What really grinds my gears close

Mel Thompson
19th January 2012
What really grinds my gears

This months Family Guy style light hearted rant is about my irritation of how people have started using Facebook and Twitter statuses as if they were lines in their own personal diary.

The informative nature of the Facebook or Twitter status has been downgraded. Do we really need to know what our 200 plus friends are doing every minute of the day? Do all our online friends want to know what we are doing every minute of the day? I can tell you the answer is NO!

Being part of the Facebook and Twitter generation has been incredible so far. Being able to connect with friends, share photos, and now music through the Facebook partnership with Spotify. Twitter, the social networks micro blogging system has gained over 100 million active users in just 5 years. With popstars such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber having over 10 million followers each, it is easy to see that it is a popular platform for fans to get a glimpse at what it is like to be a celebrity on a day to day basis. It gives them a digital friendship with their favourite stars that they never had before. Their followers get to find out what designer dress they are wearing, or what swanky Michelin stared restaurant they are going to for dinner. A far cry from some of the updates I get from my digital friends, who keep me updated very regularly with updates on how their kid just burped, or that they have just eaten a doughnut.

I love social networks, and working in the digital industry when Facebook and Twitter are evolving is great, with timeline for example which could change the way businesses communicate with their customer. Learn all about the Facebook changes in our previous blog post http://codegent.com/blog/2011/10/what_are_you_up_to_the_world_wants_to_know_apparently

I use both Twitter and Facebook every day, they enable me to see what others are doing on other digital platforms, they help inspire me, it could be a Facebook viral like the 'Take This Lollipop' campaign or an article on Mashable being thrown around on Twitter. They have become part of the creative industries modern DNA.

The openness to see and share photos, to communicate with friends in other counties, and of course the occasional stalk, and anyone that says they do not stalk their old friends or partners is a liar. Everyone loves a good self satisfying Facebook stalk.

However, this former pleasant experience has now been tainted by over enthusiastic status updaters. Now 70% of my Facebook newsfeed is clogged up with people telling me that they had beans on toast for dinner, or that they can’t sleep. What do you want me to do about you not being able to sleep, come round, get into bed with you and sing you a lullaby ? You can’t sleep because you are staring at a bright screen in the middle of the night when you should be de stressing and getting away from the technologies you are bound to all day long.

How did this happen? Is it from the influx of younger users on the networks, wanting to show off to their friends about what cool lives they lead? Is it just the users who are bored and just don’t have anything else to do with their free time?
Get out of the house, get some fresh air, go somewhere with no wi fi signal for a while.

The irritation of these insignificant, unhelpful status update is extended further with the use of incorrect, slanged English they are all written in. Incorrect spelling and punctuality is used in all of these ridiculous updates. I’m not sure if this is because of the speed some of them are written, or that some of them are written on smart phones so fat thumb syndrome and auto correct occurs. I have some sympathy for some statuses on Twitter, as there is a restricted 140 max character limit, so abbreviating a few words is acceptable. However, on Facebook you have over 60,000 characters to use, there is no excuse to cut words down, and use slang such as “bby, ppl, da, and bout” you can write a whole bloody monologue in there. It also takes me much longer to read it when it is in slang text like this, it you really want everyone to know and read your status, please write it in a language we can all understand.

I am a believer that I am not the only person that gets irritated by this topic. Some websites and blogs have dedicated whole sections to these pet hates about Facebook statuses; here are some of my favourites courtesy of http://failbook.failblog.org/

Facebook Statuses

So I plead to you social network users, make your statuses interesting for your audience. Give some thought to the topic, as well as the spelling, grammar and punctuation, and we will all reap the benefits.

That my friends is what Grinds My Gears.