The seven people you meet on Facebook (and wish you didn't)

Carl Zetie
C. Zetie|01.03.16

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Carl Zetie
January 3rd, 2016
The seven people you meet on Facebook (and wish you didn't)
At the beginning of December, I quit Facebook cold-turkey. There was no single big, dramatic, catalyst; just the growing realization that I had little I wanted to share anymore. And then finally one morning I realized that the only reason I was still checking in was to see how many Likes my posts and comments had garnered. It had become purely an exercise in intellectual vanity. So I stopped.

Facebook Like thumbs-up
A month later there are times I still occasionally miss Facebook, but I definitely don't miss these people: the seven people who suck the fun out of any post or comment thread.

1.The political inactivist. Their contribution to public policy is to re-post smug slogans from a variety of partisan political sites -- most of which boil down to "our side good, their side bad" -- while adding no insight or nuance of their own, then acting like they've made a real contribution to the public debate or the success of a campaign. Even when you agree with their politics, you find yourself slightly ashamed of the company you're keeping.

2. The one-trick pony. No matter the thread, they'll find a way to bring it back to their own unique area of expertise: "Taylor Swift's new single? That reminds me of the time I was leading the penguin census in Patagonia...".

3. The Wikipedophile. The one-trick pony's mirror image, there is no topic on which they don't have a contribution to make and an opinion to share. Unfortunately, their knowledge of the subject was gathered entirely in the last fifteen minutes with a Google search and reading the top three hits, one of which is the same Wikipedia article you just read for yourself.

4.The factually-challenged. OK, they admit that maybe the Hollywood star didn't say that after all, but it's the kind of thing he would have said, so it still counts, right? And yes, alright, that thing about Congressional pensions was materially incorrect in every important way, but can't we still all agree to be as outraged as if it were? No. Let's limit our anger to things that are actually true, shall we?

5. The grammar pedant. Even as you read this, somebody else already broke off to write an angry comment about the hyphen in "factually-challenged" above. Sure, we can all get irritated by people who confuse "their" and "there", but honestly, when somebody complains that a sentence used "insure" when "ensure" was intended, all they are really doing is bragging about their own knowledge, not improving anybody else's understanding. The pedant insists that although English is a living language, the only place and time it was ever really written properly was in their English Composition class in high school (however long ago that was).

6. The angry atheist. Not satisfied with their own choice to not believe in God, they won't be happy until everybody else rejects religion too -- the root of all evil, in their minds. These people are the reason I became an apatheist: I really don't care whether or not there's a God (or gods), or whether anybody else believes in Him, Her, It, or Them, as the case may be. The best part about being an apatheist is that it annoys militant atheists and religious fundamentalists in equal measure.

7. Me. Yes, I've done all of the above myself, and probably worse too. The more I looked back over my posts and comments, not to mention the ones I had the rare good sense to discard before posting, the less I liked Facebook Me. Frankly, if I met Facebook Me online I'd un-friend him. So I did.
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