Regain Your Sanity: Avoid the 7 Deadly Facebook Sins

Mark - you've unleashed a beast...

Mark – you’ve unleashed a beast…

You’ve heard the jibe that Facebook should be rechristened Fakebook because of the false image it often portrays of the great life that everyone else seems to be enjoying.  Posts like: “This is me smiling, standing beside the Eiffel Tower in the City of Light”. Exactly 11 minutes earlier, the same person sampled the worst pizza ever eaten (“Anchovy topping, anyone?”) and it cost €63.00. We kind of accept that some ‘spoofing’ is OK for teenagers. But, adults are expected to tell the truth (at least, some of the time).  So, in the interests of authenticity, I’ve come up with a listing of the most common ‘Facebook Sins’ and what you need to do to avoid them. Buckle in!

Sin 1:  This is what I Am Doing Right Now:  Example: “I’m in Evergreens Service Station on the M1 Motorway. Having the best skinny Latte north of Rome”. This one falls into a general category called: ‘Who gives a shit?’ Unless you are the main character in a thrilling novel or have a particularly paranoid partner, nobody cares where you are at any moment in time. While you may be using Facebook as a public diary, there’s no-one really interested in a documentary about your life.  Suggestion: Assuming that you are older than 11, wean yourself off that stuff.

Sin 2:  I Visit Exotic Places: Example: “Having a cocktail on the balcony of my best friends’ villa in Quinta do Lago” (substitute ‘Completing Gibbon Experience in Africa’ for more restless spirits). Subtext: If you were as clever/successful as me, you could break out of your mundane life and be somewhere equally exciting.  In the meantime, feel free to live your life vicariously through mine. Dual Response (a) Eh, no thanks or (b) You jammy B**tard. Either way, it’s not good.

Sin 3: Here’s My Updated Photo: Example: “I’ve decided to change my ‘wallpaper’. Disregard the headshot I posted yesterday. This selfie is SO much better.  I’ve restyled my hair.” Subtext: In case you’ve forgotten about me, here I am again, your personal cyber stalker. Your Response: I hadn’t forgotten about you, just don’t want to be reminded. Stop this attention seeking. Quick Tip: If you are completely addicted to daily posting, at least upgrade your Smartphone/camera and take photos that don’t make you look like a stand-in for Donald Trump. And, hey, beware of Mexicans over the next couple of weeks.

Sin 4: He’s Arrived! It’s Baby Bobo: Example: “His actual name is Arthur (named after his great Grandfather) but we decided to give him a nickname when he was less than one day old. As soon as my husband Michael saw him in the crib he blurted it out: ‘He’s just like a little Bobo”. Here’s a shot of Bobo with his knitted Blue Hat.  Here’s Bobo’s little wristband from the hospital (helps reduce the number of kidnappings).  Here he is later that afternoon, fast asleep. Here’s a shot of him at 19:00 hours (still asleep) in a Japanese Inspired Kimono nightgown, specially designed for metrosexual parenting. So cute. Your Response: OK, OK, enough already.  I said that I’m buying a feckin’ present, just haven’t made it into Penney’s yet.  I’m thinking of having it delivered by a Drone to avoid listening to you ‘droning on’ about the new baby.  And back off on the photos – it’s eating up my phone memory.  The kid seems OK, but you two need serious psychological help.

Sin 5: I’m SO proud of my kids. You would be too if you ‘owned them’. Example: “Where do the years go? One minute you’re changing their nappy. Next minute you’re trying to hide all the bootlegged CD’s in case you get a surprise revenue audit” Subtext: Look at how handsome they are. It’s genetic.  Your Response: They look nothing at all like you; did you get their DNA checked? Even assuming they are your kids, I’m currently busy plotting the manslaughter of my own. I don’t want to be reminded that there are ‘Walton’s’ Type’ families out there who have normal, civil relations. Just 5 minutes ago the Fire Brigade left our house. They had to break down my teenage daughters bedroom door (she only comes out to eat and complain). Having seen your ‘happy family’ shots, I would describe my current feelings as follows: Incandescent rage!

Sin 6: I Search the Internet & Find Stuff:  Example: Have a quick look at the attached video.  ‘She thought it was a routine traffic stop.  You won’t believe what the Officer did next’…. Subtext:  I have become your entertainment officer and curate a variety of ‘clips’ which will interest you (assuming that you are cultured/fun/animal lover). Your Response: I’ve zero interest in ‘cats that fell from the 118th floor and survived with a sprained ankle’ or when ‘Savage Wicklow Sheep attack Japanese tourists picnicking in Lough Dan’.  Stop sending this mad stuff. If you want to be useful, help me track down a Spot Welding Machine from Aldi (every home should have one) or that new Detox Diet where you lose 28 Stone in 27 Days. If you send me any more dopey videos, you won’t believe what I will do next….

Sin 7: This is the Inspiring Message I have for You Today: Example: “Treat every single day as your last day on earth, and one day you will be right”. Your Response: Oh Pleeeeease. Have you forgotten. We are Irish. A steady diet of potatoes and fish fingers simply doesn’t allow positivity. Hey, my mother and father had the worldwide distribution rights for cynicism. You’ll have to stop watching the Kardashians and all that American shit. Inspiration just doesn’t work in this climate. We tried it during the Celtic Tiger and we are now back in our natural state – i.e. pissed off with everything. When I read your messages I have to fight an automatic gagging response. STOP!

It all started out so well. The idea of Mark Zuckerberg rating women’s ‘faces’ in Harvard certainly had a sort of bad boy attraction. And, on a more positive note, Facebook gives us a way to keep up with 2nd cousins without actually having to meet them.  But, Jesus wept, take it easy on the uploads.  Keep it up and I will ‘unfriend you’ and narrow your circle of intimate friends to 11, 799.  You’ve been warned!

Paul

PS: Lighter Note:  Bono and The Edge go into a pub in Dublin and the Barman says: “Not U2 again”.  

Check our website http://www.tandemconsulting.ie or call 087 2439019 for an informal discussion about executive or organization development.

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About Tandem Consulting

Paul Mooney holds a Ph.D. and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Industrial Sociology from Trinity College, along with a National Diploma in Industrial Relations (NCI). He has a post-Graduate Diploma and a Masters in Coaching from UCD. Paul, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, is widely recognised as an expert on organisation and individual change. He began his working life as a butcher in Dublin before moving into production management. He subsequently held a number of human resource positions in Ireland and Asia - with General Electric and Sterling Drug. Between 2007 and 2010, Paul held the position of President, National College of Ireland. Paul is currently Managing Partner of Tandem Consulting, a team of senior OD and change specialists. He has run consulting assignments in 20+ countries and is the author of 12 books. Areas of expertise include: • Organisational Development/Change & conflict resolution • Leadership Development/Executive Coaching • Human Resource Management/employee engagement
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4 Responses to Regain Your Sanity: Avoid the 7 Deadly Facebook Sins

  1. midwifesean says:

    Firstly , I like anchovies. If you get a pizza with olives , capers and anchovies no one will rob a slice off you . Of course you won’t get ‘lucky’ either but I’m used to that , I’m married . This Facebook sharing of your life events , clever discoveries or new selfies , describes our need for validation . We’re a vain lot us humans. . We all want to be discovered as unsung Einstein’s or Hemingway’s but we’re not . They’ve given the unwashed masses , of which I’m one, a free forum to bore the arse off our friends . I do enough of that at the 1st friday !! It won’t last , it’s just a fad , like the talkies !

  2. Excellent and thought provoking as usual Paul. If you discount all of these though Facebook looses its appeal surely? We have a fascination with our stories and those of other people…. this is beautifully outlined in E O Wilson’s recent book: http://www.bookdepository.com/The-Meaning-of-Human-Existence/9780871401007
    These are the reasons for Facebooks popularity surely!

    • Hi Nial. I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek Nial to get a laugh. The book looks good (maybe a bit ‘heavy’?). I’ve just re-read Mans Search for Meaning and it’s even more powerful second time around. Hope you are keeping well. Regards. Paul

      • Understood and laugh I did :). Frankl should be compulsory reading for the nation! Wilson is heavy in spots, it will take me time to get my head around the concept of ‘inclusive fitness’, but that aside its a surprisingly accessible read and a timely contribution given the insanity we’re witnessing!

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