Facebook – An Idiot’s Guide


“I’m MB and I’m a Facebook addict.”

… there it is, the famous first step. I’m not sure what the second step is or if I’m actually that bothered, but at least I’ve finally come out.

By addict, I mean to a level where you automatically tap the Facebook tab every time you pick up your phone, even when you’ve clearly picked it up to do something specific(ideally this won’t happen for 999 calls, but I can’t guarantee that, so we’ll just have to cross that particular bridge when we come to it). The inconvenient truth(as in, in relation to this argument, not the Al Gore docu-powerpointy presentation which actually reveals far more about the average American’s political ideals than any of “the next President”s excellent points on climate change) is most apparent when asked for a phone number, e-mail address or amusing photo (obviously I mean “amusing at the time, by now embarrassing and slightly cringeworthy, which you’ll only remember a nanosecond before it finally opens” photo) and you automatically check for notifications en route, thereby having to angle your phone away from the requestor and mutter excuses until you’ve confirmed nothing has changed in the past four minutes(Hang on… God! This bloody phone!… It’s been really slow all day…), the delay only intensifying the disappointment on viewing your appalling photographic anecdote. (Sorry, but, just to clarify, Gore was kept out of the White House by W.)

Anyway, so, I wouldn’t say I’m hard core addicted, I’m still baffled by alot of the features of modern “FB” – the youth apparently ‘chat’ on it! Nevertheless, I still think back to that fateful day, way back in ’06 when peer pressure, or specifically Howard, suggested I might like it. In minutes he had me hooked up, registered and taking my first hit. It’s not that I blame Howard, I’m sure I’d have ended up giving in to Zuckerberg’s temptress at some point (sure I’d experimented with Myspace and Bebo, we all had back then) but that fateful day something changed and I was hooked.

Hooded Youths - Never amount to anything.

And so to the point of this report, in order that other “closer to middle age but still hip and trendy, with so much left to give” types can enjoy FB, I have compiled ten simple don’ts, to avoid you regressing into a bus stop cider swigging, sloaching, hooded oaf.

1. DON’T refer to Facebook ‘out loud’ as “FB”

This will not confirm that you are ‘down’ with the kids, merely that you don’t quite get the point of acronyms, abbr or syllables and are, primarily, a tool. (Similarly, when reading out a website address, why not consider saying “World Wide Web” rather than “www”, thereby saving yourself three valuable syllables which could be used later for something useful… LOL)(…and unless you are talking to someone who still says “all in lower case” after their e-mail address it’s a reasonably safe bet that they wouldn’t type in “worldwideweb” anyway)

2. DON’T refer to FB as Facef**k

May seem a strange point, but from experience it’s a valid one. Essentially if, for instance, you are a lady who refers to Facebook, for light hearted comedy reasons, as Facef**k, and may also want to confirm an appointment at a later date via a Facebook message. Probably best, on leaving for another engagement, not to shout “Alan, I’ll Facef**k you later!” across a crowded pub patio. The stunned silence, followed by wolf whistles and moronic cheers would have embarrassed a lesser man (but then a lesser man wouldn’t have coolly pointed to, and laughed at, the lesser man next to him).

Mothers - Unacceptable

3. DON’T “Accept” your mother.

This rule is mostly applicable to Vaynol Bar Managers, who despite being married and a father (normally this would be termed ‘grown up’, but obviously not in this particularly case), still conducts his offline social networking in such a deplorable manner that he still fears a thick ear if mummy ever saw the fallout on his wall.

4. DON’T fall for the attention seeking status.

Hannah is super excited!!! Yay!!! ;-)”… Are you? I have previously campaigned for an “Arsed” button to go alongside the sinister “Like” button, purely for this situation but alas all my correspondence with the techno-drones in California have come back unread, unheeded or with “ARSED” scrawled on the bottom in biro.
I’m not so grumpy that I object to another’s happiness, if they were to give us the details in the first place(which they clearly want to if they’re sharing it at all) then I may also be excited for them (What? It could happen). Unfortunately the sad fact remains that when someone does bite the bullet and ask ‘why?’(largely because they’ve taken pity that no one else has after two hours) it’s usually something so mind numbingly boring that you find yourself questioning how you ever knew someone who could get “super excited”(yay) about their dog getting a new collar, in the first place. All this will lead to you re-evaluating your social circle, which will only ever end in disappointment.

5. DON’T get sucked in to “good times” etc.

At least when txtspk was confined to text messaging it was relatively self contained(and managed – by not replying to Lurch’s illegible messages until he gave in and wrote like a grown up) and I don’t want to dwell too much on my feelings on the matter, but with 700 million members it’s spreading like an epidemic across the interweb highway.
So, next time you read the rantings of a grumpy old Box (see previous report “wtf r u 🙂 about?“) ask yourself who is really to blame for this callous dismantling of the English language? Shrugging youths? Over holidayed teachers? Or Zuckerberg and Berners-Lee?

Pauline, 18 from Bradford

6. DON’T post 100 identical photo’s of every single social event you’ve ever attended.

“Oh let’s all pout in this one…. Oooooh now let’s all do extreme gang signs…. Oh I know let’s blow kisses…. Oh let’s all pout in this one…”. Kill me.

7. DON’T take a photo of yourself in a mirror.

Unless you genuinely are “Pauline, 18 from Bradford*” and are indeed looking for singles in my area, put the camera phone down. Immediately.

8. DON’T sync your status @PrincessDoyle7

There are enough people wanting to fill my newsfeed with inane drivel without it being taken over by random @MarathonBox’s and #Twitter nonsense. Basically, I don’t understand the symbols and (like with the Japanese) have to assume it’s some form of witchcraft and therefore refuse to trust anyone who dabbles in it.

9. DON’T ‘Check In’

Treadstone, the whole of the Stasi and Malcolm Wynn-Jones are all out of a job nowadays because of the dabbling yanks and their GPS, Harry Pearce no longer has to task Malcolm and Colin with tracking Mahmood al Mahmood through some impossibly complex toe recognition software, when he can simply send him a Friend Request(probably under a pseudonym) and wait for the inevitable “Mahmood al Mahmood is having a skinny wet latte – at Costa Coffee, Kabul, then boom, quick phone call to Hugh Laurie over at 6 and… well… boom. Don’t allow your desire to show off that you’re sophisticated, and have been to a coffee shop, destroy our intelligence services. (…and for the record Tom Quinn is still the best Adam Carter)


10. DON’T ‘Like’ it.

Serial ‘Liker’s’, surely no one (not even Top Gay Nick Males) can be that happy. Even if I wasn’t a grumpy old box I’m fairly sure it would still baffle me.

Bonus: DON’T “Frape”. Full stop.

The ‘like’ button should be reserved for people to ‘like’ the frape they executed, purely so that everyone else can read what a socially retarded waste of genetics they actually are.

“Timmy Blanchard loves c**k”
– Stevie Lfc Scousington Likes this”

Ironically it’s never that clear whether it’s his brilliantly executed and intellectually challenging “frape” or love lengths which little Stevie enjoys so much, but I generally assume the inspiration comes from a freedom to say what the frapist (a truly horrible word which I’m only leaving in to prove what a mentalist activity it is) has always wanted to admit, but sadly never had the self confidence or forum to do so.

There are of course many more… (Don’t bottle it and delete comments, Don’t be “Married” to your BFF, Don’t give your ‘Friends’ the opportunity to mock your boredom threshold by posting Farmville scores, Don’t give yourself an amusing middle name… etc etc) but, I would hope that the “slightly older, but still down with the homies” users will work this out as they go along.

…. Anyway, sorry to go on but as I was saying, I’m MB and I’m a Faceboholic. It’s been 23 minutes since I last refreshed my newsfeed.

Facebook - Just Say No.


* “Pauline, 18 from Bradford” is in fact “Dave, an 18 stone Games Workshop employee” (possibly from Bradford), who still lives with his despairing mother despite being in his late 30’s and has an avatar called “gothelvenslayer76”. It’s probably worth remembering that the next time your eye is drawn to (you’re only kidding yourself if you deny it) the singles ad thing scrolling down the right of your screen. Alternatively allow your imagination to run wild, but don’t forget to make room in your daydreaming for “gothelvenslayer76”, complete with Rustlers stained vest, lank greasy hair and gaming chair.

Disclaimer: The Box is guilty of breaking all of these taboos (apart from the frape one, due to not being socially bewildered), but as The Box is an inanimate object it probably doesn’t count.

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