Judging by the amount of complaints filling up my News Feed, it looks like just about everyone now has the new Facebook Timeline. And those that don't, well, I look forward to reading your status update complaining about it shortly.
So with all this change and newness (and grumbling) rolling around Facebook, now is probably as good a time as ever to step back and reexamine our relationship with the planet's favorite place to both stalk ex-girlfriends AND play Scrabble. A time to revisit some of the basic ground rules and avoid some of the most common user offenses, or as I like to call them:
The 7 Facebook Habits of Highly Annoying People
1. "Liking" bad news. When you click "Like" it should be because a friend posted "Perfect skiing weather today! Can't wait to hit the slopes!" -- and not, "Lost in the woods. Smells like bear. Cell phone has one bar left."
And yet, inevitably, someone will always "Like" the distressing post.
So here's a true story: A friend just showed me a status update where someone posted that their father passed away. It had 16 likes! What are you doing?? Surely there's a better, more appropriate way to express your sympathy. Which I imagine these people are attempting, however clumsily, to do. Unless they're just terrible people. And it's the Internet, so that's always a possibility.
2. Spotify oversharing. Telling the world what you just listened to on Spotify is no different than when you drove around the high school parking lot with your radio cranked and your windows down -- advertising how awesome your taste in music is will not impress people. It didn't work in high school (much as I tried) and it won't work on Facebook.
And doing it several times an hour will result in something else straight out of high school: Your friends will stop talking to you.
3. Photo stalking an ex. Just kidding -- it's fine. Why do you think Facebook was built anyway?
4. Posting an inspirational quote. It might give you some kind of philosophical/intellectual satisfaction to share these urgent pearls of wisdom, but here's the thing about inspirational quotes: They don't actually inspire anyone. And even if they do, they're forgotten as soon as the person scrolls past it to the next item on their News Feed.
Sample thought process: "Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself." Wow, she's so right about that. I'm so fortunate and really need to ... AAAHHH!! Jenny's engaged!!!"
Easy rule of thumb: If your quote looks like something that could appear on a Successories poster, don't share it.
5. Taking self-portraits with your camera phone. Yes, almost all of us have done it, but it doesn't mean we should ever do it again. Even if there's nobody else around to actually take the photo of you for you. In those instances we suggest a most uncommon solution: Restraint.
And these pictures are just never flattering. They're all taken with an outstretched hand positioned around forehead-level with the camera tilting down. Unless your eyes and nose really are double the size of your mouth, I imagine you won't love the distorted view this tends to produce.
Also: No self pics in front of a mirror. That one's for you, teenage girls. And men with muscles and misplaced shirts.
6. Enough with all the baby pictures. It's not a competition. We can all have cute children and don't need to advertise their adorability on a daily, or even weekly, basis. Sometimes my News Feed looks like a baby nursery.
And as a friend points out, all those well-intended baby pic posts are probably especially eyeroll-inducing for all your single friends anxiously watching their biological clock keep ticking. It amounts to taunting. Why not just start chucking pacifiers at their head while you're at it?
And hey, I adore children. I'm a dad. Kids are the greatest thing in the whole darn world, including Mallomars. But moderation, mom and dad, is the thing here. Just like with Mallomars. Life lesson. (Thank you) You're welcome.
7. Begging for attention by posting cryptic status updates that would appear as if you left off a really crucial second sentence. 'Some things are well worth the wait!', 'Just got the best news ever! So excited!!', 'Ugggghh! DRAMA!!!'
Stop trying to provoke some kind of reaction about what could possibly be the source of your joy/anger/itching sensation. It smells desperate. Just out with it already, the suspense is NOT killing us.
Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN