Saturday, October 3, 2015

7 Ways to Sabotage Your Social Life with Facebook

A common misconception about social networks like Facebook is that they can only facilitate your social life. They certainly have the potential to facilitate your social life. In fact, I have many friends whose romantic relationships bloomed or even started because of a social network. Unfortunately, if you’re not careful, Facebook can do the exact opposite. There are seven personas you might assume on Facebook that could ultimately damage your social life. Be careful – if you fit any of these profiles, you might be sending negative messages that will sabotage your social life.

1. “The Pusher.” More than once, I have “de-friended” a person because he or she would not stop sending me invitations to events or encouraging me to use applications. If you are “pushing” events (“No, for the last time, I do not want to attend the weekly group meetings at your out-of-town college!”) or apps (“No, for the last time, I will not water your crops on Farmville!”), you might be sabotaging your social life. This Facebook persona leads people to believe you are persistent to the point of annoyance.

2. “The Autobiographer.” Some people make such frequent Facebook status updates, they leave nothing up to the imagination. The occasional witty or informative status update makes you seem intriguing and interesting. On the other hand, repeated overly descriptive and/or insignificant Facebook status updates could sabotage your social life. This Facebook persona leads people to believe you are somewhat desperate for people to share your daily life with.

3. “The TMI Revealer.” Along the same lines as “The Autobiographer,” some people use Facebook status updates as their personal diaries. Their status updates might bring you into the middle of a conflict, medical condition, or personal situation that frankly should not be discussed outside of a confidential conversation with a close, personal friend. Revealing too much personal information could sabotage your social life. This Facebook persona leads people to believe you have no personal boundaries or sense of propriety.

4. “The Duckface.” Even if you are not familiar with the technical term (as discovered at, you have certainly come across the phenomenon on Facebook. At some point, people began taking close-up self-portraits while wearing a distinct lip-protruding facial expression and leaving tit-for-tat comments on their friends’ “duckface” pictures. If your Facebook photo pages are filled with “duckface” pictures, you might be sabotaging your social life. This Facebook persona leads people to believe you are self-absorbed and/or so insecure that you rely on positive photo comments to feel validated.

5. “The Critic.” As cynical as the world may generally be, nobody enjoys a naysayer. If your friends are nervous about posting any good news because you will immediately swoop in with the negatives, if they fear your inevitable fact- or grammar-correction, or if they expect your usual sarcastic remark, you might be sabotaging your social life by becoming “The Critic.”  This Facebook persona leads people to believe that you only see downsides and can be counted on to rain on any parade. If you can’t resist the urge to make the occasional correction or “reality check,” make sure to balance it with frequent congratulations and compliments.

6. “The Stalker.” There are two ways “The Stalker” can manifest itself. If you keep such close tabs on your Facebook news feed that you notice the moment someone posts something new and consistently post some immediate feedback (a “like” or a comment), your Facebook friends might assume you have no life outside Facebook or that you have some sort of fixation on them. If, on the other hand, you absorb all your knowledge about real-life friends via Facebook without having any one-on-one communication with them, and it comes out later (“Oh, I was sorry to hear about your grandma’s passing three months ago via your Facebook wall”), that paints the picture that despite the time you obviously spend on Facebook, you may be too lazy or disinterested to have a real relationship with them.

7. “The Gag-Reflex Inducer.” If kissing pictures, mushy status updates, romantic quiz results, and posts from your significant other dominate your Facebook wall, you might be sabotaging your social life. “The Gag-Reflex Inducer” seems to have a mind for no one else but his or her significant other, and most people – especially those who are single and looking – will not take kindly to the constant reminder that others are blissfully in love. Yes, true friends should be happy because you are happy, but out of respect for others, you might want to dial down the mushiness on Facebook.

You might be surprised to what extent your Facebook interactions can influence the perception others have of you. If you are hoping to maintain a healthy social life, be sure to avoid these seven Facebook personas. If you are generally complimentary, limit self-centered behaviors, and put yourself in your Facebook friends’ shoes, you should have no problem broadcasting a positive Facebook image into your social network.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there!

    My name is Jess and I’m a journalist and podcast producer at BreakThru Radio, a multi-media platform covering independent news. One of the podcasts I host is called Biology of the Blog and revolves around interviewing one awesome blogger (such as yourself!) every week on the show. I’m wondering if you might be willing to come on air as a guest speaker in the next couple weeks and chat about Love And Weddings?

    The interview is not done live (don’t worry), so I can edit out any verbal pauses. I’ve found the best medium is Skype (mine) to phone (yours), and can give you a call from our studio.

    If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please send me a reply along with some idea of availability over the next week or so and we can figure out more details.

    Thanks so much for your time and consideration!


    Jess Goulart