Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I hate how purposely vague the status updates on Facebook can be.

“Well, I’m going to hell now!” (posted 2 hours ago).

Someone will always have to respond “O No! What happened?” I just picture someone walking into a crowded room of friends and saying “Well, I think I’ll probably die within the hour.” And then surreptitiously glancing around and waiting for someone to ask what is going on. Why don’t you just continue the story instead of sitting there, fingers poised, waiting for someone to respond?

“Eric suddenly finds himself with only 2 fingers.” (posted an hour ago)

Worried Buddy Commented: “O No! What happened? Is it hard to type?????????????” (posted 5 minutes ago)

Eric commented: “I’m fine. Eating chicken fingers for dinner and only have two left. LOL! ROEFLAOEAL!” (posted 5 minutes ago)

I could have just said “Eric only has 2 chicken fingers left for dinner” an hour ago when I first posted my status, but then my ego wouldn’t have been gratified by concerned comments and response. See how that works? The more cryptic the comment, the more likely you get a response, and isn’t that what we all want: For someone to care?

“Eric is worried.” (posted an hour ago).

How open ended is this?

Concerned Friend commented: “O No! What’s happening???!??!?!?!??! Are U all right!??!?!” (posted 2 minutes ago)

Eric commented: “Nothing, I just hope the Mets don’t blow another game tonight.” (posted 2 minutes ago)

Now I made my concerned friend go through the hassle of typing out a response with way too many punctuation marks just to find out that I’m worried about the Mets blowing another save. I could have added three more words: ‘about the Mets.’ No one would have been concerned, but more importantly, no one would have responded.

“Eric is dead.” (posted 3 hours ago)

Concerned Friend commented: “WHAT?!?!?” (posted 1 minute ago)

Wiseass Friend commented: “Well how did you type then? LOL!” (posted 1 minute ago)

Eric commented: “Oh, I’m just dead tired from work. LOL?” (posted 1 minute ago)

I’m really a jerk making everyone think I’m dead. I could have easily said “Eric is dead tired after working all day.” But no, I had to be ‘Face-vague’. It’s an acquired skill. You can’t be unrealistically vague like ‘Eric is a balloon’ or ‘Eric rode a unicorn today.’ That way you will get no concerned responses.

Of course, you could always go the other way with way too much information in your status update:

“Eric opened a checking account with ‘WaMu’ today. I arrived at the bank at 9:07 this morning, stepping out of my car under a clear blue sky with my credentials in hand. I opened the bank door and was greeted by a friendly guard who asked me how my day was going. I told him ‘Can’t complain!’ and then we both giggled like schoolgirls as he awkwardly tried to brush my hair back with the side of his hand. I was all like, ‘What kind of bank is this? WaMove out of my way!’ as I sidestepped him and made my way to the main desk…’

Who would still be reading after all that? We live in an age of instant information in tiny bite-size chunks. ‘Eric was fondled by a bank security guard today’ would be a much more interesting status and would generate tons of comments and concerned onlookers. Kind of like a car crash or a murder scene. I love Facebook.

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