Facebook warning labelsPosted: April 15, 2012
Facebook should come with warning labels, just like drugs do. And toys. And heavy machinery. Cigarettes, microwaves and Walkmans.
In my endless quest to help future social media sufferers, here are my warning labels for anyone thinking about joining Facebook or who is still clueless about its side effects, which range from mild to severe.
You can trust me. I’ve been on Facebook for 8 years and I only need to go on it now once or twice…an hour.
Facebook usage warning label 1: Do not use with alcohol. Alcohol intensifies effect. Doing so may i) cause you to become sentimental and to “Like” every story you see; ii) stalk your ex, then gaze out the window like the one where Ross and Rachel take a break; iii) drop your phone on the dance floor or into your beer.
2. Do not go on it if you become pregnant. Or may be pregnant or think of becoming pregnant. Doing so may cause you i) to post pictures of your pregnant belly, frequently over nine months, and despite what people tell you to your face, it is weird seeing you with a thing growing inside of your body. Especially because in previously-tagged photos, you sported butt shorts and took vodka shots off the chest of a bar back; ii) In some women, in some situations, during certain stages of pregnancy, feelings of incredible sadness may arise when looking at profiles of younger, unmarried, childless friends; iii) Feelings of inadequacy and great pressure to complete their duties as adult human beings may arise in other younger/unmarried/childless women, in some situations.
3. Do not drive a motor vehicle or operate dangerous/heavy/complicated/any machinery. Checking your Facebook while driving is illegal. Cops can’t tell if you’re texting or scrolling through your event’s invite list. In addition, if you kill someone while operating a vehicle because you were Poking someone back, everyone will hate you for the rest of your life. Especially the person you Poked.
4. May cause drowsiness. Avoid viewing vacation photo albums. Pay particular attention to traps, e.g. albums labeled with song lyrics or clever pun, and or have numerals or the word “part” in their title, e.g. “Maui – Part IV”. “Italia!!!!! Part 3 :)”.
5. May cause dizziness. After going off of Facebook for more than two consecutive days, exercise caution when resuming use. Shock to your system may occur during initial exposure to all the crap on Newsfeed.
6. May cause nausea. This is the most common side effect of being on Facebook. You should expect to experience nausea at least once per log on. Short list of causes include i) sorting through incredibly gag-inducing, narcissistic status updates (e.g. “Day at work was terrible but came home to dinner and wine prepared by the best guy in the whole wide world! I am SOOO LUCKYYYY!); ii) seeing pictures of pets doing normal pet things; iii) seeing Mobile Uploads from attention whores or botards showing off their BODS (e.g. Here’s a picture of my ass in jeans “LOVE Casual Jeans Fridays at Work!”, “Tim Ferriss 4-hour body – Day 42!”) .
7. May distort perception. Sufferers experience i) inflated or deflated sense of self worth (counting the number of happy birthday posts, frequency of red notification alerts and the actual number in the red notification box); ii) impaired judgement about opposite gender (e.g. “We are in a poking war, I think she likes me”; “I think that status message was made visible only to ME!”); iii) narrow-mindedness (“Jeremy Lin is the only thing Asian people care about?”).
8. Anxiety. You may notice yourself i) Agonizing over what new profile picture to use; ii) Deliberating with friend with whom you just took a picture on whether or not this new picture should be your profile picture; iii) Deliberating with your mom/significant other/cat/single lady friends on what new profile picture to use; iv) Signing up for sky diving because everyone’s profile picture is of them falling from the sky; v) Getting married because everyday someone else’s relationship status changes to “engaged” or “married”; vi) Getting divorced because…Facebook developed a Divorce status…
9. Depression. Do not go on Facebook if you have serious antipathy or hatred for mankind, have problems talking about yourself, or if you have low self-esteem. Seeing happy posts from people may cause you to post sarcastic/nasty comments or status messages. (“Oh, she’s your ‘bff’? More like LESBOs!”; “What’s your OTHER hand doing, hm?”; “A promotion? Did you get a RAISE, too, with OUR TAX DOLLARS!?”) Everyone will think you are a miserable, jealous person. If you become depressed after going on Facebook, deactivate IMMEDIATELY. If symptom persists, remain deactivated for at least two years.
10. Addiction. i) You find yourself on Facebook but have no memory of opening the browser or logging on; ii) You have uncontrollable urges to press the refresh/reload button. Nothing new appears but you continue staring, continue clicking; iii) Your second monitor at work only has Facebook open; iv) You work with one hand on the mouse and the other on your smartphone’s Facebook App; v) You use it more than six times a day; vi) You go on it the moment you wake up and are still on it the minute before you go to sleep; vii) You respond to questions about your life with, “Didn’t you see it on my Facebook?” If you become addicted, delete Facebook App and turn off all email notifications for two days. Deactivate permanently on day 3. Remain deactivated for at least 1o years.
Important: All of these symptoms can seem lessened if you are also on Twitter, LinkedIn or other similar social media. If these symptoms persist, and become more serious, call your mother or someone else who’s never used Facebook to give you actual perspective on reality and life.
For the love of humanity, send these warning labels to your friends who are thinking of joining Facebook. Give them the choice you never had.
And even if you’re already a Facebook abuser, I HOPE all this HELPS!