Column: Facebook faux-pas

When one is exploring the vast plethora of people and pages on their Facebook profile, there is really only one activity occurring: judgment. However, some of us aren’t born with the natural gift of being able to tell just how lame our so-called friends are with only a handful of photos and status updates to go off of. I usually like to claim I’m some sort of expert in my columns, so here’s my guide on how to read between the posts on a recent activity feed.

Since I’d rather not openly berate one of my actual Facebook friends in a public forum, we’ll pass judgement on the fictional Facebook of some guy I made up named Shawn Brinkersly.

Firstly, and most easily, I can see the number of friends he has. If there’s less than 100 he’s either one of those people who thinks it’s cool to only add his “real” friends or he’s one of those people that doesn’t have any “real” friends. There is also the possibility that Brinkersly has simply come out of a three-year crystal meth binge and is more concerned with how many teeth are left in his mouth. If Brinkersly is like a normal college-aged Facebook user, then he probably has around 400 friends.

The next thing we want to look at is Brinkersly’s photo count. Does he only have a measly 76 pics? Are most of them just those “tag your friends” collages where he’s dubbed “the quiet one”? Or does he have have over 2,000, including a series of “Fifty shirtless pics I had to submit for a modeling application which was really real and not made up”?

If he’s on the wrong end of either of these numbers, higher than 2,000 or lower than 76, then things are definitely not looking good for our buddy Brinkersly. He should’ve gone for a more respectable number like 1,016 or 749. Personally, I have 921 Facebook photos and get a lot of compliments on it. People often ask how I keep such a well-rounded number and the answer is simple – I untag myself in one old picture for every new picture. “But Aaron, doesn’t paying so much attention to insignificant details on your Facebook page make you a loser?” you ask? Don’t ask that.

Now we’ve got Brinkersly with 422 friends and 1,105 photos, but we haven’t delved into how he conducts himself online. So is this guy a poster or a postee? If he’s throwing out photo comments, friend requests and status likes as if they were candy on the 4th of July, then you can tell this kid is not tall enough to ride the internet.

The best way to convey just how cool you are on Facebook is through apathy. Only update your status rarely and if you have something sarcastic to say. There have been many statistical surveys taken which show a direct correlation between number of statuses posted and how whiny someone is in reality. Brinkersly wouldn’t be changing his status so much if there were people around him in real life to share his “updates” with.

From here on out there are only a few more rules Brinkersly has to worry about. Never tell a girl she looks hot in a picture, never download any Facebook apps, and lastly, never ever send a friend request, because doing so is an act of submission. The last time you got a friend request in real life was when that weird new kid asked if you wanted to be best buddies in the back of the school bus.

The true secret to being popular on the internet is to remain disinterested enough to appear as if you don’t care about your Facebook, but also conscious enough to show how much people care about talking to you. If Brinkersly followed these rules closely, then it’s a safe bet that the pretty girl he has his arm around in his profile picture is not his uncomfortable cousin, but more likely a potential FBO (Facebook Official) girlfriend.

Contact AARON WEISS about his column or type his e-mail into Facebook to stalk his 921 pictures at atweiss@ucdavis.edu.

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