If facebook told you to jump off a bridge…

I think I’ve had just about all I can take. I’m tired of being nagged, prodded, pushed around, and blanketed with guilt. It’s my life, and I’m going to live it as I see fit, so quit trying to control me and stop telling me what to do! I’m guessing half of you think you know what I’m talking about already, but no, it’s not marriage, a meddlesome mother, a hovering in-law, or a boss with micro-management issues. It’s much worse than any of those things, something more nefarious: the dreaded Facebook status compulsion.

Hardly a day goes by anymore without one of my relatively modest number of Facebook friends posting a status that isn’t really a status at all. Instead, it’s a stirring, heartfelt endorsement of some favored group of dedicated people employed in the service of helping the rest of us, like firefighters, soldiers, teachers, nurses, etc. Every day, it’s something akin to “I love my veterinarian, because he loves my puppy — REPOST IF YOU LOVE YOURS!”, or “They trim my lawn and prune my hedges. REPOST to show that you appreciate your Lawn Dudes.”

It doesn’t stop there, of course. Beyond the affirmation of service professionals, there’s also the soliciting of support for a wide array of social causes. Often, these will employ what I like to refer to as Seven Percent Persuasion, where the posted text suggests the reader repost it as their own status, while suggesting that roughly 93% of readers will do no such thing. In other words, the implied idea is that if you’re not in the seven percent of people willing to use their personal status as a sandwich board for the advocacy of someone else’s idea, you’re obviously a terrible, selfish, mean-spirited person who undoubtedly suffered a terrible childhood and probably cheats on his/her taxes.

Here’s the thing: yes, I agree that anyone that enjoys clubbing kittens should not be allowed to work in pet stores, but just because I’m not in the theoretical seven percent willing to post about it (who are clearly the only truly decent folk in the world), that doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. And of course I appreciate all the time and energy devoted and sacrifices made by people who choose to be police officers or serve in the US military. Personally, though, I’m of the opinion that my Facebook status is not the place for that type of thing. If the people who have taken pity upon me enough to accept my friend request are interested in causes I believe need support, there’s a whole profile space for that kind of thing.

So, please, I beg you, if you feel compelled to make your love for cobblers (that is, the people who make and repair shoes, not the fruit desserts) known, or want to ask your friends to stand up against people who torture bunnies, put it in your profile. One’s status should be reserved for cute pictures of kids, complaints about how terrible their reflux/indigestion/headache is tonight, or simply, “FML”. If we all work together, we can keep all the important social issues hidden away someplace where I don’t have to think about them.

Of the six readers of this post, 93% won’t repost it because it’s too long, mostly pointless, and contains an excess of sarcasm. Show that you’re one of the 7% that’s not afraid to take back control of their own Facebook status.



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