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5 Types Of Facebook Updates To Avoid

June 3, 2010

As you might have noticed I am a firm believer in the power of social media, maybe even verging on evangelical. It’s existence has been brief  in the universal timeframe, so there have been no instructions handed down from ‘on high’ on 5 Types Of Facebook Updates To Avoidhow to best interact and play with this shiny new toy.

Governments have banned Facebook and Twitter, and some sovereign powers and groups even want to censor the ‘Net”.

We certainly didn’t receive instruction from our parents on the ‘Do’s and Dont’s’ of Facebook and that we should not be Facebooking while driving or after a relationship breakup.. you might find that engaging the brain before opening that status update box and emotionally typing could be the worst thing you have done in a long time.

We are still just working out that texting while drunk is not a healthy activity and sending  messages of ‘heartfelt honesty’ to your boss while inebriated during moments of  ‘Beer Goggle’ clarity at 2am on a Saturday night  is very likely to find you with a very clean desk on Monday morning.

There is no formal curriculum in high school on the moral issues of Facebook updates or what you should post on Twitter.

I have heard that the commandments on how often you should tweet are hidden in some secret vault in Siberia that only will be revealed when the time is right. In fact I and many others, I am sure, have been told  that we tweet to much. By the way, I have not yet told anyone that they don’t tweet enough.

So what are some of the types of updates and situations where we should be refraining rather than participating.

1. Incidental Happenings

This has to be one of the 7 wonders of  world that we as a species are prone to shout out and pronounce on Twitter or Facebook …  ‘just clipped my nails’ or ‘found a grey hair where it shouldn’t be’.

We don’t walk into the office and shout  out ‘I can’t believe it… I left a tissue in the washing last night’ unless you are looking for a demotion or some extended unexpected leave, maybe evolution is reversing and we are about to become extinct if we keep up this random behaviour. Charles Darwin would most probably roll over in his grave at Westminster Abbey if he heard about this latest update to the ‘Origin of the Species’

2. Inspirational Wisdom

It is very possible that the writer never applies the wisdom to their own lives but thinking they are the new Norman Vincent Peale and have decided to take up the mantle of  the ‘Transcendental Twitterer’ or Facebook Inspirational Guru.. everyone knows that they are just good at Googling or reading and are bored with watching TV.

5 Types Of Facebook Updates To Avoid


This shows the reader that the updater is  really good at copy and paste. It is not a sign of intelligence despite the fact it all their friends on Facebook give it a ‘like’ or a ‘thumbs up’

5 Types Of Facebook Updates To Avoid

4. Farmville Participation

‘It is cute to hear from a 5 year old that she needs help to find her ducks on Farmville but if your over 50 and male it just ‘isn’t right’.. just be thankful it can be turned off …but only  if you have the specialist skills developed at university to find it buried in Facebooks one million privacy and security settings.

5 Types Of Facebook Updates To Avoid

5. Inappropriate Information

Now this is one type of update that I am sure you have seen pass by your screen, where someone announces something like.. ‘I can’t believe that Lucy cheated on him‘.

Instead of using Facebook they should  just drop down to the local bar or Pub or maybe even a street corner on a busy afternoon, get out the megaphone and announce it to the passing crowd, at least that would be displaying some courage.

So I have a suggestion.. Facebook should have a special button called ‘Stupid and Innane Updates’ , ‘Drunk Updates’  or ‘Updates for when you are emotional’ and every night when we come home from work  we could log in hit the button and have a really good laugh.

What do you think ?

27 Comments leave one →
  1. June 3, 2010 11:03 pm

    THANK YOU! I would add Mafia Wars to the Farmville updates! At least these can be hidden on your facebook account. Simple go to the upper right corner of the update, “hide” will appear, click on it and you will have the option to hide postings by the author, or just to hide all Farmville (Mafia Wars) posting. Not so sure what to do with all of the inspirational quotes and day to day updates on Twitter.

  2. June 3, 2010 11:16 pm

    Don’t forget the ones which are just a cry for attention. For example, “Just wondering . . .” or “I don’t know why people are so (mean, hateful, -fill in the blank-).

  3. June 3, 2010 11:41 pm

    I agree with most of what you say. I get tired of all the game updates, the emotional stuff just doesn’t need to be there and most of us don’t want to see it and if you’re on here for business it’s just not professional. Though these people sometimes do need some encouragment from their friends so as long as it’s appropriate I’m OK with them. By cutting out all the “Incidental Happenings” you’re going to cut out 75% of facebook and take the quotes/insirational out and that’ll knock out another 15%. That’d leave only about 10% left and social media wouldn’t be very social at that point. But I agree we really don’t need to know everytime someone clips their nails and finds a grey hair.

  4. June 4, 2010 2:41 am

    Not only have you nailed the key irritations on facebook, you have also hit on a great business,

    Also you are on to a winner with selling those T-shirts !! Shown in the pic

  5. June 4, 2010 3:21 am

    Great article and makes a lot of sense. I’ll try to follow this guide. Thanks, Jeff 🙂 usually in Facebook, I just avoid commenting on negative statuses. Didn’t think much about the rest.

  6. June 4, 2010 5:20 am

    I concur, especially number five. Eventhough, let’s say most of the people in your FB page are really close friends, it still doesn’t take away the awkwardness of reading a what looks like a very private conversation/detail of their lives.

  7. June 4, 2010 5:52 am

    My personal dislikes are the posts that say “mmmmmmm….” or someting inane like that.

    I have to disagree on the quotes…not that they don’t require skill, cause I agree with you there…but that they don’t have any value. Sometimes words can be very powerful and a quote can open up a whole knew line of thinking.

    For example, a quote from Dr Jim Rohn opened up a whole new way of thinking for me. The quote was this: “Why not you? Why not now? Why do good things have to happen to other people?” This was a life changing quote for me, so I think the quotes can stay, but hey, let’s do it in moderation people. If that’s all you’re posting then what’s the point?

    I’d also like to mention the silly games on FB like the survey ones where someone gave their opinion on whether or not you’re a virgin…in my case, that’s a no brainer as I have four children!

    What I do think is important is the opportunity for people to connect, so I guess they have to do that in a way that they feel comfortable and if you were to take it out of cyberspace and bring it into everyday living we do share some pretty inane things in our day to day lives with those around us. When was the last time you commented on the food you’re eating, the clothes you’re wearing, the car you’re driving, the program you’ve been watching, the book you’re reading, the music you’re listening to, the itchy spot you can’t get to on your back… Ask your family and I think you’ll find they can vouch that we all say inane things EVERY day.

    Just some thoughts…

  8. June 4, 2010 6:48 am

    agree with hayely on the quotes. sometimes i do stumble upon nice quotes that i really really really just got to share but i do admit that i overdo it sometimes since I want to keep my network of entrepreneurs motivated. i shall do it in moderation from now on. 🙂

  9. June 4, 2010 2:44 pm

    Very amusing and relevant post. There is so much that people share on social networks that might well cause them problems in years to come. It’s a bit like sunburn in that way.

    I posted something similar recently but sepcific to Twitter.

  10. June 4, 2010 7:09 pm

    Most updates I’m seeing are people being drama-queens. Well, life is hard, indeed, but let’s not take that up to public space.

    “Why do you leave me?”, “I don’t know what should I do without you…”, “I hate everyone in this world… no one I can’t trust”, “Why the world doesn’t give me chance”… those are just some from that kind of updates I prefer not to see in Facebook and Twitter.

  11. June 4, 2010 7:25 pm

    I couldn’t disagree more with items 1-3. This information is perfectly fine to post to networks like Facebook and Twitter. If you choose not to consume streams which have these items, that’s what the unfollow/unfriend button is for.

    Sure, I’ll give you that #4 gets annoying, but only due to the quantity of these posts. Farmville posts are very relevant to the Facebook atmosphere, however if these updates out number the amount of your normal status updates about your life it can get annoying to people who really are interested in you and not only your app stats.

    Even with #5, this depends on your usage of your network. With Facebook, if you take care with your privacy settings and you are not sending this info out to the general public by mistake…say what you want. With Twitter, you can set your status updates to private so that you are saying intimate things to an intimate group of friends and family.

    The beauty of these systems is that you can use them however you would like. If you want to share nothing but whether or not you like certain restaurants around town everyday, that’s relevant to someone out there and it’s obviously working for you. And those people will choose to follow you.

    To be honest, these guidelines are better applied to corporate accounts, not personal accounts. I personally really enjoy seeing a range of status updates that allow me to know each person on a different level. I like that fact that I know that Maria in New York is an amazing designer who has a new puppy, just got a new boyfriend who snores really loud and she is grossed out by squishy foods. That’s the way I choose to use these networks so that’s the content I follow.

    As Hayley said “What I do think is important is the opportunity for people to connect, so I guess they have to do that in a way that they feel comfortable”.

  12. June 4, 2010 7:46 pm

    A voice of reason! Nicely done!

  13. June 4, 2010 8:42 pm

    You guys take this shit to serious if u don’t like it close ur account ! Bunch of fuckin winy bitches

  14. June 4, 2010 10:22 pm

    I find Facebook postings interesting and outrageous at times, and for the most part, they do allow us to get to know people a bit more. But I wonder how many of these Facebookers realize that some of their posts border on the criminal. Come on Facebookers! Don’t admit to doing something that is not legal in your Facebook post–ie. drug use. You may find the cops knocking at your door in the middle of the night.

  15. June 5, 2010 5:27 pm

    I completely agree with all points due to the sheer volume of posts related to your points. However I do believe Facebook is more of a social atmosphere with connections between friends and family rather than professional. Facebook is more intimate than all the other social networking sites so I believe it’s almost necessary to separate from the competition. I actually created a blog post about these “Facebook Trends” like Farmville and changing your profile picture due to social pressures located here

  16. June 5, 2010 6:25 pm

    You invite them, they will come. You accept them – they’re yours. Don’t you kind of get what you ask for if you have a large community. Sure – I just don’t get the Farmville thing, but apparently a bunch of people do. Your personal FB page is – at least in my case – somewhat of a free-for-all but hey, that’s part of the deal with social networking – no? My defensive mechanism is to simply scan as effectively as I can without getting caught up on who needs a chicken or whatever. I also then click to my business page. Just part of the turf I guess.

  17. June 5, 2010 9:32 pm

    I use to sing this same song then I realized WAIT-why was social sites created-to BE SOCIAL STUPID!

    Now, we have separate areas to talk business. Those who act like Facebook is their private website need to get a life. Go to your page and talk business. Profiles are for personal-read terms or service.

    I do agree there are some Social Media Manners that need to be learned online. Stop tagging everyone and their brother for your business opp. or auto DMing me when you never took time to have a conversation with me in the stream.

    I like reading the dribble in between the brilliant-it is what makes LIFE LIFE. If you are all work and not play you are pretty Fricking BORING.

    If one of your friends goes on a quotes rant just silence them for that time and all is well. I could care less if you think because I am feeling inspirational and I am giving out quotes as a lack of creativity because I am sharing something with copy and paste. I took time to look up specific types of quotes because that was the mood I was either in or needed to get out of and it helped others along the way. That’s like saying you didn’t write that song why are you singing it.

    I love ya Jeff and I use to agree with this line of thinking then I remembered HOLY SHIT BATMAN that’s limited thinking and I asked a better question “What if this is just part of life being well rounded and not all work and no play?” Social networking sites are not just for business they are for everyone. Unfollow/unfriend or SHUT UP. (she says with that sweet southern accent of course)

  18. Mau Buchler permalink
    June 6, 2010 5:31 am

    Mau Buchler likes this.

  19. June 6, 2010 11:03 am

    Social media is very much like public relations – done well it gets amazing publicity for the client and is not a quick lead generator. Done poorly by untrained people can really hurt a brand.

  20. Donna permalink
    June 7, 2010 8:22 pm

    Personally I don’t view Facebook as a business medium, that is what my Linked In account is for. In some cases, quotes have led to a great discussion, the little day to day updates have helped me get to know/ keep up with some distant relatives and friends that I don’t see in person often, or made me realize who to avoid… Point is, one person’s social interaction is another’s eye-roller. If there are ‘friends’ looking to utilize the site as a marketing vehicle for their latest MLM venture I will just hide their posts, this is my biggest Facebook irritant. I don’t friend people who are clients or business associates, and I tell them- unless you care about my cats and kids, don’t friend me. However, I do appreciate those few companies who utilize their Facebook presence to put a human face on their brand, and actually communicate information in updates that is interesting and relevant.

  21. Ana Lucia Novak permalink
    June 13, 2010 6:19 am

    Hi Jeff, I agree with you on your points, except #2&3. I enjoy and am affected by inspirational quotes. I have posted Norman Vimcent Peale quotes on my FaceBook wall and uh that doesn’t make me less intelligent. ;). If anything when my brother was in the hospital fighting for his life, it was Norman Vincent Peale books that helped give me hope… I also want to comment that our FaceBook page is an extension of our personal lives, so sharing a bit of our personalities and values on our own personal page is a given. I agree that on a Facebook business page, to keep it more about adding value and professional. The rest is common sense. Just don’t accuse people of being leas intelligent because they post quotes on their wall! 🙂

  22. June 17, 2010 4:54 pm

    Excellent post. I can’t for the life of me understand what the overwhelming interest in Farmville is. I hate th see those updates on my Facebook. As well, stupid quotes and words of encouragement on Twitter annoy me as well. Thar and ridiculous affiliate spammers who have cheesy websites and ideas of financial bliss.

  23. Callidex permalink
    June 21, 2010 7:51 am

    The most annoying type for me (apart from repeated messages from applications shouting X got a Pig, why don’t you? ) is what I call the half-update, the obvious call for someone to say “whats the matter?”. These updates take the form of, “Well, that didn’t go well” or “Wasn’t expecting that!” or just simply, “Meh”. Frankly, these attention seekers do exactly the opposite for me, if you want me to talk to you, talk to me..

    Anyway, I’m fine, thank you 🙂

  24. June 25, 2010 4:52 am

    Great post.

    “The We Don’t Give a Hoot about your Farm” T-Shirts (paraphrasing here) are highly marketable. Start selling those babies if you haven’t already.

    Yes, in the wrong hands, inspirational quotes and mundane personal info. are buzz kills. However, there is a multitude of inspiration to be found in observation.

    Great writers write about the mundane.


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