When we did the first iteration of this story six years ago, Facebook was already big and ubiquitous but perhaps not as fractious as it is today. Fast forward to 2020—a lifetime for the internet—and Facebook remains a top tech company after weathering multiple storms. It’s up to 2.7 billion users worldwide as of Q2 2020.
Whether you’re a Facebook newbie or a social media veteran, you’ve probably found that it’s not hard to make friends on Facebook, where friendship doesn’t cost more than a click. Now that you’ve amassed such a digital clique, you want to keep them. Right?
Okay, maybe not. Maybe you want to test them. You want to push the limits of this so-called friendship. Well, here are some “tips” for you. These actions will send people straight to unfollow, unfriend, or block buttons.
Have something to sell or brag about? A book, an article, a video, your pyramid scheme, or maybe your performance in the chorus of Oklahoma at the local community center? Then you should tell everyone. On the left of your News Feed, select Friend Lists and make a list of ALL your friends. Then start sending messages, event invites, and private messages. Don’t forget to copy it to your public status, as well. Break a leg, Jud Fry.
Got a small or medium or even large business? Then you probably also have the aforementioned Facebook Page for it. But there’s nothing stopping you from using your personal profile to drone on and on about your biz. Use all those personal connections like business leads, like you’re living some kind of digital Glengarry Glen Ross life. Always be closing. Winner gets the steak knives. (Don’t click that video above if you can’t handle swearing from the 1990s.)
Had a hard day? Have someone specific to blame—or who you just don’t like? Then it’s time for some passive aggressive vaguebooking. That’s when you generically bitch at length, but without any specifics, and certainly without naming names. That way, everyone you know and work with can assume it’s them you despise and feel bad about themselves.
Are you in the middle of some horrible life-changing event that is making you feel more emo than a goth girl at a My Chemical Romance concert? Then by all means, share, with as much detail as possible, why your life sucks. Tell us that the world is out to get you or that your significant other cheated on you or set you on fire. We want to know, because we care.
On the opposite end of the happiness spectrum, perhaps your life is Great with a capital G! You like exclamation points, and capital letters, and poignant quotes about journeys and laughter and enlightenment. Please do go on.
Quote Your Faves
Believe Timelines Are Private
Act Like You’re Texting
Punction? Spelling? These are things for fancy pants people with a, whatchacallit, edjukashun. The shorthand of texting is all you need to get your point across to friends, so why get more complicated with a Facebook status?
On the other hand, when you do have a friend who can’t spell or use grammar whatsoever, there’s nothing more gratifying for them than to see your comment that is just a word-by-word line edit of everything they got wrong. School your friends, you stupefyingly didactic pedant. Unless you’re a pedantic didact…I’m sure you’ll let me know.
Tag people in photos or videos you upload, so the subject knows the picture is there and all their friends can see it. Even the friends you don’t know. Especially do this when the subject has been photographed in a compromising position. Say, with an illicit substance, performing an illegal act, or just at the end of a long night of debauchery that ends with vomiting. Unflattering imagery is what life is all about.
Extra points for tagging people in pictures where they don’t appear, and weren’t even around at the time, just to get their attention. Asking for permission to tag someone? That sounds like cowardice. Ask for forgiveness.
Post Stuff Constantly
How great would it be if Facebook and Twitter were more alike? Time to start using Facebook for your stream of consciousness non-sequiturs. That means ever meme, every quote, every anecdote, it all must be posted. So should your every move and feeling (click Feeling/Activity under the How Are You Feeling? field), every picture or video you take, check in your location like it’s Foursquare in 2012, and don’t forget to go live!
There was a time not long ago when it seemed like everyone was sharing everything on social media. Some scandals that showed just how limited your privacy really is with the big tech companies brought to light that putting it all out there might not be such a good idea. We’re hear to say: go ahead! Share it all. Every embarrassing, illegal, illicit, unethical, immoral, dishonest, outright criminal thing about yourself you can think of. And if not that, toss out some personal details, like what street you grew up on, who was the maid of honor or best man at your wedding, maybe the correct spelling of your mother’s maiden name. We promise no one will use that info nefariously.
When Facebook introduced the ability to go live on video back in 2017, it gave you the chance to be a true star. All you have to do is find the What’s On Your Mind? box and click Live Video. It works on mobile or desktop (if you have Google Chrome as a browser). Give your stream a title, maybe throw on a filter or foreground frame or background image, the gaudier the better. Choose to make it public, of course—why limit your magnificence to just friends? Click Start Live Video. You’ll soon be interacting with people as you broadcast your doings.
We can’t stress this enough: Go Live several times a day! Your public awaits.
Got strong opinions on politics? Right vs. Left? Fox vs. MSNBC? Whether you think the president is the messiah or the son of Satan, make you feelings known! Your friends who are easily swayed will no doubt quickly come to your side and vote with abandon along the only party line that matters: yours. If you have friends who perhaps like their politics with a little more nuance, or maybe don’t care for politics at all? Well, they need you to school them in just how the real world works, don’t they?
Did you see someone post something you disagree with on Facebook? You owe it to that person to instantly and demonstrably reply—may we suggest using ALL CAPS?—with the full force of your opposing argument. When other people chime in that seem to disagree with you, and you feel the heat rise on the back of your neck, reach for the keyboard and remember that personal attacks are not only expected in such a forum, they’re welcome by anyone who’d dare take an opposing view from someone of your stature. After all, they’re not real people, right?
This, unfortunately, won’t get you noticed. But, seriously, why bother writing to people at all? Why share your insights or feelings or location or play games or anything when you can sign up, reconnect with hundreds of people, and then never say anything ever again? Good question, but it works for so many non-active users of Facebook, it could work for you!
People love when your profile photo is not you. Don’t go the easy route and use your child or dog or goat, however. They may be recognizable. Think truly esoteric and unmemorable, like a picture of a sunset or your car.
Remember back in grade school when that kid stole all your lunch money, got you in trouble when they cheated off your paper, and gave you a swirly and pantsed you in front of your crush? Yeah, that human turd probably peaked in high school. But if you’re still carrying the anger and resentment—or hell, if you were that bully and well past your peak—Facebook is a great place to get back to the virtual torment. After all, making personal comments about a person online can’t be as bad as doing so in front of the entire school class gathered in the auditorium, right? Remember: they’re not real people, right??
Not sure how to dump someone? Just change your status to “it’s complicated” or “single” without warning. Bonus points if you ghost them when they notice.
Let me pedantically point out that this “advice” above is tongue-in-cheek nonsense, arguably worst than Swift’s Modest Proposal, because in his case it was unlikely to be heeded, even if the year was 1729. In this case we’re sticking a massive caveat at the bottom to ensure you understand in 2020: Do the opposite of the horribleness spelled out above in your Facebook interactions. Treat people like you want to be treated. It might well make you the best person on the social network. If you do know someone being builied online, send them to StopBullying.gov.