The Perfect Status

When I see people I haven’t seen in awhile, one of the first things they say is, “I really like your Facebook statuses.” I’m serious. This happens on a consistent enough basis to warrant me writing a blog post about it. Did that sound braggy? Probably. But I said it anyway. When people would tell me this, I used to feel like a giant internet nerd who wastes all of her time on the internet (which is entirely true), and I considered quitting internet statuses to appear like I had an actual life apart from the internet (I don’t). I realized something though: what I do online is good. It’s simple to do, and people like it. It takes me 15 seconds to make a bunch of people smile. I’d say that’s pretty awesome.

Now in an attempt to not seem like a comedy snob who has the perfect Facebook status figured out, I want to share some tips with you (because some of you really really need them). I want to teach you how to write the Perfect Status, without being a big jerk about it (please note: I’ll probably be a big jerk about it).

Don’t tell me it’s funny. This is easily my biggest status pet peeve. Stop telling me when something funny happens. Just write it down, hit post and let it all hang out there. People can decide for themselves if it’s funny or not. Most of us are capable of distinguishing between seriousness and hilarity. Your “LOL” thrown on the end doesn’t have more of an impact. As soon as I read “the FUNNIEST THING happened”, I immediately stop reading your status update. You undermined your audience. You didn’t trust them enough. The best comedy, the most genuine, is the kind that doesn’t have to be explained. As soon as you explain a joke, it loses its impact (unless of course your joke is to completely explain a joke and make it so unbelievably unfunny, that it’s funny again. But that’s sophisticated comedy that breaks rules. Before you break rules, you have to know how to follow them.) My best advice: put it out there and don’t worry if people don’t understand that it’s supposed to be funny. The people who do get it without you having to explain it are the ones you want to laugh with anyway.

Easy on the punctuation. Using sixteen exclamation marks makes you sound like a squirrel who just won the squirrel lottery (NUTS!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHA OH MY GOODNESS THAT IS SO FUNNY LOL). There probably isn’t a whole lot going on in your life that warrants that much enthusiasm. Tone it down. We get that you’re excited when you only use one exclamation mark. Same thing goes…with ellipses…please…pretty please…just end your sentence…already………..

Spell check is a must. Well, duh.

Make me care. Whether we’re best friends or merely internet acquaintances, a well-crafted Facebook status can make me care about you and your life. A poorly crafted status on the other hand, can make me completely indifferent to you and your life. Things people don’t care about: afterbirth (seriously), stretch marks, vomit (unless you throw up on someone, then I care), potty training (unless someone pees on someone, then I care), you having a generically great weekend with good friends, how much sleep you got last night, anything followed by a tiny heart <3, the Leafs.

If it’s well written, I’m invested as soon as I click that like button. I may not know you or your cat, but if it does something hilarious and you write about it? I care. I might not know your kid, but if he makes a joke about farts and you unashamedly post about it? I care. If you are an adorable couple who just got pregnant? I care. If you finally made it into your dream program at a school of your choice? I care. If your dog ate something really gross? I care. I can care about a lot of important things, but also a lot of ridiculous things (but only if you write it properly).

Please, for the love of Facebook, take some of these tips into consideration. Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What’s the worst Facebook status you’ve ever encountered? Do you have pet peeves about statues too, or am I the only one?

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13 thoughts on “The Perfect Status

  1. My boyfriend and I are currently in a year long contest to see who can garner the most “likes” on a single Facebook status/post.

    Internet nerds.

    I also really like your Facebook statuses.

  2. Love it.
    My sister and I have a guy whose statuses we take pictures of and send to each other daily. They are literally just telling the world what he just did- no matter how uninteresting it is.
    For example: “Just stopped at my parents house for meatloaf dinner and now I’m headed to the gym to workout before going home.” <— Verbatim. I'd unfollow him, but these statuses have become so fun to like.

  3. Pingback: Friday Five | Elizabeth Hyndman

  4. I get tired of all the posts that say “like if you’re a _______” be it Christian, nerd, whatever. Also anything that tells me I’m a bad human being if I don’t like and/or share it.

  5. I’ve had a lot of people tell me my status are funny (this is not the same people who tell me I update too frequently but even those people say they enjoy them). I guess I do follow some of these rules. I will have to say: I don’t need to see 500 photos of your wedding, belly, and wedding every week.

  6. Your first bit of advice about “letting it all hang out there” resonates across all genres, comedic or otherwise. It’s the classic “show don’t tell” mantra that seems simple in concept but much harder in execution. But if executed properly…brilliant.

    Love this post, though I take offense at the attack on ellipses. They’re just three innocent little dots minding their own business…

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