However, with great power comes great responsibility. You, as a current or potential Facebook user, have access to the means by which you can broadcast your thoughts, feelings, opinions, interests and pictures to anyone who falls within the filtering parameters of your security and privacy settings. Be they friends, friends of friends or the ominous "anyone." The best thing about Facebook is that anyone can put anything they want out there for everyone to see. The worst thing about Facebook is that anyone can put anything they want out there for everyone to see...
So, the most important question you need to ask yourself is, "Do I suck at Facebook?"
Well, let's find out...
First of all, I am not claiming that I don't suck at Facebook. In fact, I probably suck big, hairy goat balls. What I do know, however, is that there are people who suck a lot worse at it than I do. Don't think of this as a personal attack, think of it as tough love. I want to help you help yourself to become a better, cooler Facebook user. Your success is our success! So, let's begin at the beginning:
1. Profile Picture (ladies first)
Without question, the most important part of any Facebook page is the profile pic. This is your first impression. This is what let's people know who you are, what you're about and - depending on your privacy settings - as much as they're going to know about you until you approve their friend request. Yes, it's a lot of pressure for a small, thumbnail pic, but nobody said Facebooking was gonna be easy.
Now, let's be honest, most of the people on this planet - myself included - are not beautiful. In fact, the majority are average at best and even those among us who rise to the level of "cute" can have a hard time taking a good picture that does them justice. Accept this, embrace it and live with your physical limitations. No, you aren't as hot as that one bitch you went to school with who actually looks even hotter now than she did when she was 17 and yes, you would probably look that good too if you could afford fake tits and all the work she just had to have had done to still look like that after having kids and fuck her and the horse she rode in on. Ok, get it all out of your system, let the poison out sweetie. No, you aren't as pretty as her, and who cares? Face it, you probably never were and never will be, unless she's disfigured in a horrible fire or something (one can only hope), and who cares? Post your actual profile pic anyway! It doesn't matter if you use the one that you took 10 years ago, before you gained weight after the baby, on that one day when you went to the beach and your hair was just perfect and the light was awesome and you have never looked that cute again - USE IT! You're totally allowed to put your best foot forward, so just do it! Don't post some stupid picture of wildflowers that you found on a google search, don't post pictures of cartoon characters or some other random image that doesn't make sense to anyone but you, just be you! Now, I understand that there are those random "Change your profile pic to your favorite breakfast cereal to raise awareness of child slavery" trends, and for those types of scenarios you're fully allowed to play along and do whatever you want, but for the rest of the time, we know you aren't fucking Tinkerbell or a purple lotus blossom, so just stop it already. We don't care if you got fat, we don't care if you got wrinkles, we all did!
That being said, if you do decide to stand up to your own insecurity and post your actual picture as your profile pic - first of all, congratulations on being a real motherfucker, but second, make sure you don't look like a shit head in your pic. Don't fucking duckface! If you want to stick your ass or tits out and pose like you're auditioning for one of those amateur hotties sites, hey, go for it. Be prepared for all kinds of creepy dudes to send you friend requests and invites to watch them jerk off on cam, but if you're fine with that, there's nothing wrong with flaunting your assets, just don't fucking trout pout while you're doing it. Don't stick your lips out farther than your tits, that's all I'm saying. Also, if you have kids in high school, try not to post pictures that make you look like too much of a gutter slut if you can help it. Nobody wants to the the kid who goes to school and all your friends are beating off to your mom's Facebook pics. If you just happen to be a hot MILF, there's not really much you can do about it, even posing in a suit of armor is probably going to do it for about 75% of your kids classmates between the ages of 12 and 17, but that's sort of the point, they don't really need anymore help.
Oh, and please, for the love of God, don't use one of those "blinged out" pics where you write some glittery crap with spelling errors and bad grammar about how "I'm the queen B, fuk tha haterz, U jus jelus!" while posing in your grease-stained, faded, juicy pajamas. Also, clean your room before you take a mirror pic. Background check people! I don't want to see the used tampon in your trashcan, or the unflushed turd in your toilet bowl, I don't want to see the bong on your coffee table or your kid in diapers walking in the background while you stick your ass out like a stripper.
I know I'll probably catch some hell for this last thing, but it personally irks me when girls have nothing but pictures of their kids as profile pics. Now, I'm all about having a few in there because you're totally allowed to be a proud mama and show off your babies and I get that and it's totally cool. However, when I click your "Profile Pictures" folder and it's nothing but different pictures of just your kids, and they're basically always in the same pose only with different clothes on ("Here's my oldest, standing next to my youngest, at the beach!" "Here's my oldest, standing next to my youngest, at Disneyland!" "Here's my oldest, standing next to my youngest, at Grandma's house!") we get it, you love your kids, make a fan page for them already. I'm not trying to be Facebook friends with your kids. Sorry, but I used to want to nail you in High School and I want to see if that ass held up after all these years, sue me.
(now for the fellas)
Guys, same rules apply. Be real. I don't want to see a pic of your car/truck, that's douchey. I definitely don't want to see a pic of the car/truck you wish you owned, that's extra douchey. I don't want to see a pic of the celebrity you want to bang, that's creepy douchey. I don't want to see a pic of your gun, that's yeehaw douchey. I don't want to see a pic of the gun you wish you owned, that's Dylan Klebold scary douchey. Just be yourself.
Now, I'm not in to checking out guys, not that there's anything wrong with that. My point isn't that I want to sit there and stare at pics of dudes all day. Unlike the ladies, I didn't want to bang any of you in school and I am not at all interested in how your ass held up, but maybe there are some girls out there who are (or guys!). It's just all about keeping it real. We all got fat, we all hit the wall a little, just put yourself out there. Look at me, I'm nothing special. I know my limitations and I embrace them! You see my handful of pics in my profile pics folder? Those are the few gems out of dozens of pics I've taken where I look like shit. If I look like shit in the pics I use on Facebook, I really look like shit in the ones I don't. But, I don't care, take me as I come or don't. Again, if there's some "Change your profile pic to your favorite beer label to raise awareness of testicular cancer." drive or something, then whatever, go crazy. Just keep it real, that's all, just keep it real.
Again, that being said, don't pose like a douchebag. We already know about the dangers of the duckface on women, and well, it's literally one thousand times douchier when a guy does it. Guys who duckface are the lamest kinds of douchebags. Dudes in Ed Hardy shirts see guys who duckface and think "Wow, look at that douche!" Guys in Ed Hardy shirts who do the duckface too, they sweat Summer's Eve, it just oozes from them by osmosis. Besides just the duckface though, there's the pose itself.
If you are into working out and "bodybuilding", that's awesome and more power to you, just don't pose in front of your dirty bathroom mirror with your shirt off, showing off your muscles. while holding your cellphone up. If you're in great shape, that's awesome, good for you, but just know that the more you lead with your body the more you put out that everything else about you is kind of weak so just check out my abs. "Sorry ladies, I don't have much of a personality and my interests are basically all about whatever makes me look hotter and helps me get more pussy, but check out this six pack!" I mean, if you're fine with making that your defining statement, then go right ahead, just know that you suck at Facebook. Yes, I can already hear you douchebags "I don't care about sucking at Facebook, I'm too busy in the gym, keeping my BMI tight as fuck and stretching out my shirts and getting all the hot women, unlike fat, pasty losers like you!" Right, and that's why you opened a Facebook account in the first place, because you don't care about it... Trust me, I know you bitches, you don't do anything unless you can do it better than every other guy you know. Your alpha-male obsession defines your entire life, so I know you care about being better at Facebook than a fat, pasty loser, so just take my advice and ease up on the HGH, nobody except you is turned on by your freakish, Popeye forearms.
At the same time, don't pose with $80 in 20's, holding up a gang sign or whatever and think you're cool either. Especially if you're a white dude. Don't use the pic of you standing by some guy's Ferrari that you saw in the city, pretending it's yours. Be you, let people like you for who you are. If you who are isn't likable, then fucking work on that bro.
- Remember, Facebook is a glimpse at the future of social interaction. Just because it's the internet, doesn't mean it's fake or that it doesn't count. The image of yourself that you put out there is what will define you in the eyes of others. Internet dating services have become the most popular way for people to meet and form relationships in America, and it's barely a 10 year old concept. In 10 more years, sites like Facebook will become the standard for how we meet people and interact. The rise of the internet as an essential social network has created a forum that can bring out both the best and the worst in people. Just like the way the invention of the telephone changed how the world communicated. Just how radio revolutionized news and entertainment, and just how television turned radio on it's ear and took us in a whole new direction. Internet friends are real friends, internet profiles are real profiles. Would you walk into a bar with your shirt off, pouting like you just sucked a lemon's asshole out while holding a fanned out stack of 20's and expect girls to talk to you? Would you put on hoochie clothes, stick your ass out like you wanted to be mounted and walk into a room talking shit about every other bitch in there who wishes she was you and expect guys to think you were sexy? That's all I'm saying. Would you cover up your face with a picture of Mickey Mouse during a job interview? Would you send your kids out to visit some old friends from High School in your place? Would you send your lifted pickup truck out on a blind date in your place? That's all I'm saying.
Think about what I said about the profile pics. This is who you are, it's a representation of the person you want other people to get to know and want to be friendly with. If you're funny, then be funny. Everyone likes to laugh. If you're not funny though, then don't try to be funny. Don't repost dumb jokes, and especially don't try to make up your own dumb jokes. Stick to quoting song lyrics or wise shit that famous old dudes said or something. Just know that, not matter how obscure you think the joke you're plagiarizing is, there's a nerd like me who has combed the vast reaches of the internet and who's mind is a vault of useless pop culture crap who will immediately recognize it and call you on it.
Some people (myself included, and especially) love to stir the pot and post political opinions, controversial thoughts about religion, and so on. This is ok, because people get into it about this stuff all the time in "real life." However, just like those water cooler conversations at work, if you just spout out a bunch of horse shit without really knowing what you're talking about, you will only make yourself look stupid and end up being mocked and ridiculed. Case in point - if you don't like Obama, that's cool, but don't post some ridiculous diatribe about him being a Kenyan-born Muslim secret plant and not expect to be completely mocked for the dip shit you are. Don't repost those bullshit copy/paste statuses about how they're going to cut soldier's pay or force kids to read the Koran in school if you're not going to bother doing the 3 minutes of google searching it takes to prove those statements false. Intelligent political discourse is awesome, it's a great way to really get to know where a person is coming from and it can be the best way to educate yourself on the opposing viewpoints to your personal beliefs and opinions, but ignorant slogan posting and talking-points parroting just muddies the waters of intelligent debate and makes you look stupid.
Same with religion. I have a lot, a surprisingly high amount in fact, of strongly devout Christian friends on Facebook, and I love them all. I respect their beliefs and appreciate their passion. I am always willing and eager to engage in a back and forth discussion with them about their beliefs vs. my own. I am fascinated by some of the things they say, and frankly baffled by some of the things they say too. I look at religion a lot like politics in the sense that rational, intelligent debate is good, it promotes the conversation and it gives you things to think about even after the discussion has ended. However, close-minded proselytizing sucks. Understand that, as someone who is not at all convinced that God or anything in the Bible is more than just a man-made fairytale to control the masses through superstitious fear, I am not going to be swayed by the argument of "It's in the Bible, so therefore it's the truth." If you want to challenge my beliefs, or attempt to persuade me with your own, you're going to have to do better than quoting Bible verse and using that as your irrefutable proof of fact. Hey, I can quote Harry Potter all day long, that doesn't make me a wizard.
If you want to head down the road of political or religious debate, make sure you got your shit together, that's all I'm saying. Otherwise, stick to the aforementioned song lyric quoting, or perhaps posting funny Youtube videos, that always works.
I guess really what I'm saying here is that Facebook is more than just a place where you can chat with friends, share pictures and play bafflingly addicting games. It's your own personality profile, hosted for all to see who you allow permission. The internet is, in fact, serious business. What you write, what you share, what you put out there... that defines other's opinions of you. You can act like you don't care, but of course you care, everyone cares, that's the whole point. You got on there in the first place because you cared, even if just a little. You stay on there because you continue to care. You want people to like you, we all do. You want people to think that you're cool, we all do. You want to find the group who will accept you when you don't feel accepted by those around you. Facebook is so great because it allows people who thought that no one out there thinks the things they do, likes the things they like or enjoys the hobbies they enjoy to find out that there are all kinds of people who do. It's the world's largest hangout spot. All I'm saying is, don't be a turd, don't be a douche, don't be a shit head. Be real, be honest, be yourself. There's bound to be people out there who are looking for a friend just like you.
And hey, if the real you IS someone who duckfaces all the time, with no shirt on, while flexing and holding money and spouting out political slogans and empty religious altruisms, behind the wheel of their fully-lifted Hummer, while shooting a glock, then wear it proudly, like that Affliction shirt in your closet that's two sizes too small. The internet depends on you for entertainment!