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Why Facebook Status “Games” Sadden Me

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.
{ 109 comments… add one }
  • Magicdomino August 20, 2013, 4:41 pm

    I love Facebook. All of those annoying emails that I used to get from certain relatives are now sent via Facebook. Since I don’t belong to Facebook, I don’t have to deal with them any more. Granted, I also don’t get any emails with news, but they weren’t sending many of those anyway.

  • AIP August 20, 2013, 5:32 pm

    I love Facebook and the following motto allows me to enjoy it so that that sort of nonsense doesn’t bother me: you wouldn’t worry about what other people thought of you if you knew how little they actually did.

    It’s the “cancer awareness” (that coy “post the colour of your front mat but shush don’t let the boys know – it wouldn’t do for them to know that they can get breast cancer too” horse manure especially annoys me) , child abuse awareness and “post this ugly, poorly written picture in honour and to support people with cancer”. They annoyed me in the past, but now that both myself and my father have it, I get REALLY browned off by it.

    But what really makes me lose it are the hoaxes which get shared – no matter how unlikely – because “it can’t do any harm”. Invariably they, at best, make the person sharing it look like a fool, at worst they are chock full of bad or dangerous advice.

  • kingsrings August 20, 2013, 5:54 pm

    I can’t stand the breast cancer “awareness” ones! Just a couple weeks ago, I got yet another mass-sent private message from a friend instructing us all on how to participate in the latest annoyance. This time, it was “I’m going to (insert city) for (insert time)!!”. Sure enough, I then saw these appearing on the statuses of my female friends, with concerned and confused family members/friends asking them why they were going to London for 18 months, etc. I thought it was so shady to deceive people like that all out of phony awareness. And then I’m told that I’m a heartless person who doesn’t care about breast cancer awareness……

  • Miss-E August 20, 2013, 6:07 pm

    This falls under the nonsensical Facebook garbage that I hate so much. Just like the status’ that say “like this if you love your mom; ignore it if you hate her” or the ones that say “1,000,000 likes and my mom will buy me a puppy” and so forth. What I hate the most is that it isn’t even an ORIGINAL egotistical thought! Not only are you seeking attention but you can’t even put the time in to think up and write out your own status??

    Facebook breeds bad manners.

  • Marozia August 20, 2013, 6:50 pm

    @Anonymous is correct. This cope-paste-share is just chain mail and should just be left alone.

  • crella August 20, 2013, 7:22 pm

    “It quickly becomes very evident who exactly are the popular people and who are not. ”

    Or, who the insecure people are, and who’s not ;D

    My aunt loads her page with this stuff, 90% ‘click if you love Jesus’ type things. On the other hand though, my sister was a horrible chain-mailer via email, for some reason she doesn’t do it on FB, so that helps.

    What I find horrifying is trial by Facebook, and campaigns to crush charities or groups based on half-cocked information. A rumor runs wild, and soon 100,000 people are condemning someone or something on FB. It’s virtual torches and pitchforks….a false address was posted for George Zimmerman and a completely unrelated and uninvolved elderly couple had to leave their home until it died down. Another one was a waitress who published the wrong name of a customer she thought had wronged her, the man was harassed because of it. It may be rare, but I find it frightening, that people don’t check facts, and are willing to join in pillorying someone on the basis of a FB post.

  • schnickelfritz August 20, 2013, 7:44 pm

    Does anyone remember the old tea-towel chain mail? Send a towel to the person on top of this list… bla bla bla and send this chain mail to ten people; within such and such a time – you will receive x amount of tea towels?

    Cheese and Rice! My Mother-in-Law would send these to me! I don’t remember if I participated… It was in the 80s. So much pressure!

    Then, the cake starter mix – in a jar -what was that? It was a good cake – someone would give you (same in-law) a jar of starter, you added the ingredients, let it “ferment” for so long, save a portion for the jar you forwarded… bake your cake… It was actually really tasty… Friendship Cake?

  • babs August 20, 2013, 7:49 pm

    I love Facebook, and love the opportunity it gives me to keep up with friends and reconnect with family who would otherwise be out of my life. I just ignore this stupid stuff, and enjoy it for what is is, a social site. I have replied in the past something like, “I don’t measure the value of my life or the depth of my friendships based upon how many people respond to a post like this.” Actually, I used to reply this way, but now I just ignore. Silence speaks volumes. It’s really pathetic when you think about it. Ignore, ignore, ignore, and just let it roll off your back.

  • BagLady August 20, 2013, 8:57 pm

    I’m an introvert, and Facebook has been a godsend for me. My friends and I can share news, photos and silly stuff without the time and expense of multiple phone calls, having photos printed, etc. I’ve been able to reconnect with high-school, college and former work friends I’d lost track of. I love it.

    But I don’t play games — not the game games like Candy Crush or Mafia Wars, and not the “copy and paste this if you care about X/you’re heartless if you don’t” things. I admit to taking part in the bra color and “make a cartoon character your profile pic” memes because they were fun — not because I thought they would do a darn thing to raise “awareness.” Honestly, anyone who isn’t “aware” of cancer or autism or child abuse or animal cruelty must have been in a coma since 1948.

    I’m also guilty of occasionally doing the “answer 20 questions about yourself and tag 20 friends” sort of thing, because who doesn’t like talking about themselves? But I don’t keep score of how many friends respond or base my self-esteem on how many responses I get vs. how many someone else gets. If my friends are OK with me ignoring their requests to play Mafia Wars (is that still a thing?), I’m OK with them ignoring my “20 questions” posts.

  • Melnick August 20, 2013, 10:05 pm

    Before being too judgmental of your friends for posting these, think about how they were in the quandary you were when one of their friends initially posted it. Maybe they just reposted so they wouldn’t hurt their original friend’s feelings and hoped that their other friends would realise they don’t really want to engage like that? Those stupid things don’t really give their friend a way to opt out unless they ignore it.

    I was talking to my students about Facebook and other social media platforms yesterday and told them that if it hurts you, what are you doing on it? Get rid of anything that opens you up to be hurt and protect your spirit. It’s too easy to be nasty when you can hide behind a screen or anonymity and not have to face the consequences of your words.

    And we always need to remember that we’re comparing our behind-the-scenes with someone’s highlight reel.

    As it is, I have found that I mostly enjoy using facebook for fitness motivation. I have a large dose of motivational quotes come up in my feed daily which I enjoy looking at and using to help me stay on my path.

  • AS August 20, 2013, 10:22 pm

    Ditto. I hate these posts too.

    But my biggest peeve are the gory (often evidently photoshopped) pictures of small children that are posted, and a message saying something in the lines of “this child has so-and-so condition and is about to die. Most people would not share this photo because it is would make their page ugly, though they’d share other things. Let us see how many of you have a heart and share this photo”. This is wrong in so many ways, that I don’t even know where to begin. The bottom line is that I have no interest in sharing pictures of a baby I don’t even know, ugly or otherwise. That doesn’t make me heartless. In fact, even if the photographs are genuine, the people calling the babies ugly are the real heartless ones.

  • AngiePange August 20, 2013, 11:29 pm

    I’ve started using these posts as my own kind of litmus test… I would rather not have people who post this kind of nonsense on my facebook. I used to love facebook. As someone who was never very popular, suddenly having people to talk to, etc. I was delighted. However, I have recently found that there are severely creepy elements on social media and that everything you say, no matter how innocuous, can and will be used against you. I recently posted an update about how I hate posts of abused animals and children, since it is upsetting and there is no purpose to these posts but to shock and horrify. There is nothing a person can actually DO about these things. Well – the unholy hell that was unleashed upon me was unbelievable. Someone actually sent me what can only be described as a veiled death threat. Needless to say, I have started “culling” my friends list – I really don’t need drama like THAT in my life!

  • Kirsten August 21, 2013, 3:41 am

    @Lauren: what are adults doing on FB? Quite often sharing photographs with lots of people and using it to stay in contact with people on a light, infrequent basis that in email wouldn’t exist. Your office staff sound laughably immature about it but it doesn’t mean everyone is. It’s a method of communication and it suits some people.

    For the rest – chain letters, Fwd emails, manipulative rubbish, stupid sexist ‘leave the men guessing’ posts (as if my husband gives a toss about a lot of ‘green nine inches’ posts) – forget it. I just delete them immediately and don’t respond, but I do agree with Lauren in the sense that it is quite pathetic to have a grown man or woman doing this kind of thing. Children, yes, and that’s another reason to dislike them because children may not understand the manipulation/be vulnerable to the popularity, but adults? Really?

    “You’ve been touched by an angel”…not in an email, I haven’t!

  • Rebecca August 21, 2013, 5:03 am

    I just ignore those.

  • joni August 21, 2013, 7:04 am

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

    That’s a pretty interesting assumption, isn’t it?

    I think it’s funny how posts like these always bring out a chorus of “See? This is why I don’t use Facebook!” as if there was some sort of prize to be awarded for not using it. Honestly, stuff like this has existed long before Facebook and it will exists long after FB has gone the way of MySpace. It’s not a massive conspiracy, it’s just human nature. If it’s too annoying to scroll past these posts, you don’t have to have the people who post them displayed in your news feed at all.

  • Sarah Jane August 21, 2013, 7:11 am

    How about when they add an extra little tag of guilt? “Repost if you care. I bet 98% of you won’t.” Now that’s real faith in humanity.

  • Angela August 21, 2013, 7:57 am

    Eh, these don’t really deserve that much analysis IMHO. I ignore those things. You know there is a little icon you can click in the upper right-hand corner of a post to hide it, right? I block people who post a lot of that stuff from my newsfeed. I don’t unfriend, just click their profile once in a while to see what’s going on…keeps a lot of those screeds off my screen.
    Oh, and apparently some of those are a way of harvesting data. If you click the “like” the sponsor has some access to information that it wouldn’t otherwise. It was in the news a few months ago. So now I never respond to that stuff.
    I did see a great meme about this: It read “I killed a dog, worshipped Satan, spit on a soldier and condoned child abuse in one day…all by scrolling”.

  • bloo August 21, 2013, 8:47 am

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

    I don’t know if it will be an unpopular comment, but it is inaccurate.

    Facebook was originally created FOR adults, not kids. Specifically college-age adults. Allowable registration for those 13-17 was allowed LATER.

    A blurb from Wikipedia:

    “Facebook is an online social networking service, whose name stems from the colloquial name for the book given to students at the start of the academic year by some university administrations in the United States to help students get to know each other.[7] It was founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.[8] The website’s membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities before opening to high school students, and eventually to anyone aged 13 and over. Facebook now allows any users who declare themselves to be at least 13 years old to become registered users of the site.[9]”


  • Gee August 21, 2013, 9:02 am

    Right on, Admin. As soon as I see these things, I scroll past them. They’re silly and manipulative.

    On that subject, anyone else remember the “fake pregnancy announcement” for breast cancer “awareness” that went around a few years ago? Just horrible. So many people got tried into thinking they were going to be grandparents (aunts/uncles/etc) and then got told, “Oh, just kidding, it’s a game!” And for people struggling with fertility issues and/or pregnancy losses, it was doubly awful.

  • Gee August 21, 2013, 9:02 am

    Got *tricked* it should have said. Not got tried.

  • Kirsten August 21, 2013, 9:04 am

    Oh, and I don’t understand the ones where people ‘like’ things like soap, so I get a big post in my newsfeed saying “Jane Smith likes Super Soap!!! Jane Smith likes Rug-Away carpet cleaner!”

    Jane…that’s lovely. I like Mr Muscle sink unblocker, but I never thought anyone would care.

  • EJK August 21, 2013, 9:08 am

    I ignore these. I haven’t lost a friend over it yet. <3

  • Kai August 21, 2013, 9:15 am

    Any time one of these wretched re-post things pops up, this could be my response:
    “PLEASE put this on your status if you know someone or are related to someone who has been eaten by dragons. Dragons are nearly unstoppable, and in case you didn’t know, they can breathe fire. 93% of people won’t copy and paste this, because they have already been eaten by dragons. 6% of people are sitting in the shower, armed with fire extinguishers. The remaining 1% are awesome, and will re-post this.”
    “Please copy and paste this as your status if you know someone, or have heard of someone who knows someone that may know someone who knows anyone. If you don’t know anyone, or even if you’ve heard of anyone who doesn’t know anyone that doesn’t know someone, then still copy this. It’s important to spread the message. Oh, and the hearts. <3 <3 <3 For crap’s sake, don’t forget the hearts. <3 <3 <3"
    or better yet:
    "Please copy and paste this to your status if you know someone, or have been affected by someone, who needs a smack upside the head. People who need a smack upside the head effect the lives of many. There is still no known cure for someone who deserves a smack upside the head, except a smack upside the head, but we can raise awareness. Many won’t copy and paste this. I did. Will you?"
    I then notice a distinct drop in stupid "game" posts for about a month.

  • Lauren August 21, 2013, 9:51 am

    “I think it’s funny how posts like these always bring out a chorus of “See? This is why I don’t use Facebook!” as if there was some sort of prize to be awarded for not using it.”

    Yes, Joni, I am very proud of my non-facebook status, it’s a huge (HUGE!) point of pride and I am glad you brought up that it is a conspiracy. I have devoted my life to working hard to end this evil.

    I met a grandmother once who claimed she used facebook to see what her family was up to. I told her I was on to her, and that her days of spying on her grand kids were numbered! I said ” NOBODY is falling for your sweet old lady routine….this ends NOW” and I smashed her keyboard. I may have overreacted.

  • Kate August 21, 2013, 9:55 am

    I left Facebook a few months ago, after a young man in my community died of an overdose, and his friends started posting memorials for him before his parents have even been informed. I know that they didn’t find out via Facebook, that someone actually did call them. But the way the people went about that sickened me, like they would get extra points and extra likes for being sad first.

  • Daisy August 21, 2013, 10:11 am

    I can’t imagine wanting to participate in this “game”, or to be this involved in the lives of people I barely know. Facebook is an astonishingly successful and powerful marketing tool, capable of extracting more voluntarily given personal information than any other system ever invented; it’s also a good way to re-live those difficult high school years when status and popularity, or the lack thereof, meant everything. I prefer my friendships live and my contacts personal.

  • Jenn50 August 21, 2013, 10:44 am

    @Lauren: “What the heck are adults doing on facebook?”

    In many cases, getting information easily, and in one place. During recent flash flooding in our community, the fire department (whom I work for), police, and town managers used facebook and twitter to reach large numbers of people with information about which areas were affected, where to go, and how to get financial and logistical assistance while evacuated. People were able to update their status, letting all of their family and friends know they were safe in one simple message instead of calling and returning calls to a zillion people, or worse yet, tying up the emergency responders who were already stretched to the limit checking on people because their friends hadn’t heard from them. Because so many people have social media, it makes it incredibly easy to reach masses of people quickly. Sure, you won’t catch everyone, but it takes the pressure off if you can get to >70% of the community with a few keystrokes. After the flooding, facebook has been used extensively to organize volunteers to help clean up homes and business, spread the word about fundraisers, and to let people know they aren’t alone in what they’re going through.

    I’m sorry your coworkers are immature. That’s probably only peripherally related to facebook, and I suspect they’re immature about other things too.

  • manybellsdown August 21, 2013, 11:38 am

    @Lauren – My grandmother has never met her oldest great-grandchild because we live 3500 miles away. But because they both use Facebook, my grandmother gets to see how my daughter is a talented artist, just like her. My grandmother had rather a lot of children, so keeping up with my many aunts and uncles and cousins would be very time-consuming if I called them on the phone to catch up every week.
    (By the way, did you know FB has no category for “great-grandparent” when you list people as your relatives? I guess they assume 4 generations of the same family wouldn’t all be online!)

    We actually got on Facebook in the first place as a career move. My husband works in the games industry, and his company wanted to develop some Facebook games. In order to research the types of games, he had to join Facebook, and he wanted someone to play them with him and give feedback, so I did also. Surely that reason is adult enough for anyone.

  • Calli Arcale August 21, 2013, 12:44 pm

    I ignore these posts. They’re chain mails. The person posting it doubtless did not actually write it, but felt compelled to because a friend did and they wanted to show that they liked that friend. I’ve never had anyone unfriend me because I didn’t respond, and honestly, if I did, I clearly didn’t need to be on their friend list anyway.

    The ones that share pictures are in a different level, though. If you see a shared picture (as opposed to one your friend has posted under their own account) and it says “like if you see the hidden picture” or “share if you love puppies” or “really smart people can do this in five seconds; share if you can” or even some pretty guilt-trippy stuff, DO NOT LIKE OR SHARE. In addition to encouraging the chain letter brain-rot, these are actually created for the purpose of artificially boosting a page’s ranking, and may also be used to create lists for marketing purposes. In particular, if the image or text requests that you *share* it rather than reposting it, be wary. Sharing isn’t inherently dangerous, but these viral images are ways of getting a relationship started with people for marketing purposes, and can also be used as a form of linkspam. They’re best ignored.

  • Angela August 21, 2013, 12:47 pm

    @Kai: ha ha I love those. My favorite one involves a specific date on which Facebook, unless you set privacy settings accordingly, will sneak into your bathroom when you are showering and pinch your butt.

  • Amanda H. August 21, 2013, 12:58 pm

    @Kai: I love those responses. I’m half-tempted to use one of them now. 🙂

  • Aunt4God August 21, 2013, 1:01 pm

    The worst one by far was the “Breast Cancer Awareness” “Game” last year that involved pregnancy. I have been struggling with infertility for four years now, and every single one of them hurt. They hurt more than real announcements because it was making “light” of being able to have a child. I finally ranted a little about it and linked a blog article someone had written about it. I didn’t see another single one after that…..instead, I saw people actually updating that they support Breast Cancer Awareness. Those stupid games are not meant to spread awareness, they are meant to see how many people they can get to post the stupid update.

  • Anonymous August 21, 2013, 3:11 pm

    I admit that I did copy and paste the Facebook status in the OP, but I never intended it as a manipulation tactic. I really do value my friends, but I have a lot of Facebook friends (and real-life friends), from a lot of places, and sometimes, a few weeks, or a month, or more, will go by, and I’ll realize that I haven’t spoken to/heard from Sarah from high school, or Joe from university, or Sally from forever ago. So, I copied and pasted that status as a reminder to myself to slow down and make more time for my friends who I might not see it every day. Now that I’m writing it out, I can see how it might be construed as being manipulative or guilt-trippy, so I’m starting to regret it. However, I still don’t agree with the idea of quitting Facebook altogether, because some people use it in ways I may not like, which we’ve discussed on E-Hell quite a bit. There’ll always be people who “vaguebook” (posting about feeling badly, but rebuffing anyone who attempts to ask why/help them), people who use Facebook to brag about their awesome and oh-so-exclusive parties and cottage weekends, but never invite you, people who brag (and sometimes overshare) about their kids on Facebook, and so on, and so forth. Likewise, there’ll always be people who act in ways I don’t agree with in real life, but I don’t use that as a reason to stop going out in public. So, the way I see it, me quitting Facebook over other people’s online behaviours, would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater in exactly the same manner. I use Facebook to keep in touch with my friends, and my brother who lives out of town, and to play games, and I also run the Facebook group for my steel band. As for the negative stuff, I generally do what I do in real life–I roll my eyes inwardly, and just keep on living/communicating as I see fit, whether in person, or online.

  • Snarkastic August 21, 2013, 3:27 pm

    @MollyMonster: You really hit the nail on the head re: passive aggressive/needy posts. There is a part of me that gets momentarily curious and then I remember, “WTF, this is a public forum, not your diary or a coffee klatch”.

  • Anonymous August 21, 2013, 3:38 pm

    P.S., I should have specified “other people’s online (or real-life) behaviours” to mean, “other people’s behaviours that don’t directly affect me.” So, if someone was harassing me on Facebook (or at a physical place in real life), and reporting them didn’t work, then yeah, I think quitting Facebook, or avoiding that physical place in real life, would be a logical course of action. However, there are a lot of middle options that eliminate the undesired behaviour (or at least, remove it from your view), such as hiding posts, defriending/blocking the most stubborn offenders, and doing “Facebook Lite,” where you keep your profile really private, don’t use any of the apps or games, and only friend a select group of people, like close friends and family.

    As for the “annoying, but not harassment” stuff that I see on Facebook, I put it on the same level as things like religious ads on public buses, or those “back of legs and rear end” cutouts that some people use as lawn ornaments, so it looks like a plywood person is bent over and tending their garden. I think it’s annoying/vulgar/crass/whatever, but if I wanted to protect myself from ever seeing anything I didn’t like, or interacting with anyone who didn’t agree with me 100% of the time, I’d live a pretty isolated life.

  • crella August 21, 2013, 6:13 pm

    When the Tohoku Earthquake hit I got an email that a group was starting, and that’s why I joined Facebook. 13 of us (foreign wives mostly I think) who can read Japanese spent 4 days reading the sign-in sheets of the evacuation shelters, as someone had taken the time at each shelter to photograph each page (and blackboard, and cork board) and post those photos to Google Images. Foreigners names are written in katakana syllabary and people outside Japan looking for loved ones (missionaries, JET teachers etc) for the most part can’t read it. We put the names back into their original languages and posted them on the FB page. FB Japan is now set up that a page is created whenever there is a major quake, you can check in or look for people. It’s a marvelous tool.

    After that was all over with, I stayed on it and have reconnected with old friends I haven’t seen since I got married.

  • Tsunoba August 21, 2013, 11:10 pm

    Without having read the comments yet:

    This actually reminds me of those statuses that are supposed to raise awareness for breast cancer via confusing status posts, such as one a few years ago that was “I am X weeks and craving Y.”

    I got sick of them one year, and despite the “Don’t tell the guys!” warning, posted as my status that no one was doing x. Furthermore, I was pretty sure that my ten dollar donation to charity did a lot more for breast cancer awareness than them posting confusing statuses.

    Which ultimately resulted in a story about the time I donated to charity out of spite.

    Interestingly, no one has sent me any more messages about what confusing status is going around that year.

  • Lilac August 22, 2013, 9:23 am

    I am in my 40s (certainly an adult @Lauren 😉 ) and I find it extremely valuable for all manner of things. In the past few weeks I downloaded a bunch of photos that had been posted to my son and daughter’s Facebooks related to their activities. Now I have photos of my daughter’s play and my son’s robotics team that I would never had had if it wasn’t for Facebook! And one of my daughter’s new friends mom’s friend-ed me–also great because now I can easily contact her and I can see her photos which often include my daughter. Love it! I connected with a group of 30 women who were all going on a scrapbooking retreat–we made plans, caught up on news, etc. At the retreat I was able to talk to many of them about weddings, babies, etc. because I had seen updates on Facebook. These are not women I who are close friends but because of Facebook, I knew enough about them to connect with them personally face to face. It REALLY is how you use it. I find the pride people take on not being on Facebook amusing. It’s like your great-grandma not wanting that new-fangled telephone-y thing back in the day. That was/is a great way to communicate and so is Facebook. Choose what you want it to be. I want it to be personal–so I don’t friend people I don’t know, I delete or hide people who are annoying, and I don’t respond to generic nonsense like awareness campaigns and chain posts. I want it to keep me up on my favorite things so I “like” certain political pages, TV show, magazines, etc. I want it to keep me connected to friends and family so I read and respond to their personal posts and I post similar posts. I figure the people who want to see what my kids and I are up to will stay my Facebook friends and the others will delete me. I love Facebook. And I’m a grown-up.

  • UKHelen August 22, 2013, 10:56 am

    Hey, Schnickelfritz, I remember this:

    ‘Then, the cake starter mix – in a jar -what was that? It was a good cake – someone would give you (same in-law) a jar of starter, you added the ingredients, let it “ferment” for so long, save a portion for the jar you forwarded… bake your cake… It was actually really tasty… Friendship Cake?’

    It was a yeast mix, and the whole house smelt of it while it was fermenting for days. You’re right, the cake was brilliant and packed with so much fruit that we thought it must’ve been started by a dried fruit marketing board somewhere!

    I wish that one would come back. I just ignore all other chain mail nonsense.

  • Ergala August 22, 2013, 12:15 pm

    Has anyone seen the poorly written stories about a girl and boy…and how she’s tells him she’s pregnant and he responds in some mean way and she dies immediately….but he wasn’t able to finish his sentence about how much he LOVED her not LIKED her. Yeah those drive me bonkers. The spelling is awful! So someone decided to do something that just about makes me die from laughter. Behold…the “pooptart tragedy”


  • Lilac August 22, 2013, 2:01 pm

    Just a quick follow up to my post. I thought it was kind of interesting that I had posted about the mom of my daughter’s friend that just friend requested me. I confirmed her as a friend yesterday–although we haven’t officially met in person. Today my son texted in a panic from the State Fair. He is a 4-H state ambassador and is at the Fair for two weeks–140 miles away. He desperately needed some items that he didn’t realize he would need. I put out a call on Facebook for anyone heading to the Fair that could bring these items to my son. Minutes later my new Facebook friend was offering assistance and the items are now on the way to my son. This is why I love Facebook. In seconds I can reach out to a larger circle of people than has ever been possible to ask for help or to give assistance. This time it benefited me and my son. Hopefully sometime soon, I can pay it forward by responding in kind. The trick is to use its power for good 🙂

  • Library Diva August 22, 2013, 2:45 pm

    Reading the comments has definitely enforced my belief that Facebook is a tool, pure and simple, just like a hammer. You can use a hammer to drive nails into your wall or to build an entire house. You may use your hammer every day or just occasionally. You could take the hammer, paint it different colors and weld things on to it and turn it into a piece of art. You can play really stupid games with it. You can use it as a weapon, and use it to destroy things. It’s all in the user.

    That being said, I do admit to judging the people who are very into posting this sort of thing that admin is decrying. It’s always struck me as juvenile, desperate and annoying. I stopped partaking after the second or third time I saw it. Only when Facebook was new to me and I was eager to test out every possible application of this great new tool did I play these sorts of games.

  • La August 22, 2013, 3:19 pm

    I believe someone said that Facebook was the great new app for seeing which of your friends, relatives, and acquaintances were annoying, bigots, or gullible, and yeah…

  • Owly August 22, 2013, 6:28 pm

    “I know this won’t be a popular comment…”

    Because you strongly implied that anyone who uses Facebook at all is shallow and emotionally stunted?

    I’m not going to defend Facebook to you, because you’ve got your opinion and I’ve got mine, and that’s ok. But if you’re not trying to pick a fight, there are certainly other ways to express your dislike of Facebook without insulting anyone who feels differently.

  • Owly August 22, 2013, 6:41 pm

    Anyway, regarding the original topic, I’m also not a fan of this type of thing, so if I see one I just ignore it and keep scrolling. I’ve been ignoring forwards and chain emails from these same people for years, so I don’t think anyone’s getting offended by my lack of response. Luckily I only know a few people who post this type of status update (older relatives who are otherwise awesome and I’d rather not unfriend) so I don’t see it on a regular enough basis to be annoyed by it.

  • NicoleK August 22, 2013, 7:30 pm

    They’re like chain letters. I sometimes participate by writing the one word or whatever but I never copy it as I don’t want to harass my FB acquaintances.

  • Mabel August 22, 2013, 11:09 pm

    Those copy and paste things are so lame. I’d rather just post a funny picture of Grumpy Cat and give my friends a few seconds of amusement.

  • Elle August 23, 2013, 12:30 am

    I am a FaceBook user, but for me it’s more about keeping in touch with friends & family. I have been very fortunate that I’ve been able to connect with cousins that I last saw 30 years ago and friends that I went to school with but soon lost touch with. I have deleted certain people that I used to work with and really don’t consider friends and don’t talk to.
    One lady that I was good friends with plays the games that are on the site and feels the need to send out game stat updates or requests to join and play. The reason she no longer works is that her job required her to be on the computer up to 8hrs a day, she ended up with tendonitis and had to go on disability. She would send out the occasional status update stating how miserable her day was and how much pain she was in. I would see from her updates that she would play these games for hours at a time, and was stunned that she didn’t realize that this was probably the root of her pain and problems. She would also send out instructions on how to set the privacy rules so friends would not have access to pictures that she would post and if you didn’t do it within a certain amount of time she would delete you. My husband looked her up, and was surprised that she didn’t set her own privacy rules and basically everything she posted anyone could see. I think the final straw was the one day she spent all day playing games and posting the stats, that is all I saw and had to scroll endlessly just see my friends’ & family’s messages/posts. That did it, she was deleted by me.

  • B August 23, 2013, 8:34 am

    Dear Mods,
    May I please quote this in a Facebook post of mine over the coming weekend? I have a few family and friends that need a wee bit of “internet etiquette education”. I promise to give all credit and praise to EtiquetteHell.com in case anyone thinks I would “steal” this and pass it off as my own.
    By the way, I happen to like Facebook in general, as it has allowed me to keep in touch with family and friends (real friends, not just on FB), who are spread out over thousands of miles (including internationally!). However, I am in agreement with the majority on here who CANNOT STAND the incessant “repost or you’re a bad person who doesn’t care” nonsense. I spend more time on FB deleting nonsense than anything else. UGH!

  • Rowan August 23, 2013, 1:54 pm

    What are adults doing on Facebook….?

    I got chatting to a friend of a friend. Turns out we both suffered from depression and he became my lifeline when I was really low. He’s now one of my best friends and we recently had our first book published. Social media can be awful but it can also be very very wonderful.

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