Thursday, October 8, 2009

Aaaaand...You're Blocked, Part I

A few weeks ago, a casual friend of mine whom I haven't seen in a couple years sent me a private message on Facebook. He wrote that while he couldn't stand most people's status updates and wished he saw less of them, he wished that he saw more of mine. He thanked me for keeping things interesting.

This got me thinking about two things:

1. I am awesome.

2. A lot of facebook status updates thoroughly and consistently suck. So much so, that if there were no "hide from feed" function, I would spend a lot less time on the site, or at least I'd be much more choosy about the friend requests I accept.

I accept pretty much anyone who asks, and since I have 150 students every year, that inflates the number of "friends" I have. I've only ever "defriended" one person, a CP student who seemed determined to insult me on a personal level. However, I've blocked a lot of people from appearing on my news feed. On the occasion of this blog, I decided to count exactly how many.

128 out of 636. 20%. One in five. To put this in perspective, look at the person in front of you. Then look at the one behind you. Then at the ones to your left and right. If none of those people are blocked, it's probably you.

Please don't write and ask me if I've hidden you; I won't say. I don't like hurting people's feelings directly. I prefer anonymous missives. Occasionally, I post that I'm dropping you on the update/quiz/poll that annoyed me. Mostly, I just brush you into the dustbin of my hidden list, and you're never the wiser. If you suspect that you might've gotten blocked, read on, and ask yourself if any of the following things may apply to your posts.

This is already long, so I'm going to break this into two categories. Tonight will be things that are mostly unique to high school/college students.

Why do I block thee? Let me count the ways:

- My three current most hated things, in order:
1. The Los Angeles Dodgers.
2. Kids who use multiple letters where they don't belong.
3. Brett Favre worship.

I can't do anything about #1 or #3. But if you consistently post things like "so tireddddddd" or "I hate hommmmeworkkkk," you've been dropped. Now, if you're a little on the dim side, you might be saying, "Wait! Look at the title of your blog! You're a...a...whatsitcalled...hippopotamus!" Let me clarify: I'm not against multiple letters used phonetically. That's the way I wanted to say "and," with the drawn-out "a" sound. No one (except, perhaps those with speech impediments) pronounces "tired" with multiple "d's" at the end.

I've had kids tell me they do it "for emphasis" or "it's just for fun." Nope. They do it because they see their friends do it, and they want to be cool. There's absolutely no reason to do it otherwise. It adds nothing and makes you seem like you're trying to hide the fact that you can't spell. If you want to write this nonsense, you won't be doing it on my feed.

- Using the word "gay" as a pejorative. Not only is it offensive, if you're the kind of person who unthinkingly posts that way on a public forum, your other posts are not likely to be full of witty repartee.

- In that same vein, overuse of profanity will get you dropped. Don't get me wrong; I'm a big fan of cursing, if it's done artfully. But my young "friends" aren't exactly Quentin Tarantino or Kevin Smith. They see swearing as a form of rebellion and cool. I saw a quiz in the past couple days that a few kids had taken called "What the shit-fuck are you?" That's not clever. That's just appealing to lowest common denominator. Blocked.

- Complaining vaguely about friends/significant others. Stuff like "who needs friends when they treat you like s%*#?" or "Fine, don't call. Grrrrrrr." These things are either personal and should be kept private, or you need to tell us the whole story. In between is just a whiny plea for attention.

- That nervous, giggly internet laughter. "is going to the mall with Casey lol. We're gonna shop hahahahaha." "Remember when I saw you today lol? Hahahaha Math class is so boring haahhahahaahahahahahahahahaha."

If you're reading this, and you're older than your early 20's, you might be in disbelief that young people actually write this way. Trust me; it's rampant. But don't get smug. There's plenty of things you grown ups do that have gotten you blocked as well. Part II coming tomorrow.


Student Volunteer Center said...
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Chelsey Clay said...

Why are you so cool? If only you could be a professor at BYU, in the great land of Utah. I would definitely take all of your classes. And laugh with you about the Mormons...oh wait.