“Obvious Advice is the Worst Thing About Facebook”

This morning my sister posted this status on facebook: “i’m past the point of yelling….i’ve entered the defeated stage.” I responded with something (two things actually) about how I was right there with her but this other woman, someone who I’m sure is a completely lovely person, responded with “It gets better, I promise!”

Really? Really? Was this response necessary? Of course it gets better, the fact that there are still humans on the planet proves that it gets better. If it didn’t get better then our parents would have killed us all when we were kids and driving them crazy and we wouldn’t be here to have kids of our own to drive us crazy (in what some like to call the great circle of life).

Why do people feel the need to post, or even say, things like that?

When I complain (which I do with some regularity) I don’t want reassurance, I know that “this too shall pass”, and that “that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” (or permanently debilitated), and I know that “it gets better”. I don’t need you to tell me. I don’t want you to tell me.

If that’s all you have to say then I want you to leave me alone.

However, because I am nothing if not helpful and accommodating, here is a list of the kinds responses that I will accept.

1. Snark right back. I comment that I hate the weather go ahead and tell me that the weather hates me too.
2. Tell me to get over myself. This is best done with overblown and somewhat amorphous problems used in comparison (“really, your kids are crying? Well there are kids in Libya who can’t cry because their despot governmental leader will kill them if they do”) as compared to something more tangible (“Your husband worked all day? Well my sister’s husband just bankrupted the family and then took off leaving her alone with 4 kids under 5”) but really the point is the same either way, in the grand scheme of things I don’t have it so bad.
3. Give me your comparable story. This is not done in the spirit of one-upmanship, I don’t want to hear about how your day was so much worse because… just tell me about how yours was bad too, misery loves company after all. (Unless your day really was that much worse, if I’m complaining that I stubbed my toe and you broke your femur you can go ahead and tell me to “get over it you whiny little baby.”)
4. Blow it out of proportion. I tell you that I messed up dinner, tell me that you’re so sorry for my loss (of dinner) and you hope that with some time to mourn and some therapy I can move on and still make something of my life. There’s nothing like blowing something even farther out of proportion to give a little perspective.
5. Make me laugh. Seriously, something, anything. In context or out, if you can make me laugh you’re golden.
6. Give me an “amen.” If you agree with me, you know what I’m saying and you agree with me and have felt or are feeling the same way toss me a “sing it sister” and be done with it.
7. Just stay silent. Often when I’m complaining I just want to get it out. I don’t need your support, I’m not looking for your sympathy, I just want to get it out there. If I’ve done that then my job is done. You read it and if you have nothing to add then your job is done. Wasn’t that easy?

I have one more thing to say because as obnoxious as the pointless platitudes are there is one thing that makes me want to stab myself (and the commenter) in the eye it’s the (((hugs))). Seriously people.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan M
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 14:56:14

    It gets better. I promise! (((hugs)))

  2. diana banana
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 15:03:51

    ok, i had to type this. a friend recently had a status (in reference to going on a trip) of “i just realized that with myself and two kids to pack, that’s a lot of crap….when am i going to be able to get it done” and some kind (idiotic) soul commented with “i always found that when Austin napped was a great time to get to do it”.
    SERIOUSLY! I’m sure my friend with two kids is too retarded to figure out that an optimal packing time might be while her children napped. wow.

  3. Jami
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 15:17:49

    Aw. Susan got there first. Dang it.

    One of my best friends and I have a slew of messages back and forth about how one of our acquaintances is going to be murdered and we will be prime suspects simply because she just keeps posting things like “they just grow up so fast–enjoy it while you can” on our angsty posts.

  4. madhousewife
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 20:00:15

    Sing it, sister!


    >>>eye stab<<<

    I just made that up.

  5. Flip flop mama
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 20:52:31

    True dat.

  6. Cheryl
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 22:52:01

    I will steal mad’s eye stab in the future and come back here to make sure I post it correctly.

    I have felt this way for decades. Well, years. At least, months. I hate it (“it” being all of that stuff you wrote), too.

    And you know, there are people without FB who have to crawl to work where they are taught how to eat with their feet because their hands fell off during the nuclear war. So, there!

  7. LisAway
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 22:55:55

    I find that when people leave obnoxious, I mean obvious advice it is best to just ignore it. That way you don’t let it get to you and you come out a better person.

    Just my two cents. Hope it was helpful!

  8. Jillybean
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 23:22:46

    Will you friend me on Facebook?

    You want to know what drives me crazy?

    Exceedingly happy people who write every facebook status IN ALL CAPS WITH A BAZILLION EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Cynedra
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 07:36:53


  10. Mother of the Wild Boys
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 12:11:01

    What is this Facebook to which you refer?

  11. bythelbs
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 17:30:51

    I only want people to amuse me. If you don’t amuse me, I have absolutely no use for you.

  12. Chris Jones
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 10:47:43

    Your life is so pathetic that reading about it produces continent-wide suicide binges. I therefore urge you to post to Facebook only puppies and butterflies, okay?


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