Infuriating Facebook Quizzes And Poor Facebook Etiquette

Sometimes, late at night, I sit in front of my computer and wonder, “If I could shoot Facebook in the…well, face – what type of gun would I use?” It’s not that I hate Facebook enough to wish digital harm on it. It’s just that between the relentless Facebook surveys and the lack of any real Facebook etiquette, I want to throw the World Wide Web into a Full Nelson and scream into its depths – “You people are the reason that the Internets cry.”

I know, I know – social networking is a huge anchor for Internet marketing efforts and the social networking value of sites like Facebook are sky-high right now. But let’s not forget that for most of its life, Facebook had been a platform for young people to keep in touch. Facebook etiquette wasn’t really an issue, nor was the plethora of Facebook problems that plague my daily use. The double-pronged danger of an explosion of users unfamiliar with normal social networking behavior and the increased use of Facebook for commercial use has certainly had its effect.

I guess the best way to put it is that I don’t hate Facebook, I hate the way that a growing number of people seem to use it. The implications of something like Facebook or Twitter for marketing are huge and can’t be ignored. The time to reign in obnoxious misuse and to adopt some Facebook etiquette for masses is now…before the “cool” wears off.

So, Without Further Ado, Here Are My Top Five Things I Hate About Facebook (Despite The Fact That I Just Admitted I Don’t Really Hate It…Whatever):

  • Facebook quizzes – It’s hard to put into words how intense my dislike is for Facebook quizzes. You’d have to see my face snarl into a painful grimace as one after another pops up in my news feed. I hide them. I hide them as fast as people can fill them out. It doesn’t matter because they keep coming – like idiot zombies lumbering along, waiting for me to fall victim to the monotony of clicking “hide” and letting one slip through. Do you really think that anyone cares how “ghetto” you are or which Twilight Girl you are? If the result of a quiz called “What type of mustache are you?” has any impact at all on your life, you need to see someone about that. 


  • Facebook surveys – Now, I know it’s madly fun to answer 300 questions about the most banal details and habits of your life, but stop telling me about it. You bite your nails? Great, but I haven’t seen you since high-school so the importance of that info ranks right up there with what your favorite crayon color is. Also, and read this slowly and carefully – PEOPLE USE THESE QUIZZES TO COLLECT INFORMATION ABOUT YOU.


  • OMG, ROFL, ROFLMAO, BRB, TTYL and especially LOL: It would be a safe bet to say that these little nuggets of Internet lingo were adopted from the equally annoying world of “texting.” It doesn’t matter where they came from. What matters is how we get rid of them. We, as a society, have gotten to the point where we not only can’t take the time to spell out simple phrases, but we’ve imported these popular bastardizations into spoken word. I was standing in the supermarket the other day and a middle-aged woman allowed the following travesty escape from her mouth, “More than $4 for cereal? Like, OMG.” Had I not selected a cart with the loudest wheel in the history of food shopping, I might have inadvertently “guided” it into her ankle.


  • “First”: Of all the things I cringe at when I am on Facebook, this might be the cringiest. Some entities on Facebook that I happen to be a “fan” of post multiple updates each day. National Public Radio, for example, feeds news to its fans 24/7. As a fan, you are allowed to comment on these postings. One day, when Iran was heaving with semi-popular unrest, NPR posted a story about how generally insane it was to actually be in Iran. Guess what the first comment (and second, third, fifth and twentieth) read – “first.” Really? On such a powerfully intense, pregnant-with-meaning story, you’re gonna write “first.” See, “first” is a phenomenon I am familiar with from comment threads people post to articles on different sites (The Onion, to be precise). From what I gather, you need only a few simple things to “first” a post – a keyboard, moderately good timing, and a helmet. Seriously, a “first” is when you are so amazingly excited that you happen to be the first one willing to chime in and, in your fervor, your mind goes deaf and all you can muster is a frustrating, wasteful notation of the obvious – “first.” The best part? On Facebook, there’s a bit of a lag from when you post a comment and when it shows on other people’s pages. So, most of the time when you think you are “firsting” (careful with that one) the whole damn world, your post shows up 20 comments down the line in the middle of an actual conversation. Just stop it. All of you.


  • No perceivable Facebook etiquette: I think it’s too late to not sound like a Facebook snob, but so many people have no idea how to behave. I think the rule should be as follows: If you wouldn’t do or say it in real life, DON’T DO IT ON FACEBOOK. For example, you are having a conversation with a group of friends and someone says something hilarious. Would you scream, “LOL” in the faces of each friend? Or, would you laugh? (…something like, “hahaha”) That former reaction would be in poor form, no? That means it would be poor Facebook etiquette. Here’s another one. You eat a sandwich for lunch and take a brief nap. Then, you call 300 of your closest friends and tell them about your afternoon by saying only, “I ate a sandwich and took a nap.” And then you hang up. That’s the real-life equivalent of a senseless, zero-sum status update. You wouldn’t do it, right? You would? Then I’ve got one thing to say to you….actually, I don’t. I’m speechless. Don’t ever call me. 

Please Adopt Facebook Etiquette So I Can Stop Hating Facebook And Focus My Negativity On Something Else

So why don’t I just pack it up and sign-off of Facebook for good? Well, because I can’t figure out how to. (Not really, but have you ever tried deleting your account?) I’m an addict, plain and simple. I’m on Facebook all day. I see the potential of Facebook for businesses, corporations and firms and the value of social networking extends far beyond keeping in touch.

 All I ask for is a little sanity, a little Facebook etiquette. No more soul-scorching Facebook quizzes. No more Facebook surveys that make me want to forget how to read. A little sanity and Facebook problems will melt away…and then we can all focus our efforts on kicking Twitter in the face.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 7, 2009 and is filed under Social Media in Marketing.

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