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August 22, 2013

Do you like this?

If you have been online anytime in the past few years, you've probably visted Facebook at last a couple zillion times. Or at least it sometimes feels that way, and with about one sixth of the world's population signed in, you are far from being alone.

And as you've surfed through the ever-changing landscape that is Facebook—and they probably changed the layout of your wall or the news feed while you were reading this, just because they can—one thing stands out even if you didn't consciously notice it: In spite of the sheer number of people who are on Facebook, most of them can be broken down into about a dozen or so types.

The most common type is probably the group you are in: The Normal. The Normal has about 150 friends, of which they personally know about a third of them (the rest being distant cousins, former schoolmates, and that odd celebrity who accepted your hopeful friend request). The Normal posts a few times a day, shares mostly innocuous updates on what they are doing, maybe a funny photo or video, and that’s about it.

But as common as The Normal is, it has a lot of un-normal company that should be immediately recognizable to everyone else on Facebook. I’m sure you've run into each one of these at least a few times...and might even have a bit in common with some of them yourself.

The first one is The Rooster. That’s the person who feels it necessary to start each and every day with a “Good morning!” post, regardless of whether or not it actually is a good morning. The Rooster will turn on the news, see that Armageddon is underway, and immediately run to Facebook to get one last good morning wish in to all their friends before the end of the world.

A close cousin to The Rooster is The Anti-Rooster. This is the person who has to wish everyone a good night each and every evening. The only difference is that they likely won’t get a chance to wish everyone a good night when the Great Asteroid Apocalypse destroys the world because that calamity will likely fall on a Friday and they’ll probably be at some lame End Of The World-themed party when the Earth disappears into the celestial abyss.

Which bring us to a serious question: What’s the point of being in a social network if you aren't social? The Lurker never actually responds to a single thing that is posted on Facebook, nor do they ever share anything of their own. Their wall is as empty of life as the far side of the moon, without even the benefit of a cool prog-rock soundtrack. Yet they read every single thing you post, as you are sure to learn when you run into them in person and they mention something you wrote. Three months ago. While drunk. And then they correct your spelling.

Almost a reverse of The Lurker is The Hyena. The Hyena is the laugh track of Facebook. They don’t actually read or post anything of their own, as far as anyone can tell, other than commenting with a “LOL” or “LMAO” to everything even remotely funny you say. They also have a weird habit of liking everything you post, no matter the context. Your cat died? Liked. You lost your job? Liked. You lost your job because your cat died? Liked and LOL’d.

Which is not to be confused with The Liker. This is the person who likes every single band, movie, television show, public event, sports team, cause, celebrity, what have you. I have no idea how they find the time to enjoy everything they like, unless they have access to a time machine or a cloning device. 

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August 22, 2013

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