Campus & Beyond Editor
As many of us learn social norms and etiquette growing up, we learn what acceptable conversation topics are for different settings. For example, we typically don’t talk about our one-night stands with grandma, and we don’t admit to watching “Jersey Shore” during a job interview. There is a time and a place for certain topics, or at least there was. Check that Facebook news feed and any of those tips from mama hen seem to have flown the coup. We now connect to hundreds of people semi-publicly, and no topic seems unposted.
I didn’t fly in to talk about drunken photos or Foursquare check-ins every 10 minutes. Those speak for themselves, especially when there’s a mobile upload of Sassy Sandy double-fisting at the Ale House at 8:42 p.m.
Facebook never got the memo that religion and politics aren’t always the best topics of conversation among friends. Now that Facebook is involved, this also means they are not the best topics of conversation for acquaintances or even people we don’t like. But many people don’t think of that as they throw caution to the wind and punch that “share” button.
Social media is perfect. Lucy Liberal can now stew all day about how she’ll respond to Connie Conservative’s pro-Sarah Palin post. Conservative can then spend an hour responding. Then Liberal and Conservative rally their friends to chime in their two cents. Within hours, feathers are ruffled after 79 comments and Conservative deletes the post. Liberal defriends Conservative. Conservative’s friends defriend Liberal, unless Liberal had already beat them to it.
I know it’s a different means of communication, but I wonder if Connie Conservative would personally share her stance on abortion with her third cousin twice removed.
Seeing these political debates via comment posts makes me long for the retro status updates, like “Connie Conservative is doing homework.” At the time, it was kind of cool to know what Conservative was doing across the country. But if she posted that now, many of us would tell her she’s so 2000 and late.
Some kids learn in school that sharing is caring. But with so much sharing every second on Facebook, at what point do I not care anymore? Before Facebook, I would have never known that the guy who sat behind me in chemistry hates President Obama, watches “Teen Mom 2,” and “checks in” at the 7-Eleven. I wish I didn’t know any of it, since I didn’t even know his name when we had class together.
Sure, we have the option to defriend these characters who share too much, or even hide them from our news feed. But scoffing at people’s Facebook profiles has become as American as apple pie, and I can feel far superior knowing that I moderately like Obama, I watch “Jersey Shore,” and I go to 7-Eleven unannounced.