Have you ever been tempted to use Facebook or Twitter to fulfill some personal vendetta through vaguely hostile and ambiguously-addressed status messages? Here’s some advice for you: Don’t do it. I know, I’m always such a contrarian, right? I’m going to dive right into a case study before I get ahead of myself, in case anybody reading this is too dense to understand what I’m talking about.
So, hypothetically, let’s say that Raquel and Bernard are two mutual acquaintances. Let’s say that Bernard has poor personal hygiene. Let’s also say that Raquel is the sort of twat that, after spending a few hours around Bernard and the horrifying cloud of stench that accompanies him in all of his travels like theme music follows around the lead characters in a Broadway production, decides that it’s cute and/or necessary to post some state-of-the-art malformed piece of “txt spk” bullshit on her Facebook wall, such as, “omg so excited to take a shower after a long day out!!!! lets hope everybody else is cleaning up too ;).”
Yeah, we get it, Bernard should probably try bathing once or twice a month. You’ve mentioned it to everybody except Bernard every day for the past eight months, Raquel. But whatever, you’re a weapons-grade dumbass, so let’s wade through the aftermath and see how this little maneuver pans out:
- Bernard constantly checks your Facebook messages, because you’re just so goddamned interesting. He doesn’t realize that he has poor hygiene, because nobody’s ever said it to his face. He won’t realize your message was directed at him, and life will continue — he’ll still smell, and you’ll still be a bitch.
- Bernard doesn’t check your Facebook messages, because frankly, I was lying about you being even slightly interesting. The only people that will read this are the awful harpies you call friends, and the lot of you will share a brief chuckle about your quick wit the next time you meet up in person, before moving on to whatever useless gossip the rest of the vapid twats in the world are talking about at that particular moment. Life will continue — Bernard will still smell, and you’ll still be a bitch.
- Bernard notices your message, understands it’s directed at him, and falls into a deep depression when he realizes that somebody he thought was his friend was actually a heinous bitch all along. He doesn’t bother taking a bath, because honestly, what’s the point? Life will continue, etc., at least until Bernard kills himself some time in his early twenties.
Wait, that’s it? There’s no option where you launch a career as a world-famous comedienne and Bernard simultaneously realizes the error of his ways and becomes one of the clean? Sorry, Raquel — those are the only three options. All of them involve nothing changing, and you being a colossal bitch. Maybe next time you could try something productive, like simply telling him, “Bernard, you smell sort of bad and it’s making people, including me, feel awkward around you. You should try bathing more regularly.”
This hypothetical has dragged on now to the point of tedium, so I’ll end it there. I won’t bother getting into alternate contexts, because this sort of passive-aggressive bullshit really isn’t any more acceptable when directed at an ex, or at the jackass who cut me off in traffic yesterday morning. Just stop. Back when I was new to the Internet and thought adding people on Facebook was a good idea, I saw this shit all the time (never directed at me, of course, because I’m fucking perfect). You know what I did? I set the author of every single dumb-ass passive-aggressive note to Ignore. They don’t show up in my feeds any more.* They haven’t for years now. They might have died without me noticing, and guess what? I don’t give a shit. I didn’t give a shit about whatever idiotic squabble they were having with their roommate at the time, and I haven’t given a shit about anything else they’ve had to say since then.
I guess there’s not really a point to this piece. I just wanted to write something, and thought to myself, “You know what I haven’t seen in a long fucking time?” It’s entirely possible that in my lengthy sabbatical from the shit-stain on the Internet that is Facebook, things have changed, and nothing I’ve written here is even relevant any more, but who am I kidding? Humanity’s not getting any smarter.
Keep on keeping on, chumps.
* I also set everybody else to Ignore, but that’s a story not worth telling.