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Facebook pitfalls every grown adult should avoid in order to maintain online integrity

facebook dos and donts faux pas farmville
Image used with permission by copyright holder
We all know that our lives as depicted on social media aren’t real. The images and statuses we post on Instagram and Facebook are a far cry from the monotonous reality we face day-to-day.

Don’t get us wrong, Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with a wide range of people. The problem is that a lot of your random Insta-friends (and be honest, you’re not really friends with them all) have dubious views on a whole manner of issues.

Therefore, allow us to bluntly guide you through the minefield that is unacceptable online behavior. You probably know someone who regularly commits one of these Facebook faux-pas, or perhaps you’ve done so yourself. Don’t stress, help is at hand: Avoid these major mistakes and make Facebook a better place for all involved.

Communicating with your partner when you’re clearly in the same room

We get it, you’re in love and it’s beautiful. Unfortunately, the rest of us are single and miserable, or in awful relationships with people we secretly despise. So please don’t communicate your sickly sweet love over Facebook for the world to see.

And you know what we’re talking about. A typical status – posted at 9 p.m. on a weekday – when you and your partner are snuggling on the couch following a Netflix binge – that consists of: “I love my lady so much.” Then comes the cloying response, less than a minute later: “I love you more boo.”

Kill me now.

“No, I love you more.” Seriously, this is the type of moronic sentimentality clogging up our timelines? Your friends only logged on to Facebook to stalk their respective exes while crying into a microwave dinner (or as the Digital Trends team calls it: Friday night). Spare them the humiliation of having to witness your perfect love life.

Posting (too many) pics of your children

Nobody’s asking you to go to paparazzi dodging, celebrity-like extremes to shelter the privacy of your family — but don’t bombard us with baby pics either. Your friends don’t want to see every second of your child’s life documented online, no matter how cute.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Everything seems adorable when you first have children: “Awww look at her, she’s covered in baby food and just soiled herself, how cute.” Despite how life-affirming this seems, seeing weekly visual reminders of your newfound status as a parent is plain boring for others. Instead, try this: Document how you went from cool bachelor and single lady to haggard old mum and dad through a series of selfies that see you ditch your skinny jeans and hip sneakers for sweatpants and Uggs.

Sending mass game requests

Why is this still happening? Honestly, if someone told us a few years back that in 2016 we’d still be getting Candy Crush requests we’d have quit Facebook and moved to the remotest region of the Earth to live a life of solitude. Yet it still occurs, although not as regularly as it did during the peak free-to-play gaming era. Game requests are the Facebook version of spam. Therefore, if you’re still sending out Farmville invites, you’re basically a human spambot. You also have terrible taste in games.

Posting religious content

“You know who’s the coolest? Our Lord Jesus Christ,” said no one ever. The last time we saw someone post a religious sermon online it resulted in a straight-up block and led to the great Facebook purge of 2009, which saw us successfully un-friend around 50 people.

Telling someone they are celebrating their respective religious occasion wrong via a biased rant in the guise of a Facebook status (like that old clichéd criticism that people are commercializing spirituality) is also a huge no-no, as is posting a link to a religious website or video. Guess what? People aren’t necessarily thinking of the spiritual side of Christmas. Instead, they’re just down to get some cool gifts and consume a lifetime’s supply of food (and don’t forget Christmas crackers, everyone loves crackers).

So next time you think of posting a religious status, irrespective of your religion, just remember the one Facebook commandment: “Thou shalt not post spiritual statements online, for that is the path to douchebaggery.”

Drunken posts

We’ll let images of you and your friends on the town slide – although no self-respecting group of grown adults takes selfies on a night out. However, it is imperative that you avoid posting a drunk status. If your drinking session is cut short, but you’re still sober enough to use Facebook – don’t even think about it. Hell, just carry on drinking alone if you have to, and steer clear of social networks altogether. You don’t need us to tell you that posting a selfie of you alone in your bedroom with a bottle of vodka, and then tagging your friends in the image, is ill-advised. As is professing your love for fried chicken at 3 a.m. Drunken Facebooking (aka “drunkbooking”) is obviously a bad idea. It will heighten your most outrageous opinions on the most facile topics. Trust us when we tell you that you’ll regret it the morning after.

Liking all your crush’s posts

Although we’re not fit to dish out dating advice – mainly because we’re just as hopeless as you when it comes to finding a Tinder match – we can tell you what to avoid doing online when you meet someone you like. It’s tricky enough to know when to add someone to your friends list on Facebook, allowing them access to your entire profile. This is especially true for women, who get harassed on social media all the time. Therefore, if a person you like adds you on Facebook, don’t go about molesting their entire page with a barrage of likes. Exercise restraint, it will pay off in the long run and you won’t come across as a creepy stalker.

Armchair political activism

Everyone is an armchair analyst of some variety on Facebook. On game day we all don our armchair sports commentator hats, and on national holidays we become armchair patriots. But the worst of the bunch is the armchair political activist.

You know the type, loud as a Trump supporter online over the state of the country. If you want to make America great again, the revolution will not start on Facebook. Even if you have a valid point to make, Facebook probably isn’t the place to do it. For example, don’t post a live commentary on the GOP debate through a series of verbal statuses.

Most posts these days carry visual content, so anything that comes across as verbal diarrhea will likely go ignored. Additionally, if there’s too much of it (as in multiple posts over a short duration) it may even offend. If you honestly have a lot to get off your chest regarding the political climate, start a Twitter account – that’s where all the crazies hang out.

Changing your relationship status too quickly (or at all)

Following on from the previous faux-pas, this is another example of jumping the gun a tad too quickly. Say you just started dating someone you really like. Even if you’re convinced he or she is the one and you want to spend the rest of your life with, do not change your Facebook relationship status. Generally speaking, stating you are in a relationship on Facebook is pointless. At its worst, it looks needy. It may also send out the wrong message altogether. Your friends and family should be told firsthand about any significant changes in your life. Thus, why exactly would you want to parade your new relationship status online? Perhaps to attract the attention of an old flame? Maybe we overthink these things, but someone has to – your online reputation is at stake.

If you decide to quit Facebook, don’t make a point of it

There’s always that one person who decides to create a scene over their decision to quit Facebook. When you post a status condemning Facebook as an unnecessary distraction or superficial social network that you now feel compelled to leave, it comes across as a cry for attention. Others may even assume that you’re likely hoping to get a ton of likes and comments for your brave decision (before returning in a month or so to regale everyone with your badass opinions). After all, quitting Facebook is harder than quitting smoking and putting a stop to your porn addiction combined. And your 100 or so friends (over half of which you no longer even keep in touch with) are going to miss you buddy. Goodbye and thanks for all the awesome insights.

Saqib Shah
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Saqib Shah is a Twitter addict and film fan with an obsessive interest in pop culture trends. In his spare time he can be…
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