It should come as no surprise to know that the winning strength of any social networking site is the ability to share news about ourselves to our circle of friends. These includes the most common activities that Facebookers engage in, ranging from the posting of photos, commenting on friends’ posts, and perhaps most fundamentally, the updating of statuses. The posting of statuses is the most basic kind of sharing because it only requires the use of words to express ourselves, our thoughts and opinions.
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I’m sure you’ve come across various types of Facebook status updates and might have realized that they can be categorized into different genres. If you’ve been observant, you would see that some of your friends tend to post similar kind of posts. This is probably what makes social networking sites so interesting and addictive; we get to infer a person’s character and personality from their posts and even learn to appreciate the individual differences in perspectives.
Ever wonder what type of Facebooker you are? Here are ten of the most common I’ve come across:
1. The Announcers
“Obama just won the election!”
They want to be the first to know and spread the latest and juiciest news. For many of them, they get so excited that they don’t even validate the news they come across first. That’s probably how some infamous rumours (e.g. accidental death of Owen Wilson, etc) proliferate through the extensive network of Facebook.
Yet, we should be grateful that there are unofficial town-criers on Facebook. If the news is indeed true, these are the people who is giving us first-hand information. We get informed about who won the election campaign, which sports team won the championship and numerous other major news like the unexpected passing away of top celebrities and so on, all conveniently in a single place.
2. The Status Reporters
“Waiting for the bus…”
These Facebookers seem to treat their Facebook wall as someone to report their status to. From the moment they wake to the moment they lay back in the warmth of their beds at the end of the day, you can see that they broadcast to the network what they’re up to at any given moment. Not everyone in the list will want to know what you’re doing now, so it may be just a matter of time before they block you from their newsfeed. I suppose it’s best to keep that to a minimal or it’ll just be noise to others.
3. The Bloggers
“Had a bad day. I woke up late this morning and had to take a cab to work. When I reach my workplace, my boss was already by the door waiting for the last person to arrive for work. Got a lecture from him that lasted almost an hour! Never mind that, I was moody the whole day and then I realized I forgot something important. I was supposed to meet Geraldine after work! So I was right there relaxing in my bathtub when I got a call from her. An angry call. She ranted that I didn’t care…”
It used to be the case that status updates are limited to 160 characters. Then they increased it to 420, 500 and even 5,000 characters. As of Nov 2011, the limit is a whooping 60,000! So now, people can post their entire blog entry as their status updates, and this is exactly what Bloggers (in the context of Facebookers) do. They simply tell everyone about how their day went and just go on and on, sometimes not realizing that not many will be fascinated by the nitty-gritty details. Due to the broadcasting nature of status updates, people within their network have no choice but to see them on their newsfeed. Unless of course they block them, which they probably will when it borders at being annoying.
4. The Braggarts & Show-Offs
“How I wish all these companies will stop offering me jobs. Tsk.”
Have you ever tried to boast about your accomplishment but try to keep it modest to others? It can be quite an art. Yet when it’s done in a proper manner, others will find you less annoying than one who can’t seem to stay humble with their words. It’s the same with Facebookers; if they wish to advertise themselves every now and then, they must do it in a subtle manner lest they get labeled as Braggarts & Show-offs.
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I’m all for people being proud of their achievements in life and wanting to share it with the rest of the world. But when it comes to telling everyone, everytime that you’re great in so many different aspects, you create a reputation – a bad one, for yourself. That’s how it is with Braggarts & Show-offs with their self-promoting tendencies. Many of their status updates center around what they’re good at (imaginary or real, it doesn’t matter).
My advice is thus this: Keep it subtle and don’t overdo it.
5. The Quoters & ‘Lyricists’
“Be formless, shapeless, like water — Bruce Lee”
Quoters repeat the words of famous individuals while ‘Lyricists’ quote song lyrics in their status updates. In both circumstances, the updates aren’t exactly their own words. Nevertheless, when they put in the words of others into their updates, it usually relates to their circumstances or at least, their thoughts. Sometimes, such updates serve as puzzles to some, requiring their imaginative interpretations to understand what is really meant by the update.
6. The Philosophers
“The only things you can control in life are your thoughts.”
Philosophers are similar to Quoters & ‘Lyricists’ in that both often create an aura of mystery with their statuses. The major difference is that they don’t simply ‘copy-and-paste’ someone else’s words; they create their own quotes. These Facebookers tend to be an introspective bunch who likes to reflect upon on their life and come up with something that sound abstract yet conclusive from their musings.
I must say I like their status updates because they sound rather genuine. In fact, I myself tend to fall under this category. From time to time, such posts make a lot of sense to me because they make it so relatable by often referring to life as a whole. I can’t say the same for others on whether they like such posts, but I do see it can get pretty irritating to some. They just don’t like to be preached at.
7. The Complaint Kings & Queens
“It’s amazing how many unscrupulous people there are in the world!”
There’s a lot of negative energy comign from this kind of Facebookers, because their status updates revolve around what’s wrong in their lives. Their status updates tend to rally others to complain about the same things that they are complaining about, be it the government or the traffic. Some of these rants can get pretty vulgar in an attempt to draw attention from others.
When a particular facebooker is a chronic complainer, his or her friends may soon realize this fact and stop supporting his or her ’causes’. It gets to the point that they think the facebooker is only complaining for the sake of complaining, so they stop commenting or ‘liking’ the angry statuses. Generally speaking, people don’t go to Facebook to get worked up over life’s stressors, so it’s just a matter of time before these Complaint Kings & Queens get isolated.
8. The EMOs Or Self-Pitiers
“Why must life be so hard on me all the time?”
These are yet another group of Facebookers who thrive on negative energy. Similar to Complaint Kings & Queens, they believe that the world is against them. However, they take a more defensive stance, seeking sympathy from their friends on the network to side with them.
Of course, I’m definitely not saying that all Facebookers who post negative status updates are people who desperately want others to pity them. Even if it is so, it’s perfectly fine to get some comforting and assurance from our dearest friends from time to time. I guess the same principle applies: What annoys Facebookers is the chronic postings of such negative updates, which I had earlier mentioned aren’t exactly what people log in to Facebook to see.
9. The Puzzlers
“I’m still searching, forever searching for my prey.”
Posts by Puzzlers tend to be very ambiguous and can be interpreted in many different ways. Sometimes the intention is to get back at someone subtly; at other times, the update is just a reflection of what’s on their mind at the moment. As you can see from the example above, it can sound a little psychotic.
I suppose Facebookers who do this get a kick from the variety of feedback they may receive as a result of their updates. After all, such updates tend to draw much attention from curious friends within their network. That said, when this is done too frequently, some of these friends may get tired of it and stop commenting altogether.
10. The Comedians
“I just realized that I’m still “it” from a game of tag in 1993″
Perhaps the most likeable kind of updates comes from the Comedians. After all, most people log in to Facebook to be entertained in a light-hearted manner. Many of us don’t want to hear about others feeling sorry about themselves or preaching to them about philosophy; humorous status updates seems more appealing because we just want a break from our daily stress.
A light-hearted approach to life is perhaps the best philosophy for some. I think that when it comes to Facebook, people log in to temporarily escape from something, be it from a boring and mundane task or a particularly stressful day. When we see humour on our newsfeed, it puts our life into perspective. After maybe half an hour of aimless surfing on Facebook (provided we don’t get addicted to it!), we can be back in the right mood to handle what we were handling before.