One of the hazards of writing this blog, or trying to do anything in the public sphere where the goal is to attract attention, is the homage one must pay to social media. As such, I friend a lot of people on Face Book hoping they will read this blog. I have also had to unfriend many people for reasons of good taste and sanity. After reading thousands of posts from hundreds of persons on Face Book, I have determined there are four basic groups of Face Book users.
The first group is that of the family poster. Those who want to share pictures from the most recent family event, or stay in touch with members of the family who may live out of the area. This group can also include friends updating other friends about the happenings in their lives, or what they may have had for breakfast, saw on the way to work, or whether they awoke this morning with a headache or other feelings of illness. This group is fairly innocuous and can even provide humor to one's day.
The second group is the political poster. I include myself in this group, however I do not subscribe to the tactics or language used by some of my fellow posters. This group runs the gambit from posting a link to an interesting article, video, or blog (like this one), to ranting incoherently about "build-a-bear," Billdebergers, or whatever they call the group that is taking over the world so behind the scenes that no one knows who they are, except these conspiracy theorist on the Internet. The other political posters are those who can not seem to string together cogent thoughts into a well articulated argument in support of their view point, so they post strings of classless derogatory insults against politicians that do not support their beliefs.
The third group is the attention-starved poster. These are the persons who always complain about how much tragedy has befallen them in life in order to elicit sympathy from total strangers. This group also includes the female-attention-hog and their subset of uncontrollably-drooling-trained-apes who make favorable comments about the salacious photos the female-attention-hogs post on their timeline. This group uses Face Book as an electronic self-esteem booster and a way to make themselves feel relevant to total strangers.
The fourth, and final, group of posters is the invitors. These are persons who invite those on their friends list to either play some online game or respond to their posts with a single word or phrase. Sometimes members of this group can also drift into the previous group, trying to elicit a response in order to make themselves feel relevant. But mostly those in this group are trying to receive comments or likes for pictures of things from the past, some religious message, or an inane quiz that is suppose to show how intelligent the responder is.
There is of course another group, which is advertisers (remember when Face Book derided MySpace for having ads?). While ads may be annoying at times, their intention is always clear, to make money. The intentions of some members of the other groups I mentioned may not always be immediately apparent. It is a brave new world inside the bounds of the Face Book universe, and one must be careful when negotiating through it. Above all, do not be afraid to use the "unfriend" button, it can remove much stress and aggravation from your life. It is just a shame that there is not one available in the tactile world that can be employed to avoid the unwanted shenanigans of the chronically annoying.