Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about the people (personas) I encounter on these sites.
First, let's take a look at TheBump. This board if chock full of SAHM's (stay-at-home-mom's) with seemingly nothing better to do than judge, criticize and wish harm upon their fellow mothers. I often wonder what their children are doing while they are doling out their sentences of colic, diaper rash and acid reflux. I rarely post. When I do, it's about actual baby stuff. What diapers are best, the best way to steam chicken....and whatnot. Because of that I am often greeted by "who the hell are you?" replies and labeled a LURKER. I hate that term. Lurker. Sounds an awful lot like PERVERT or PEDOPHILE to me. These women say things to each other online that I'm sure they would never even dream of saying in person. I once observed a fight between two moms where one said that she should have either put her child up for adoption or have had an abortion. The other mother responded that she deserved the painful infertility she was burdened with and that she should go DIAF. DIAF is a popular term on TheBump. It means......wait for it.....DIE IN A FIRE. Seriously! Women are telling other women, whom they've never met, to go die in a fire! Each week they have UO Fridays. UO stands for Unpopular Opinion. It's a thread where they post controversial things (that have nothing to do with babies) in order to start an internet riot. These ladies need a hobby!
A hobby. Like...Facebook.
Ah. Good ol' Facebook. Now FB isn't all bad. It has helped me to reconnect with some very important people. Like, my high school mentors. Or college friends from far away. It even lets me keep in touch with my friends Donna and Pete in Sydney. However, FB has it's own set of cliques, idiosyncrasies, mean girls, narcissism, bullies and snobs.
I've always been interested in anthropology. I've always been very observant. A trait that I think my son has inherited. He's often content to just sit in his stroller or on my lap and just...watch. I've used my keen observation skills on facebook.
I digress. Over the years that I've been a member of facebook. A few different kinds of people jump out at me. (Disclaimer: this is about no one in particular - or is it?)
The constant complainer: Their life sucks. It sucks worse than yours. Feel bad for them.
The Queens/Kings of Passive Agressiva: they post ambiguous status updates in response to another update they disagree with. Or they are angry with a specific person and post a thinly veiled update about the person without ever identifying them.
The Braggart: "I'm on a fabulous vacation! Look at my pictures! Be jealous" Honestly, I doubt your vacation is that fabulous or else you wouldn't have your nose buried in your smartphone. These people often post pictures of their boobs/pecs/clothes etc. I once saw a girl who had an entire photo album entitled "White Bikini". The entire album was dedicated to shots of her in said white bikini.
The Fabricator: This person just loves Photoshop. Their photos are all pouty-lipped closeups that don't actually show what they really look like. I almost always think their status updates are lies. They want you to believe that their life is so perfect and they are so popular/cool/trendy/beautiful. These people often have 300+ friends. Many of them are from their high school days.
The Over-Share-er: I'm going to the grocery store. Then to the gym. Then to get these warts removed from my crotchal area. Then I'm going to sit and pick my nose for 6 minutes and then I'm going to meet Susie at the bar for happy hour.
The Academic/Armchair Politician: These people post controversial content in order to incite FB fights. I can't stand these people. They are
The Private Jokesters: I am a member of this clique and we did/said this fabulous thing that you aren't a part of. You should envy me. This happens a lot with the theater people that makeup most of my friends list.
I admit it. I've been guilty of a few of these. Nothing is sacred these days. We are always plugged in, switched on, connected. It's good and bad. I really think I would go into cardiac arrest if I didn't have facebook. Yes, I've searched for every single one of my ex-boyfriends and check my ex-best friend's page daily to see if she put any new pictures up.