I spend a lot of time on Facebook for both business and personal reasons. I like that I can interact with my customers and my friends in the same place in different ways. I’m also just a social person that wants to be involved in conversations and see what is going on with everyone. Through the time that I have spent on Facebook I have come to characterize people into 6 different groups. Groups are not mutually exclusive. I know some people who actually fit into a few of them (scary!).
1) Business Blah: These are the people that only post on Facebook for business purposes, for better or for worse. If they are only friends with business associates, it works great. If they are friends with family and neighbors, those people are probably hiding their status updates because they are so tired of reading nothing but business updates. Mix it up a little, people. Tell us your company is having a great month but then show us a picture of your kid or something.
2) Attention Addicts/Sympathy Seekers: All of us follow at least a couple of these people on Facebook. I’m lumping them into the same category because their means are different but their goal is the same. Attention Addicts post seemingly innocent questions (often full of innuendo) that are calculated to get responses. “I’m feeling like such a naughty girl but am too embarrassed to say why.” Sympathy Seekers are constantly whining about their latest problems and when you share your good news, they can only top it with more bad news of their own. You consider hiding their updates but it’s like a train wreck–you have to keep watching.
3) Serial Posters: “Just woke up.” “Getting ready for breakfast.” “Easting breakfast at my desk.” “Breakfast today was great!” And on, and on, and on. Eventually you do hide their status updates because you don’t want your life to be as boring as theirs. The irony of the Serial Poster is that they also often post about how busy they are and how much work they have to get done. Chances are good that they would get more done if they didn’t post everything they were doing while they were doing it.
4) Lost in Timers. Catching up with old friends on Facebook is great until you realize that the Lost in Timer is still stuck in high school or college. Every day they are posting their favorite memory of you on your page or tagging you in pictures from 1987 that they have scanned in and uploaded. Every other post of theirs is an 80s movie trivia score or a link to a hair band video on Youtube. Memories are great but the failure to move on just isn’t healthy.
5) Players. I don’t mean in the “Playa” sense where they are dating and seeing a lot of action. I mean the game “Player.” The ones who are constantly asking you to send them chickens or kill a mob boss. We all get pulled into the games at some point. But if your status updates are 80% game notifications, you need to spend more time playing the game of life.
6) You: Clearly, you are none of the people above. They are annoying and you are not. You do your best to only post pertinent information and never to the point of overkill. You are sensitive to others and politically correct. Your posts are an equal mix of wit, social commentary, and family life. Everyone loves to read your updates and look at your pictures. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone on Facebook were like you?
(Thanks to my Lunch Friends for their thoughts on this post as I was drafting!)