s fine, but I feel like those of us who quit or never got on it in the first place are seen as odd by everyone else. How could we not be part of The Biggest Thing Ever? Because we want our lives to be as private as possible. It’s just that simple.
And then there’s the person who looks at you with envy and laments their inability to make the same choice. I find it frightening that it’s become so insidious, such a part of our lives that even the idea of deleting one’s account can cause something close to panic.

I have a very stripped-down, highly-locked down profile just for the sake of maintaining a business page. I post nothing, play nothing. I feel free.

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cwm August 20, 2013 at 9:49 am

I agree with White Lotus. I have friends and family members post things like this, often with a religious bent, nearly every day. I ignore all of them. If these people truly doubt that I am their friend, all it would take is a single phone call when they’re in need and I will jump to action to help them. But I left middle school games behind long ago, and I prefer to leave it like that.

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Phoenix August 20, 2013 at 9:51 am

I haven’t used Facebook in about a year now (one of their format changes completely messed up my privacy settings so I quit the site rather than risk stuff like my phone number and e-mail being made public again–lucky me, I caught it almost as soon as it happened), but the “copy and paste this” statuses always irritated me, regardless of context.

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Kovi August 20, 2013 at 10:07 am

The same thing has been popular in email form for years, and isn’t exactly new to FB. I agree that they’re incredibly annoying, and I ignore them entirely. Not a single Like, Share or comment from me.

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Shannan August 20, 2013 at 10:11 am

I participated in it once. The result was that of the 30 people who responded to my post was that @ least 25 of them knew me from church. Rather than participating in the games, I find that if I use Facebook the way I originally intended,ie: posting pictures of my family or updates on what everyone is doing, I get the most “likes” & comments. When I post some random thought, I usually don’t get much respose. Cute pix of the kid? Many likes & comments. Pictures or news about my family? Same thing. High score on Zuma Blitz? Nada.

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Wild Irish Rose August 20, 2013 at 10:13 am

My favorites are the ones that imply that if you don’t copy/paste/share/whatever, you don’t love Jesus. Just . . . no. I hate this type of thing too, and usually just ignore it.

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Dominic August 20, 2013 at 10:13 am

I am not on FB, nor do I ever expect to be. This type of thing holds no interest for me, so maybe I’m not qualified to even comment here. I might be too old-fashioned, I guess. My friends know who they are and vice versa without needing to say where we are and what we are doing every waking moment, or whether we profess to “like” each other or friend each other online. FB could probably be a useful communication tool. Just last night we were invited to a very informal birthday gathering, and the invite was only on FB (my other half is on that site). But otherwise, I’m not interested in exposing my life online to that extent or being exposed to others’ games and pettiness.

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Rodinne August 20, 2013 at 10:15 am

I treat Facebook the same way I treat in-person conversations. I discuss current events, funny things that happen in my life, entertainment, and general humor. That is what I hope to see in return and what I respond to.

If you wouldn’t walk up to your friend and say, “How did we meet and what do you think of me?” then don’t do it on Facebook. But hey, did you see that article on fossilized dinosaur battles?

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MichelleP August 20, 2013 at 10:22 am

Thank you for posting this, I know you’re my friend now! No pun intended, I’m so glad someone finally addressed this.

I can’t stand those pictures “share if you have a heart, ignore if you don’t” and “like if you love Jesus, keep scrolling if you love Satan”, on and on. Facebook has caused serious problems within my family, including finding out a loved one died on it before even being told. I delete “friends” who post vulgarity and drama.

I keep a simple page with very few friends and family members, so I can keep in touch with those I don’t get to see. That’s it.

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MichelleP August 20, 2013 at 10:24 am

I particularly love the posts with the urban legends (gang members violence at the gas pump, anyone?) with the “Share this! True story! Warn your loved ones!”

I once politely posted in response to one of these, “It’s fine to be concerned, but this is simply not true. Please see snopes.com.” Excellent website, by the way. Boy did I get the comments! “Where I used to live this happened a lot!”

What ever happened to privacy??!!

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Pen^2 August 20, 2013 at 10:28 am

I’ve always felt that if you ever need to ‘test’ people to see how strong your friendship is, then you’re not the sort of person worth being friends with. It’s like hiring a PI to see if your spouse if cheating on you: even if it turns out there isn’t any adultery involved, it still shows that you don’t trust them, so in the end there’s still a problem in the relationship. You shouldn’t go around doing experiments and giving surveys to see who’s worth spending time around. A response (or lack thereof) to a trivial status update should not be enough to make or break a friendship. Relationships should be based on actual interactions with people–are they kind to you? Have they helped you in the past? Are they a nice person? To ignore all these things and pretend that some irrelevant, trite copy-and-pasting online is all that matters is disrespectful and inappropriate, even if not done seriously.

The annoying chain-letter statuses that people post for awareness of various things don’t work, either. Snopes has a bit to say about it, for anyone who’s interested.

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girl_with_all_the_yarn August 20, 2013 at 10:31 am

I hate Facebook. I absolutely hate it. I have “friends” of the only-when-they-want-something variety there who were originally in my sorority with me. I routinely get requests (read: demands) for handknit items for weddings, babies, sometimes just so they can say they have a handknit sweater. I don’t comply. In fact, I rarely reply.

The trouble with Facebook is that it has an inherent bit of voyerism about it. All you can really do with it is watch people’s lives (unless you’re into the games). That includes events where tons of mutual friends are invited and you are not. It’s a great way to see where you stand with your friends, even without playing the manipulative games. The question is, do we really want to know that? Is ignorance really bliss, or is it more fun to know these things about our friends?

I understand completely why Facebook makes some people depressed. It can be depressing, finding out that your friends really aren’t inviting you to do things. At this point, the only reason I go on is to check on a few friends in the military who are overseas right now.

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manybellsdown August 20, 2013 at 10:32 am

Yeah, I ignore that stuff all the time. It’s guilt-trippy manipulation and I don’t care for it.

Also one of my friends recently posted a big long “omg you must follow these steps or everyone on the internet can see all your pictures! If you don’t tell me you’ve done it I’ll delete you!” I replied with a link debunking the story. The friend never acknowledged it, and neither did any of her commenters, but she also has yet to delete me.

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Lychii August 20, 2013 at 10:43 am

It’s just a stupid chain letter, expertly crafted to guilt you into spreading itself to as many people as possible. No need to give it a second glance… ignore, ignore, ignore.

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LeJ August 20, 2013 at 11:02 am

In addition to these ridiculous chain letter-type “games,” I’ve also noticed a frightening increase in the number of shared pictures and posts essentially spreading racism and hate. For the past two Christmases, an extended family member has shared a picture that says something along the lines of “I’m Canadian and I say Merry Christmas not Happy Holidays. This is Canada and we celebrate Christmas.” The message, of course, being that if you are not Christian, you are not Canadian. I doubt she would ever say that in “real life” to a person who doesn’t celebrate Christmas, but apparently it is okay to post on Facebook. (This is just one example – I’ve seen many more.) Most amusingly, she once posted a status update about how shocked she was about what some people posted on Facebook: “Don’t you know that your employers and future employers can look you up.”

Facebook is useful for keeping in touch with family and friends, so it is unfortunate that it has become a dumping ground for racism, hate and the spreading of untrue stories.

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Missy J August 20, 2013 at 11:10 am

I don’t like any copy and paste statuses and I am a Christian but I don’t go around preaching to people and I sure wouldn’t put up that status “Like and Share if you love Jesus, Keep on Scrolling if you love the Devil”- now seriously, what deranged NUT came up with that one? Also those if you don’t share within 10 minutes or with 10 people, God won’t bless you. And there are Christians ignorant enough to fall or those every time! Live and let live! No guilt trips, no copy and paste, please!

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JG August 20, 2013 at 11:12 am

I use Facebook to keep up with my friends in my particular dog breed or friends and family scattered all over the country and I enjoy seeing the pictures they post. It is a quick and handy way to be part of each other’s lives when we are so far from each other.
But one of the funniest answers I ever saw was for a person who had posted one of those long, involved things then asked people to post one word to describe them and expected everyone to answer with “Pretty” or Kind”. Someone answered “Needy”. It gave me my laugh for the day.

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Stacey Frith-Smith August 20, 2013 at 11:17 am

I agree wholeheartedly. I also dislike all the other manipulative posts that require you to like in order to prove that you care and are a decent human being. The phrases that really make me gag include “and I already know those of you who will respond…” or ’1 like equals 1 prayer, 1 scroll equals 1 ignore…”. Disinformation also runs amok on facebook in the form of supposedly true stories… Why not just use the site to share lighter general and personal news and commentary and to network with groups not accessible in the daily round?

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Ashley August 20, 2013 at 11:21 am

I hate these. I’ve told people on my friends list countless times how much I hate them, and that no matter how many other people post them, I will not respond to them and I will not repost them myself.

They are right up there on the list of things I hate, along with the pictures of things like starving children where it says something like “1 like = 1 prayer, ignore = you don’t care”, and the “I’m asking everyone on Facebook to do this so no one sees my pictures except my friends” kinda things.

Just stick to telling me how your day is going and stop trying to emotionally blackmail me into liking your stuff.

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amy August 20, 2013 at 11:26 am

I enjoy Facebook for the purpose of keep up with friends who live far away, and family I rarely get to see. I like to share my life with them and I like it when they share theirs with me. I do no, EVER, participate in those types of posts designed to test ones friendship/loyalty/generosity/etc. It just screams desperation to me to fish for comments like that. I know how I feel about Jesus and kids with cancer and animal abuse and lots of things. I simply don’t need to post it on Facebook to prove it. I share what I chose to whom I chose.

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Arila August 20, 2013 at 11:29 am

This is not new — I mean, chain letters have been around for as long as I can remember too. It’s just a different “new” medium. I think chain letters were a bit more fun, though…but maybe that’s because it’s the remembrance of an 8th grader. ;)

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The Elf August 20, 2013 at 11:31 am

I’m not on Facebook for many reasons. I’ve contemplated starting an account to keep up with my extended family despite my reservations, but then I read about crap like this and it just gives me a good reason not to bother.

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HonorH August 20, 2013 at 11:45 am

There’s no easier way to get me to completely ignore something on FB than to order me to do something–share it, c&p, comment, etc. I don’t care what it is, I won’t do it. “Share this status if you are against puppy kicking!” No! One, I don’t like being ordered around. Two, it’s slacktivism at its worst. You’re not actually doing anything for your cause. The meme will be gone in another day, and puppy kicking will continue. But, hey, you’ve done your part, right?

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Ergala August 20, 2013 at 11:50 am

I ignore these. As well as the “Like if you support Cancer Research, Ignore if you don’t care. Share if you love someone with Cancer”…..um…no. The ones that REALLY make me mad are the ones that have a picture of a very ill child. And it says “Share if you care, Ignore if you don’t”….most of the time these pictures are STOLEN from someone else’s page or website. Not only that but it’s also disgusting to say someone doesn’t care about the suffering of a child merely because they don’t share the picture. What does sharing the picture do? And if they say that Bill Gates will donate $1 for every share they are REALLY full of it. Why would someone only donate a certain amount of money per share a picture gets. That’s sick, and it’s a scam.

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Huh August 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I just think of those like “chain letters” and ignore. No one’s ever said anything to me either way.

My pet peeve on Facebook is when people post things that are mocking of beliefs that are not their own, such as “all christians/atheists/liberals/conservatives believe wrongly/act wrongly/are stupid.” I live a very private life about my views on the big topics, such as politics or religion, and I would guess that a lot of people I know do not know my personal views. I have never said it, but there has been many times I have wanted to post, “I, your friend that you see every day or have known for many years, happen to be a christian/atheist/liberal/conservative. And you know I don’t believe that or act like that” or “you know I happen to be one of those people you are making fun of, a christian/atheist/liberal/conservative, and I would never say such a hateful thing to a friend.”

I think many times people with all of their liking/sharing forget that not everyone they know shares the same opinion as they do. And you know what, that’s a good thing! The world would be boring if we all had the same opinions! I just ask that you don’t openly ridicule mine, because I would never do that to you.

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SCMagnolia August 20, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Totally agree. Posts like these are a high-school mentality, “look how many friends I have!” ego trip. I don’t play along. I had to delete one friend who was constantly posting complaints about “nobody likes my posts, guess I’m going to have to start deleting people.” I saved her the trouble after she posted a rant all about how she knows people are busy, but are we so busy that we can’t even comment on her posts? For the record, she posts all kind of “like/comment if you blah-blah-blah”, the infamous “how did we meet” blather as referenced above, and links to videos and song lyrics to rap music. Some highly OFFENSIVE rap music at that. Nope, sorry. I like facebook because it allows me to keep up with friends who are scattered all over the country, and I use it to promote a little side business I have. Other than that, I’ve found the block, delete, and ignore options very handy!

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MollyMonster August 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I think my actual friends know by now that I don’t do these chain-letter things. I have one friend who frequently posts stuff like this but she should know that I am not going to be one of the ones that “bites”. If that upsets her and makes her think we aren’t friends, well, the friendship was on the rocks anyway apparently if that was all it took to end it.

The manipulative posts I hate are the ones where someone posts a status of “So angry at people who say one thing and do another” or “Pissed.” with nothing else. Which means the friends have to say “Oh, no, did I upset you?” or “Oh, what’s wrong?” And then you get the full explanation or the “I don’t want to talk about it.” It is so very high school, attention-whoring and annoying. Cryptic statuses that require others to pet you to stroke the information out of you just make you look juvenile. Just give the information or keep it to yourself. But I guess the original poster gets validation from all the people clamoring to find out about their life and can say “Yay, I am popular!” I make it a point never to bite on those statuses as I find that kind of drama even more annoying than the chain letter statuses.

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AthenaC August 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Any variety of “do this or you’re not my friend / you don’t care / you love Satan” is not something I appreciate. They all just seem so childish.

Now, what I DO like are those silly, “Use your shirt color, first name, and birth month to figure out your vampire name / cat name / create a silly sentence / whatever.” Quite a few of those make me laugh.

Also, there has been only one “Do this or your private stuff will be all over your timeline” post I have shared. And only because I checked my timeline and it was, in fact, true. Now, my MIL posted a link to snopes saying it was a hoax, and I did have a few friends chime in and say it didn’t appear to be true for their timelines, but nevertheless it was true for mine. So it appears that various privacy / other settings for Facebook are inconsistently applied at best, and snopes isn’t always correct.

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Ergala August 20, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Oh and on FB everyone is a doctor, did you know that? I just had knee surgery and people kept telling me to immediately start walking on it, moving it…you name it. My surgeon told me NOT to because of the nature of the surgery. I said this and the response back would be “I had knee surgery 3 years ago and I’m telling you that walking ASAP is what you need to do”. Considering I fell in the bathroom 2 days after my surgery I don’t think that was a wise idea. I did what my surgeon said and I am in week 4 of post op and he is amazed at my progress. I’m doing incredibly well. I ignored all the Doctor Googles.

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kingsrings August 20, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I am a huge Facebook fan, but this stuff annoys the wits out of me! This kind of status, and every other one that has been mentioned so far in the previous comments here on this story. The urban legends ones passed off as fact are even more annoying, especially when the posters get all defensive and angry when you politely and respectfully correct them. They keep insisting it’s true, I don’t know why, maybe they just hate to admit they made a mistake? I can’t believe that people don’t understand how foolish it makes them look when they just blindly post something without fact-checking for accuracy first! I’ve had to take to completely hiding certain friends and family members on my Facebook friends list because their profiles are literally nothing but everything that’s been mentioned on this story.

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Amanda H. August 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I disliked these chain letters when they went out in e-mail form. Every time one of those “If you really love me, reply with a fond memory of us and then forward this to everyone you know” e-mails showed up in my inbox, I would reply (singly, not reply-all) that I did love the sender, but I don’t do chain letters EVER and would not be passing it on, and to please not send such e-mails my way in the future. (Same for political e-mails, too.) Eventually my family members got the message and stopped sending them, and they don’t (appear to) feel any less loved for it.

My Facebook use is sparse. I’ve never been very good at social media to begin with, and only signed up so I could occasionally go see photos on the accounts of my siblings who live across the country from me.

The only one of these “share how we met” posts I’ve seen on my friends list (let alone participated in) was a joke one a friend of mine posted. No “pass it along” rules or anything, and the “share how we met” part was more “tell a wildly outrageous and untrue story about how we met” instead. Loads of fun reading the comments.

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Melissa August 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm

So glad you posted this. The one that annoys me is the one that says that we all wish for things, but a person with cancer only wants one thing: a cure for cancer! Really???

So sorry, I was going to buy you an Ipad, but I know you really only want a cure for cancer. Since I can’t give you that, I made a donation in your name to cancer research. No Christmas gifts for you!

So sorry, I know you didn’t want the last piece of cheesecake because hey, you’ve got cancer, so you really only want a cure, right?

As if having cancer means you’re not even human anymore.

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Library Diva August 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I hate, hate, HATE those status games with a passion, and I never play them. They’re manipulative and stupid, and I don’t believe for a minute that the people who post them are doing so thoughtfully, just like the “OMG DANGER SHARE THIS WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW” memes that warn about household objects that can kill you, the newest way people can kidnap your child, or whatever the fearmongering du jour story is. I often debunk them with Snopes, too, but that doesn’t stop people.

I agree that there is not really much you can do with Facebook other than watch the lives of others (or play Candy Crush Saga/Angry Birds/etc.) What’s helped me is remembering that these are very carefully presented versions of others’ lives. As such, they focus on their fabulous vacations, their home renovations, the accomplishments of themselves and those close to them, and exciting things that happen to them, perhaps tempered with a bit of complaining or the sharing of major bad news. You have no way of knowing if they bought all of those great things on credit and are now $30k in debt; if the friend and her husband fought during their entire Tahitian vacation, etc. People present themselves like celebrities on Facebook, but they’re just people, flawed people who occasionally experience money problems, relationship problems, family problems, friendship problems, trouble at work, busted cars, bad health, aggravation, and boring stretches, just like everyone.

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Wendy B. August 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I just ignore them.
I’ve yet to be deleted from someone’s friends list because of it.
I think a lot of people copy and past and share without actually reading anything…rather like the friends you have that share every urban legend they come across on email. Just ignore it.

(By the way, if you instal SocialFixer to your browser, it let’s you X out posts after you’ve read them, or utilize other controls to take back your Facebook).

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Rod August 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I don’t participate in this. I use FB for two main purposes: sharing things with my many friends and family out of reach (I’m an ex-pat). And for organizing low-protocol events such as meetings to go ride with the local cycling community.

Good for sharing news. too.

It’s a tool; you choose how to use it.

As for “testing” your friendships on FB. These things make me laugh. I was part of several sports teams as a youth and many had some sort of hazing/belonging ritual. Nothing terrible, some had a haircut or things like that. This is similar, sort of group bonding activities for people that are insecure of their group status (which could be cancer awareness, religious, anti-religious, etc.). My close friends have been tested many times without need for these artificial silliness.

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Green123 August 20, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Inevitably, any post on this site about social networks brings up a slew of narrow-minded responses about how stupid or pointless or shallow or rude they are. They’re not, *if they’re use correctly*

Next to the top of every single status message, just to the right on the very faint grey bar, is a small grey dropdown arrow. Click on it. Select ‘I don’t want to see this’. Job done – and the person who’s post you’ve removed won’t know! If people persistently post things you ‘don’t want to see’, block all posts by that person. Or just, y’know, unfriend them. In the top right corner is a lock symbol. Click it, and you can set your privacy to settings you feel comfortable with.

Some people get a huge amount of value from Facebook – it is a very powerful way of keeping in touch with friends around the world, with family pictures, with hobbies and interests, and with businesses etc. If you choose not to use it, fine, but please don’t be disparaging against those of us who choose to use it and actually learn how to use it in a way that meets our needs. It’s not evil unless you allow it to be.

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Miss Raven August 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm

This type of thing long pre-dates Facebook. When my aunt became computer-savvy in the late 90′s, she sent chain letters constantly. “SISTERS!” “FRIENDS!” “KITTENS!” Then some cute pictures, some glitter, a cheesy poem about sisters/friends/kittens, “Scroll down, make a wish! … Keep scrolling!” and at the very end some sort of emotional blackmail about how this email has been sent to everyone I consider a “sister” and I will see how many times I get it back!!!

Ughhhhhhh. Eventually I called her (age 14 or so) and told her that I don’t email chain letters, but I love her so every time she sends one out she can assume I am sending it back to her “in spirit”. It made her laugh.

I think that the people who post these are MOSTLY just doing it because they think it is fun and/or sweet, not considering the effects it might have on the rest of us. If they are close enough to whine to you about your non-participation, I suggest my tactic, above. If they are not, ignore with a clear conscience.

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Lo August 20, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Facebook: A Quick Path To Disliking All Your Friends And Acquaintances.

I have one because that’s how my family now communicates. Invitations, events, updates; that’s all on Facebook now. No one really calls or writes. They do email but I don’t use it much.

I’ve gotten comments before that maybe I don’t care about them because I don’t bother to check my email, my Facebook– I use it to post photos mostly, but I don’t go there very often.

I can count on one hand the times I’ve been asked for my phone number by a family member. I’m not trying to shut anyone out, I just hate the medium. No one ever accuses my grandmother of being anti-social because she’s not on Facebook. I don’t see why computer literacy has to involve enslavement to a social network.

I also prefer to avoid the political platform it gives people. My family is all over the spectrum and while most of them aren’t the type to engage in heated debate online, people still feel the need to jab each other over deeply held beliefs. I have strong opinions. I vote. But I’m not looking for a soapbox from which to berate others. Lets face it, posting a status update geared to incite opposition is not much different than standing in the middle of a crowded room and saying, “I DON’T LIKE (X)” hoping that people will notice.

I’m a person, not a political viewpoint. And if I wanted to froth at the mouth I’d listen to talk radio.

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Elizabeth August 20, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Manipulation. Silly waste of my time. Oh, wait, that is Facebook.

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Lauren August 20, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I know this won’t be a popular comment, but what the heck are adults doing on facebook?

There was so much drama at work when someone quit and unfriended everyone in the company. She told me she didn’t want to remain in contact with them. I really didn’t care one way or the other – it had nothing to do with me, I was actually her real friend (what?!). Well, you should have heard the uproar….”I thought she was my friend!” “Who does she think she is!””Is she too good for us now?”

Yeah. So I spent the next few weeks making fun of everyone who mentioned it to me. I told them to call her if they had a problem (you know, like adults), instead of whining to me about it.

I really think that if being unfriended on facebook affects your life, you really need to reexamine your entire existence.

If, however, you are a huge facebook fan, then I think you should do exactly what the poster’s friend asked, and respond to her with the appropriate comment. If you are in this at all, then you should want to play these idiotic games. They sound EXACTLY like something a facebook fan would get into.

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AMC August 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm

One of the worst things I’ve seen on FB was an image posted by a “friend” that was a picture of either Jesus or perhaps God. The text on the bottom said (I’m paraphrasing) “If you love God, share! If you love the devil, keep scrolling!” I’m agnostic, which means I don’t necessarily believe in the existence of a deity or that the nature of such is even knowable. So, no, I can’t say that “love” God. But I certainly don’t love the devil; I’m not even convinced one exists. I was really tempted to comment on the picture “Really? Those are my only two choices?” but decided it was better not to engage the person over something so ridiculous.

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tinkytinky August 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm

*Gasp* you don’t send them on? ……yeah, I don’t either! I usually have the same people “like” and comment on my posts, so I’m not too concerned with the others, I just scroll through. Because if they were that worried about our friendship, they would have talked to me before now, and vice-versa.

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Emmy August 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm

I remember these types of things going round on on MySpace back in the day. Of course I also remember people on MySpace competing to see who had the most “friends” period. I ignore these pleas. No one has ever deleted me over it and if they do I probably won’t even notice.

I also refuse to take commands to post a certain status update, share a photo or do anything else that I don’t feel inclined to do so. I have had a family memeber message me up set that I wasn’t sharing pictures or updating my status for loosing someone to cancer/knowing someone who survived cancer as he had direct everyone to do. I told him he was free to delete me as a friend if he didn’t like how I ran my page.

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Yet Another Laura August 20, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I’m gone at “I don’t usually cut and paste…”. It alerts me to a cut and paste. I like when people use their own words to express their opinions. I block all meme sites as soon as I see them because it’s yet another form of echolalia. I’m not amused by echolalia from humans.

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Ellie August 20, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Yes, @Charliesmum! I remember the first Breast Cancer Awareness game, of posting your bra color. Yes, it was fun for a couple days watching the men get confused until they were enlightened. However it did nothing for actual awareness. Now it’s beating a dead horse. Wasn’t last year the game “I’m ___ weeks and craving ___”? Not being as popular or as well-known as the bra color ‘game’, the girls shouldn’t have been surprised when word spread that they were pregnant!

I enjoyed Facebook at first. I joined when I went to college in ’06, and it was great to connect with new classmates to discuss assignments as well as keep up with friends back home or at other schools. Now it’s morphed into a tool for bragging, judging, and political ranting. And now guilt-tripping ‘games’!

In relation to guilt-tripping: I have a friend who will text me asking me to like her status she just posted. She’s only interested racking up likes. If she doesn’t get enough likes fast enough? She deletes the status. ‘Like’-hoarding, status ‘games’… there are just too many examples of how Facebook has caused people to pay too much attention to their online presentation and not their real life relationships.

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Anonymous August 20, 2013 at 3:16 pm

This reminds me of the older chain mail letters that used to come in the mail!

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Waterwren August 20, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Facebook games like these are why I’ve l given it up. Too many chances to hurt someone’s feelings. I would rather spend my free time enjoying my friends’ adorable children, smelling the flowers and making real life people feel special. I miss the MySpace age.

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WifeyDear August 20, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I despise these things! I especially hate the ones about cancer or autism, things that I actually DO care about. I don’t like to preach on Facebook and shame on anyone who tries to ‘guilt’ me into posting something I’d never post! There are a lot of things I WILL post, but if the end of of the post says ‘let’s see how many of you will post this’, I immediately stop reading. I also hate the ones that tell you that you ‘don’t care’ if you don’t hit the ‘like’ button!

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