Drunk on truth to stupid baby power.

Unfollowed: Your Guide to Crappy Advice on Facebook

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by Myke Johns

You’re scrolling through your timeline, ignoring event invitations and Liking cute animal pics when you come upon that common beast of the social media biome, The Friend Going Through Some Shit. Maybe their house was broken into or they just had to break up with their roommate’s boyfriend’s terrier, but whatever it is, there is Shit, they are Going Through It, and their post is fast accruing some of the worst advice one can imagine. These generally fall into six categories.

  1. The Fake-Ass Zen Master: As soon as someone on Facebook dot com expresses anger or exasperation, these beard farmers show up with a healthy dose of “Hey, you shouldn’t let other people upset you like that, just shake it off man, bless their heart.” This is, of course, the opposite of helping. What they’re actually saying is “Hey, your concerns are trivial and other people don’t need to be held accountable for their shit behavior. Namaste!” The Fake-Ass Zen Master is generally the most loathed person at their yoga studio.
  2. The Misanthrope: Misery loves company until this miserable bastard hits their keyboard, generally with some variation on “I’m sorry people suck,” “People are terrible,” or “Humanity is disease incarnate.” While all those things may be true, this poster rarely digs much deeper than affirming our most pessimistic responses to hardship. After your iPad’s been stolen during that monthly poetry workshop you’re still attending despite having no desire to accept criticism, sure, you want someone to commiserate with, but these miniature Werner Herzogs will drape their arm around your shoulder and tell you the world is garbage, but are nowhere when it comes to self-reflection: “But does that make me garbage?” Unluckily, here to pick up the slack…
  3. The Fan Club: They love you so much! They want to hug your to their breast and make the bad thing go away!! Why would anyone do such a thing to such an amazing beam of pure sunshine such as yourself!?! This is why you need to move to the far-flung province where they happen to live so that stuff like this never happens and you two can hang out all the time!!! Let them know next time you’re in town!!!!! Ugh.
  4. Your Mom: Actually your mom is pretty nice and it’s good to feel support from your parents in times of hardship, I’m not sure why she’s on this list. MOVING ON.
  5. The Comedian: Ain’t no dead relative or identity thievery bad enough that The Comedian can’t come up with some snappy one-liner for! Just the thing to help you along with your misfortunes! Jokes! On the off-chance someone (probably The Misanthrope) calls The Comedian on his shit, he absolutely will start a page-long argument about how he’s just trying to bring levity to a bad situation before launching into a rant about people nowadays being too sensitive. Nothing helps a crappy predicament like memes!
  6. The Pragmatist: This fuckin’ guy. She’s gonna swoop in on your pitiful post with all sorts of answers… Have you filed a police report? Amazon should have a record of your purchase, just call them and iron it out. Retrace your steps. Talk to HR. And through it all, they’ll be levelheaded and supportive, reassuring you that you’re not the first person to go through bad times and that she’s got your back and you’re gonna be okay. CHRIST. As if you took your problems to Facebook to get anything other than validation for your self-loathing and an excuse to drink a bottle of wine alone in your apartment! Take a hike, Boy Scout!
Myke Johns is a public radio producer in Atlanta, where he co-anchors WRITE CLUB, a live lit series which kicks the ass of most any poetry reading you care to name. His work has appeared in The Bitter Southerner, Creative Loafing Atlanta, Scene Missing Magazine, Used Gravitrons, and the anthology Bare-Knuckled Lit.

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