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Nov 11

8 great ways to get blocked on Facebook

I was talking the other day with the Online Queen, and the subject of Facebook came up.

The Online Queen is in charge of making sure every bit of news gets onto The Tribune website as fast as humanly possible, especially if it’s about Annie the Dog.

On a parallel track to our official work correspondence, we periodically exchange witticisms via Facebook, because it’s always more fun to be a smart-ass in front of a crowd, even if it is only a virtual one.

On this occasion, I was telling her about some annoying habits of particular friends, to which she always replies, “Why don’t you just block them?”

The Online Queen is an expert blocker, she being the gatekeeper of the commenting hordes at sanluisobispo.com. This has given her a short tolerance for nonsense, so she is nearly immune to the normal human emotions that go along with the idea of slamming a door in a friend’s face.

I, on the other hand, am a more sensitive and gentle soul, so it pains me somewhat to entertain the thought of exorcising these borderline posters, despite the fact that on Facebook you can do this without them knowing at all.

Anyhow, in the course of discussing this problem, we noticed that there were a few consistent trends that came up regularly and were repeatedly annoying to the extent that the perpetrator deserved a dispatch to invisible purgatory.

Without further ado, here are the eight best ways to get yourself blocked on Facebook:

1. Join in Facebook games

The lowest form of communication online is an automated post crowing about how someone has given me a sheep or grown a new field of wheat or achieved some other silly goal from a social networking game.

Please strike any impersonal updates that only serve to reveal the dumb things you and 55 million other people think qualify for entertainment.

I don’t call you up when I win a game of solitaire. Don’t send me a message when you buy a new chicken on FarmVille.

2. Be a serial link-poster

You know these people. Every marginally humorous video, article or photo they run across shows up on their feed, exhorting everyone to click through to see the most, biggest, funniest, stupidest, whateverest bit of content they’ve ever seen.

Last time I checked, you don’t work for Conan O’Brien’s marketing department, so stop being the town crier and come up with some amusing, original content of your own.

3. Post song lyrics

The intent here is to draw us into the Facebooker’s life because we either A) have some knowledge/appreciation of the song and can respond to it, or B) can use it to interpret some deeper, inner meaning about the poster’s current state of mind.

I am not a psychologist. You are not a dog, only capable of barking instead of talking.

If you have something to say, say it. We’re not here to play “Name That Tune.”

4. Be a warm-fuzzy chain poster

A little of this is OK, but it can get out of hand real quick.

“I am so proud of my peg-legged second cousin thrice removed who is four and a half hours sober from her crystal meth addiction. Are you proud of your peg-legged second cousin thrice removed who is four and a half hours sober from her crystal meth addiction? If you are, post this to your wall and tell everyone you know to post it too.”

The people who come up with all this artificial self-esteem-boosting are the same ones who don’t want us to keep score or holler at our kids at their youth sports games.

5. Be illiterate

If you can’t say something right, don’t say it at all.

Auntie Smarty Pants, who calls my two kids niece and nephew, became so incensed by the travesties of poor English online that she created a group called “I correct your bad grammar in my head while you’re speaking.”

It very well may be her single greatest contribution to society so far.

6. Be a one-track mind

It’s great you’re passionate about collectible doilies from the Civil War era, but surely you have other interests as well? Even collectible doilies from the 1900s would be a start.

After the third, fourth or 50th time you write about the same thing, you’re at risk of getting blocked.

7. Post from your iPhone

Yeah, I know you have an iPhone. And I know you post from it, because Facebook flaunts it in my face at every turn.

How cool you are.

Now shut up and type something on your computer for a change.

8. Talk too much about your kids

A well-rounded Facebook poster doesn’t rely on one source of inspiration, even if that source consumes 23 hours of every day and is the most adorable creature to ever grace the planet.

Occasional updates about the young ‘uns are fine, but hourly reports on their dietary and sleeping habits is not only unnecessary, it’s down right irritating.

And bragging about them is even worse.

Little Miss Fifth-Grader, for example, just got all A’s on her report card, but you don’t see me posting that as a status update, do you?

Heck, I’ll just write a column about it instead.

What Facebook habits to you hate? Share your thoughts here.

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7 comments

  1. Dominica

    For the record, Auntie Smarty Pants’ group is the third largest grammar group on facebook. I’m so proud of it I might just let you get away with calling it my, ‘single greatest contribution to society so far,’ but only because I plan to achieve a plethora of greater accomplishments that will cause you to forever raise the bar regarding my contributions to society.

  2. Pat

    How about people that talk about their life dramas, somewhat obscurely but not really, on Facebook? The intent is, of course, to get sympathy from others while passive-aggressively speaking to the person you’re upset with.

    Here’s a recent post from one of my Facebook “friends:”

    “My Plan is to forgive and forget. Forgive myself for being stupid and forget you ever existed!!”

    Geeesh — buy a diary, for crying out loud! Or how about this: TALK to the person you’re upset with!

  3. John Tiffin

    You nailed it, Joe. I think I’ve experienced every one of those irritating habits of others. Is there any way to buy those folks a 1-way ticket to Farmville?

  4. Jen R.

    9. Post where you are about every hour via Foursquare.

  5. Ron

    See…Betty White was right on SNL. Facebook is a big waste of time!!!

  6. Linda

    Hello my name is Linda and I am a Farmville addict.

    I expect I will soon see FA meetings popping up all over the world! BUT I have always been careful not to overwhelm my 195 friends with chances to adopt that poor sad llama, destined for oblivian if I don’t hit that send button to save him! Its really a harassment when you play, too many pop-ups begging you to ‘share’ everything! If only I could offer those ‘bricks’ to Just my Farmville friends. But no, FB wants to ensure that everyone knows I waste my time on Farmville!

    I agree with Joe! And I admit I have blocked a few myself. But I for one am a conscious poster. Seriously, how do you tell your old friend from high school, or your old boss, that your just not interested in seeing pics everytime her dog grows a new hair? I wonder if I posted this article on my page, how many would Block me?

  7. Melissa

    I wish people who played the facebook games would do like I and others do. Make a list out of the people on your fb that ACTUALLY PLAY too, and ONLY UPDATE to those people. That way, I can still play my games and get items, but I’m not spamming everyone and their brother with farmville crap, since I recognize it’s annoying. You can select who sees each update when you are making it, and make different lists of people who are appropriate for each type of update.

    For example, You can also make a list for fellow parents who want to hear about the kid stuff, or a list of everyone but work people so that you can post about your weekend without looking unprofessional, a list for the people who play the games too, etc etc.

    The means are there if people would just figure out how to use them!

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