• Patrick McAndrew

When You Aren’t In The Status

Facebook sure has evolved over the past ten years.  I believe I wrote about this in a past blog post, but I am nostalgic of the days when “is” was in the Facebook status.  If you don’t remember this, you are probably pretty young.  “Is” was a requirement in the Facebook status.  “Pat is eating a sandwich.”  Or “Pat is going to the store.”  Or “Pat is AWESOME! LOL LMAO!”

I think the “is” was a by-product of the classic AIM Away Message.  Remember those things?  “Bballfreak1212 is away from the computer right now.”  Talk about nostalgia!  “Away from the computer.”  What a seemingly unimportant term back then.  Little did we know that an away message would mean so much nowadays, in a world where people are never truly “away.”

Today, we don’t have away messages.  We have Facebook statuses.  These statues are no longer bland descriptions of where we are going (though several statuses are still very bland).  Many statuses now serve as sounding boards to deep philosophical or political beliefs.  Statuses have been replaced with sharing your thoughts and opinions on things, which I suppose is cool in some ways.

So, what is the modern-day status?  Why, it’s simple!  All you have to do is tag where you are at, tag the friends you are with, and presto!  The Facebook world knows where you’re at and who you’re with.  I suppose this would be the modern-day away message, though we aren’t truly “away from our computers.”  If anything, we are on our computers while getting momentarily distracted by our friends.

There is no judgment to the people who do this.  If I was judging people who did this, I wouldn’t have any more friends.  People like to broadcast what they are up to, especially if it’s a cool and exotic place where they are at.  Perhaps they are having a good time and want to let their families know with a funny picture.  Perhaps they want to give a Facebook shout out to a special friend who means a lot to them.  While the intentions are usually good, they also must seriously consider WHY they are telling the world where they are and who they’re with.

What happens when you’re not part of the status?  Sure, you can say “Psh…I don’t care!  They can have all the fun they want without me!  I much prefer sitting home alone and watching Netflix!”  Even if this is the truth, it doesn’t change the fact that many people who see these statuses that their friends post will feel left out.  A classic case of F.O.M.O.

There are some who excel in the art of broadcasting exclusivity on social media.  “This person is so amazing and they aren’t YOU!  My friends and I are having the time of our lives WITHOUT you!  These people were invited and YOU WERE NOT!”  It is a dangerous battlefield of passive aggression that many of us like to flirt with.  Sure, they won’t mention anything to you or say you weren’t invited to your face.  But they will post a picture on social media of everyone who was invited, where you will most definitely see it.  How do we think that makes people feel?

One could say that it’s not their problem if someone feels left out or hurt.  But then I would argue what your intention is for broadcasting those moments to the public.  If it isn’t your problem, why not reserve the memories with your friends to simply your friends, the people who were there and who care to see the pictures.  I understand it is much easier to post something on social media than to privately share photos via email, but it’s important to take responsibility for sharing the posts to the public.

I’m led to believe that most people are good people.  Most people do not post their fun outings with their friends to oust those who were not included.  With that said, it is important that we understand our intentions for posting our social lives all over our newsfeeds for everyone to see.  Is it to show that we have a social life?  Is it to boost our own ego? Most of us don’t really think this is a big deal, but that’s because most of us don’t really think.

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