In this excerpt from The Bold Italic, David Breitman shares the cold truth that, hey, sometimes the statuses and pictures we're uploading on Facebook sort of seem like we're trying to one-up all our friends. Here, he shows us how to share our lives on Facebook without making people click unfollow.
If life were a contest, Facebook would be the scoreboard. Through vacation photos, career updates, and blurry proposal videos, the most depressing website in the world allows users to compete with 1,700 random acquaintances to see who has the most interesting life. (Spoiler Alert: It's not you!)
Although other social media websites like Instagram and LinkedIn compartmentalize your inadequacies, Facebook is able to combine insecurities about your professional life, physical appearance, and weekend plans in one aggregated spiral of shame. As the old saying goes, one person's good news is another person's reason to stay in bed all day wondering why nobody invited them to go hiking.
But wait! People I rarely see in actual social settings love hearing about my life. Isn't there a tolerable way for me to keep them informed of all the exciting things I do? Great question, cliché millennial who thinks he's special! If you must share all of your exciting news online, there are several ways to do it without making everyone actively root against you.
Here are some simple adjustments you can make while posting about such notable milestones as:
Getting a Promotion or New Job
Standard post: Got my dream job! So blessed and excited!!!
What it makes your friends think: I remember when I used to have dreams. Then I went to law school.
The key to posting about a new professional opportunity is referencing how horrible your working life has been leading up to this moment. Mention the unfulfilling tasks you've had to do over the past few years while living with no hope and in total squalor. Reference the fact that your previous boss made everyone go to his child's birthday party on the Saturday night of a long weekend. Did someone routinely steal your food out of the shared refrigerator or make you join a fantasy football league even though you were already in one and couldn't afford it? Great! Discuss those. You just need something that allows your peers to look at the last few years of your life and say, "Wow, this person really needed a break."
Announcing the Birth of Your First Child
Standard Post: We just added even more love to our family!
What it makes your friends think: Holy sh*t, I'm 29 years old and still single.
This one is tricky. Nothing makes your single friends reevaluate how far along in life they are than seeing someone roughly their age caring for a child. The key here isn't to make the baby sound terrible, but rather to explain how difficult your life is going to be now that he/she has arrived.
Did you get pregnant unexpectedly and are now unable to financially support the baby? Post a story about how getting that second job driving for Uber is totally worth it when you get to come home and clean up the fecal matter of someone who forgot you existed the moment you left the house.
Maybe your in-laws are staying in town for a few months to help out and didn't want to waste money on a hotel room. Perhaps you've been forced to give up a hobby or group of friends you no longer have anything in common with. Everything the baby has taken away from you is terrific fodder. Sure, the Internet is forever and this may come back to haunt you in 15 years, but the child psychiatrist will sort all of that out.
Read more on how to properly share with your Facebook friends that you bought a new house and just returned from a fabulous vacation at The Bold Italic. While you're over there, get more of The Bold Italic's take on social media and digital life with their guide to the truth behind Instagram BS and the answer to the age-old question "Is it wrong to google my friends?"