Ten friends we all have on Facebook

By Steffi Porter

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Most people can identify these ten people in their Facebook friends list: ten living social networking clichés who annoy, entertain and at times confuse us as we scroll through our newsfeeds. But be careful. If you cannot identify one of the ten on this list, it might be you.

Elvert Barnes/Flickr

1. The person who thinks Facebook is Twitter

Guess what? This person went grocery shopping today, purchasing eggs, milk and cheese, and felt that the entire Facebook community needed to know. #BusyMonday.

This person posts frequent, mind-numbingly uninteresting statuses every day about what they’re doing, who they’re seeing, where they’re going and what they’re feeling, even though their posts are rarely commented on. Sometimes they link their Twitter or Instagram accounts to their Facebook page so we can be bombarded further with filtered pictures of their breakfast or their dog asleep on the foot of the bed, or maybe a selfie taken while walking to class in cold weather with a caption like, “It’s definitely winter. Brrr…”

Here is the typical day in the life of someone who thinks that Facebook is Twitter.

9 a.m.: Starbucks Coffee. #WakeUpTime

10:15 a.m.: Three classes and an exam #Stressed

12 p.m.: So hungry. #NeedFood

2 p.m.: I hate rude people! Ugh!!!  #Annoyed

3:45 p.m.: So tired. So busy. #LifeIsHard

5 p.m.: It’s snowing! #WinterIsHere

7:30 p.m.: Finally home. #Exhausted

10:30 p.m.: Nothing better than curling up in bed with a good book and my puppy asleep on my feet #heaven

2. The Inspiration Junkie

This Facebook fixture can be identified by one unique activity: making frequent, daily, sometimes even hourly posts in the form of inspirational quotes or pictures. If your newsfeed is overflowing with pictures of beautiful scenery and vague, grammatically incorrect quotes, your inspiration junkie is likely responsible. Some I’ve happened upon recently include: “The eyes are put in front because it is more important to look forward than back,” “I may forget what you said but I’ll never forget how you made me feel” and “Everyone wants happiness, no one wants pain. But you can’t make a rainbow without a little rain.” #FeelingInspired.

3.  The friend who is a little too into pop culture.

Everyone listens to music and most people watch TV and movies. What sets this person apart from your average fan is that they cannot have a thought about a movie, television show or pop star without making a status about it, potentially changing their profile picture to an image of said pop star with the caption “my look-alike” and talking about this person as if they are best friends. They’re likely to post statuses defending Miley Cyrus or talking about how much they enjoy Lady Gaga’s new album – as if they are the only person in the world who has ever listened to it.

4. The Overly Personal Person

This user can take on a lot of forms. Maybe it’s someone in a happy relationship, constant posting lovey statuses about how much they care for their significant other. Maybe they’ve just gone through a breakup and post teen-angst song lyrics daily … even though they’re 25. Or maybe they just get into very detailed, very angry and very private conversations on their own or another person’s Facebook wall. This person has but one lesson to learn: Facebook is public.

5. The Politically Over-Opinionated

This person can be on any end of the political spectrum, from ultra-conservative Tea Party member to liberal vegan musician and anyone who falls between the two. This user either has no one to discuss personal views with on a regular basis and takes to Facebook as a place to vent, or simply cannot get enough of bombarding people with their often extreme views.

This is not to say that posting an occasional political opinion on Facebook is a bad thing, but there is a difference between posting the occasional status to drive home a point versus posting several repetitive, loud statuses daily. Bonus points if they tell people how wrong they are if they don’t agree, or even encourage such naysayers to “unfriend” them.

A good rule of thumb: Whatever guidelines you follow discussing your political opinions in person with actual people, follow them when posting on Facebook.

6. The Stranger

You have either never met this person, met them once but don’t remember when or talked to them once at freshman orientation and then never spoke to them again. In any case, you know all about their life from Facebook but never actually interact with them. Although you have a number of mutual friends, if you see this “friend” somewhere, both of you awkwardly nod, give a stiff wave, then keep walking without a word. This person belongs in your news feed, not your real life.

7. The Ranter

Have you ever logged onto Facebook and seen a post so long you had to click “read more” to see what your friend has to say? Okay, I can excuse it once or twice – if they are saying something really interesting. But I have one friend who posts long-winded rants multiple times a week, and most of them are so poorly structured that I have to read them at least four times to understand what is being said. This person needs to learn to be more concise and understand that the average Facebook reader is not going to sit through a full page of text to hear what they have to say.

8. The bragger

No matter what this person is up to, they are doing it better than you and making it look effortless. And you hate this person for it. Endless glamorous selfies with captions like “I look like crap today,” “No makeup” or “No filter” really need to be put to rest. Everyone knows this user secretly took twenty pictures before getting one that looked perfect.

This person can also take on another form: the artistic bragger. They post frequent statuses about their accomplishments, pictures of their original artwork, notes with their original poetry and maybe even videos of them performing and playing music. They’re making all us normal Facebook users look bad.

9. The gamer

It started back in the days of FarmVille, but unfortunately didn’t end there. This person is always playing their accomplishments in Sorority Life or Candy Crush Saga. You log on, see a notification and get excited – only to find out that it’s just an invite from your gamer friend. Let the disappointment ensue. When will they learn that you’re never going to play?

10. The mystery

Every Facebook friend list has at least one person who is a complete mystery – and not because you don’t know who they are. You know exactly who this person is in real life, but sometimes you wonder why they even bother having a Facebook. Their profile picture is a cartoon character and hasn’t changed in five years. When they do post a status, it’s very short and usually vague – “today was okay” or “so bored,” for example. Occasionally someone posts on this person’s wall asking how they’ve been, and they go on to have a brief conversation over the comments thread. But usually, this person goes months without a single interaction, has less than 100 friends and few, if any, photos.

Steffi Porter can be reached at [email protected]