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The Facebook Status Manipulator (If You Agree, Re-Post This. Many Won’t Because They Are Losers.)

This Facebook status above recently appeared on a friend’s status.  I think we could make the argument that bragging about your good manners is, in itself, bad manners, and people raised to be tactful do not go publicizing this in a way that is not tactful.   It could be argued that people have the right to make whatever declarations they wish from the pulpit of their Facebook status as well.  I draw the line of free expression at using it to manipulate people into taking action that serves the purposes only of the manipulator.   I cannot begin to say how offensive this Facebook Status  is.  To declare that people who do not re-post the statement into their own statuses must be proof of their poor upbringing is over the top in guilt manipulation and wrong assumptions.  It casts aspersions on every parent out there.   I do not see any positive value that would edify people who read it.  It furthers nothing but arrogance and disdain.

I’ve finally opted to block the person on my friend list who keeps publishing these manipulative declarations to her Facebook status. A prior private appeal to stop has gone unheeded and to be honest, I choose to not expose myself to people who seem intent on promoting the negative as opposed to being a positive influence.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Elizabeth January 26, 2012, 9:45 am

    Kitty Lizard, I’m with you. FB is such an enormous, self-absorbed waste of time and this posting certainly exemplifies my point.

  • Edhla January 26, 2012, 10:00 am

    I am saddened by the rude “this is why I am superior and don’t bother with Facebook!” responses here.

    If you don’t like Facebook, that’s okay, nobody’s pointing a gun to your head and making you join it. But to insinuate or actually say that someone who uses Facebook mustn’t have “real friends” or is somehow a sad, shallow loser obsessed with technology and without the capacity to interact socially “in real life” truly is disappointing.

  • Natalia January 26, 2012, 11:04 am

    My web browser is having issues with the facebook image. Can someone please include the actual status in their comment, so that I can see the message?
    Thank you!

  • Lilac January 26, 2012, 11:12 am

    Facebook is a funny place. For the most part I really enjoy it and like that I can keep a connection with people all over the country that I wouldn’t normally see or talk to on a regular basis. Then there are those that are really annoying. It does seem that the people who repost the chain statuses tend to be the least imaginative–to put it nicely. Maybe they don’t want to get too personal but often their other posts are somewhat lacking too. Still, I would rather see a chain post than some of the following types:
    –Absolutely mundane eg. “Going to work” “Eating oatmeal” “It’s snowing” and one I JUST read on my own feed “I’m thinking another early day off.” Seriously. Do Not Post This Stuff.
    –Too personal. Okay, you have car problems. It happens and that’s okay to post once in a while but a constant stream of car, money, health, and relationship problems is just awkward.
    –No personal connection posts–I would put the chain statuses in this category as they are about issues the person might really support but they have posted it in a completely impersonal way. If you feel strongly about an issue, I would like to hear YOUR opinion not the interwebs. The other example I have encountered was a friend that would post Bible verses constantly. Not the whole verse–just something like “Romans 12:9-21.” She didn’t say how it related to anything going on anywhere in her life and it obviously was completely unintelligible to those that aren’t Christians. It just felt so off putting, self-righteous, and not inclusive–like we “should” get what these mean and if not, well too bad for you! She is a nice gal but I actually hid her status because of this. I have lots of Christian friends (I am not btw) that post religious things but they are relevant to their lives and they post them in ways that I can understand what they mean to them. If you aren’t comfortable about telling why your post is meaningful to you, don’t post it. People aren’t visiting “genericstatusbook” they are visiting a social network where real people connect.

  • Chocobo January 26, 2012, 11:32 am

    Violet Grantham, that is probably a good thing, since the Dowager Countess has a terrible habit of looking down on others and using her station to skewer others. Like many elements of a good drama, it’s wildly entertaining for television, but insufferable in “real life.”

  • Gracie C. January 26, 2012, 12:10 pm

    @ Hollanda – I’m not even guilty of posting these kinds of messages, but I think your message (and your mocking and your PMs) is extremely rude. What people put on their walls is none of your business. If you don’t like it, by all means, don’t read it / hide them / defriend them – whatever. But to try to force people (behave this way, or I will defriend you) into behaving the way you want, is absurd and just as offensive as the posts being discussed.

  • Timothy January 26, 2012, 12:39 pm

    Situations like this are summed up perfectly by changing a single word in a quote by Margaret Thatcher. ” Being polite is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” To me, that is dead on.

    And Natalia (as well as anyone else with the same problem), here is the message. “I was RAISED!! I didn’t just grow up. I was taught to speak when I entered a room, say please & thank you, to have respect for my elders, to get up off my lazy butt and let the elder in the room have my chair, say yes sir and no sir, lend a helping hand to those in need, hold the door for the person behind me, say excuse me when it’s needed, & to love people for who they are, not what I can get from them! I was also taught to treat people the way I want to be treated! If you were raised this way too, re-post this. Sadly, many won’t because they weren’t, and it shows!”

  • Cat Whisperer January 26, 2012, 1:03 pm

    Edhla, if you construed my comment to mean that someone who uses Facebook or other social media websites, they don’t have “real friends,” I apologize for not being clear.

    My point: to me, REAL friendship is something that has a depth to it and a personalness that rgoes ‘way deeper than the blather and froth you see between “friends” on Facebook. To me, real friendship, and this is a personal opinion and does not imply you should share it, means that you know someone with intimacy and depth. You know their history, you know their likes and dislikes, you share their joys and sorrows, and you are willing to take real effort to be a friend. Friends, to me, are people who you can call at 3:00 AM when your car has broken down, and they’ll get out of bed and drive twenty miles to come and get you. When you call a friend up sobbing because you just found the body of the semi-stray cat you’ve been feeding for ten years, they know you’re upset, they know why you’re upset, and if you need them to stay on the phone with you for half an hour while you cry, they’re there.

    And of course it’s mutual. My friends are people for whom I’ve dropped everything to drive 15o miles to go to a hospital with them. I’ve lent them my money, my car, and even sent my husband out to help them when they needed it.

    This goes ‘way beyond “friending” someone on a social website and posting about your doings on Farmville or what a great movie you saw today (review follows) or exchanging views on the Kardashian divorce or who you like for the Super Bowl. Don’t get me wrong, people you do that stuff with are nice people and can be great fun, but to me those are people who are acquaintances, NOT friends.

    In this specific case of people who do chain-letter postings on your social network website that you find offensive, can you honestly and truly define someone who would do that as a FRIEND? Wouldn’t a friend, in the real sense of that word, be aware that what they are doing is offensive to you, and respect your feelings enough to not do it?

    I guess to me it’s the difference between what you define as a friend, and what I define as a friend. I have about half a dozen non-family members that I would call friends, and that’s all I really can find time to do justice to as friends. I have dozens of acquaintances in varying degrees, who know me and who I know to some degree, but it doesn’t go deeper than that. You can be cordial with someone and know who they are and not consider that relationship a friendship, at least in my book. It’s all a matter of definition, which is a personal thing and I’m sorry if I failed to make that clear.

  • Gracie C. January 26, 2012, 2:55 pm

    Cat Whisperer – I can’t speak for Edhla – but I think it’s less about how you vs. she define “friend” and more about you taking the term that Facebook uses more literal than probably everyone that uses FB. I’m friends with many of my real life friends on FB. I’m also “friends” with former friends, colleagues, classmates, etc. I enjoy seeing what people are up to. You are correct that at this point in my life they are not “friends” in how I would define the word, but they are people who have shared my life in one way or another throughout the years. What a bogged down mess FB would be if it didn’t just lump everyone together as “friends”. I can’t imagine logging in and seeing, you have 1 new friend request, 6 acquaintance requests, 2 former colleague requests, 11 family member requests, etc. I’m on Linked In, too, and in that sphere the “requests” are called “connections” – and, of course, each connection is very much different and defined by how I know the person, how long we worked together, etc. “Friend” in the confines of FB encompasses many different relationships – it is not to be taken so literally.

  • Jones January 26, 2012, 4:28 pm

    Cat Whisperer, I am jealous. I wish I had friends like that…I. barely have family like that. I guess you under that definition my ‘friend’s are acquaintances.
    Cherish your friends; I believe they are a very rare breed these days.

  • Pastry Goddess January 26, 2012, 5:51 pm

    So apparently reading this post actually brought one of these messages into existence on my news feed. After 2 years of not having any issues with one of these re-post status thingies I get the following on my news feed

    “May I ask a personal favor …. and this is REALLY personal …. only some of you will do it, and I know who you possibly are. If you know someone who fought a battle with cancer and passed away, or someone who is still fighting …. please add this to your status for 1 hour as a mark of respect and remembrance. I hope I was right about the people who will do it…”

    Grrrr….now off to reply to this blatant manipulation

  • Library Diva January 27, 2012, 11:48 am

    Thinking about it more, a lot of my FB friends who like to makes these types of posts are just what I’d call avid Facebook consumers. They love the technology, they frequently update their statuses and post photos, they like doing the quizzes, playing the games, and sharing whatever interesting thing they recently encountered elsewhere on the internet. One person in particular who likes these reposts is a stay-at-home mom with three children younger than three (a 2-year old and twin 5-month old sons) and I think it’s her way of feeling like she can do something for the greater good in her extremely limited amount of free time.

    I don’t think any of the folks who re-post consider how manipulative it feels to some readers. I don’t think they mean any offense, and some of them probably genuinely feel like they’re accomplishing something.

    I like to keep these folks on my Facebook. What always makes me saddest when I move to a new phase in my life is the casual connections that will be severed. The true-blue friends will stay with you for quite a while, maybe forever. But, gone are your chats with the nice lady who lived across from you in the apartment complex, the guy who sat next to you in science class and always used to make you laugh, the woman who volunteered at your organization once a month and always brought you cookies. Facebook lets me keep those people in my life a little bit, and I’d say that’s what I value the most about it. Even if some of those people are always trying to get me to play CastleVille or post things to cure cancer.

  • Liz January 28, 2012, 10:27 pm

    There is one circulating about baby loss, it ends with something like “90% won’t repost this because baby loss is a taboo subject” implying that you’re insensitive if you don’t repost.

    No, many won’t repost because don’t feel like broadcasting their family tragedies online.

    I dislike these posts a lot, except for the ones that are obviously making fun -like the one I saw about penguin attacks.

  • Vicki January 29, 2012, 3:12 pm

    Fortunately, I haven’t been getting these (or have missed them because I tend to log into Facebook about every other week), but I would probably reply with something like either “I’m sorry you lost your relative, but posting a status message like that isn’t going to help other people with cancer. If it would help you to talk about it, send me email or call.” Or “I agree that Alzheimer’s is a real problem. That’s why I donate to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust. Feel free to pass along their contact information” and include a link. (I don’t donate to a lot of disease-specific charities, but I do give there.)

    As for religion, I have friends of several religions, and none. Someone who wants me to somehow prove that I’m a Christian not only doesn’t really know me, but probably doesn’t want to. (Not because they’re Christian and I’m not, but because they think something like that is a good basis for judging people.)

  • Tallulah January 31, 2012, 6:56 pm

    I have people on my friend’s list who post those manipulative statuses. I call them passive-agressive statuses. I also have the ultra-Christian types as well. I simply choose to ignore them. I have never had one person mention that I didn’t repost or unfriend me because I didn’t. Politics is another touchy subject. I try not to repond to posts I don’t agree with, so as not to start a brouhaha in public.

  • Bela516 February 8, 2012, 1:32 am

    New here but wanted to comment on the “Facebook is such a waste of time” superior attitude. I am in the military and have been stationed all over the world and use it to keep up with people I have known from former units. I also talk to people I knew in High School. I find it a useful tool. Yeah there are some people on Facebook that are extraneous but I like it and can stay close with my military buddies who I may never see again. I cannot stand the attitude of someone that lumps everyone into a Facebook Loser group because they want to feel superior. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. Judgement is rude. 😉

  • Carly February 8, 2012, 3:51 am

    This is why I can’t stand any of those forward/repost-type things that basically say “if you don’t repost this you are rude/don’t love Jesus/are a terrible person/are a bad friend/etc.” In a lot of ways they are even worse than the ones that claim you’ll have bad luck if you don’t repost it. I don’t like passive-aggressive guilt.

  • Guinevere April 6, 2012, 10:37 pm

    Chain letters for the 21st century, I think.
    I happily severed my FB account (they do NOT make that easy) last month. It’s not for me; reminds me of Grade 8 summer camp.
    Over and out.

  • erica September 10, 2012, 5:18 pm

    One of the beautiful things about facebook is that you can control who sees your status posts.
    I may say “OMG another 104 day. We are melting here!”…and only show it to those I have on my “list” of people who live up north.
    I can post another about the upcoming HS reunion…and only direct it to those I went to school with …again based on MY personal lists that I took the time to specifiy and create.
    Yes…some people fall in many catagories..ok. Big deal.
    I like the fact I can hover over ‘friend’ button on one of my fb friends page/post and it gives me a drop down menu. I can choose “settings”. I then can decide…do I want to see what they are having for dinner? Do I want to see 50 photos of their kid? Do I want to see their comments and likes on OTHER people (non mutual friends) pages/status updates. I can check and uncheck those at will.
    There ARE people I want to see 20 pictures of their new baby. Check photosThere are people that I don’t want to see every one of their favorite videos from the 80’s…uncheck.
    What I do not like is that WE the user cannot decide whether we would like our comments to go viral to everyone on our fb friend list…nor do I want them to see I frequent certain blogs I find humorus…say like people I am on a church committee don’t need to know I read and comment on a blog with a cuss word in the title… I am not being “fake”. I would gladly share that information but I certainly wouldn’t want to offend anyone. That in my eyes is good mannered.
    I believe our privacy is definitely being violated by not having that control over our own account.