Are you a Lurker, a Bad Grammarian, or a Crank?

By Midge Raymond,

  Filed under: On Writing

CNN has posted a list of the 12 most annoying types of Facebookers, and it’s hilarious … not to mention frighteningly spot-on. And, by the way, I’d like to thank Ryan Asmussen, from whom I found this list on Facebook (though Ryan does not fit any of these profiles).

I have to admit that I read through this list with a bit of anxiety, worried that I’d recognize my own Facebook habits in this list of people whose updates “make you cringe when you see them coming.” There are times I’m very much The Self-Promoter, as writers have to be these days (for example: Did you know you can become a fan of Forgetting English on Facebook? Click here.).

So that’s obvious … but now I’m worried about the other things. Am I a Friend-Padder? (CNN’s Brandon Griggs writers: “The average Facebook user has 120 friends on the site…But 1,000 ‘friends’? Unless you’re George Clooney or just won the lottery, no one has that many.”) Let’s just say I’m somewhere between the average and George Clooney. Is that wrong?

Then there’s the The Let-Me-Tell-You-Every-Detail-of-My-Day Bore. When I do a status update, it’s often because I’m trying to put off writing that next scene, or I’m waiting for someone or something and don’t have anything to read, so I log on via my cell phone. Am I boring? I’m guessing that most people do a status update when a) they’re bored, or b) they think they have something interesting to say. Either way, no one ever thinks they’re boring, wherein lies the problem.

The list goes on — The TMIer (“Thanks for sharing”), The Maddening Obscurist (“You’re not being mysterious — just nonsensical”), The Chronic Inviter (“Support my cause. Sign my petition. Which ‘Star Trek’ character are you?”) — anything sounding familiar? But despite this list being so accurate, I think we have to avoid censoring ourselves (too much) or judging our friends (all 120 of them). The fact is, these “12 types” are part of what makes Facebook so addictively entertaining, and it wouldn’t be the same without them.

(However,  in case you disagree, you can “hide” the status updates of the annoying friends without the friend knowing. Just a tip.)


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