Kelly’s Korner: Leaving dirty laundry out to dry on the web
Ever since the Internet came to be, we have been told to not be ignorant of its dangers. While the most familiar warnings are about creepers and pedophiles prowling the Internet, most people are also warned about future employers.
However, I feel like some are ignoring the real horror of the Internet: excessive sharing. The reason for our fear should be that excessive sharing leads to loss of brain cells for the observing public.
Interestingly enough, after years of scrolling through social media, I have found that these inappropriate posts typically fall into five categories.
The Mama Drama: We all have dysfunctional families. To say that a normal family exists would be like saying unicorns are real — however much we would like these things to exist, they don’t. When someone goes online and rants about their mother’s brother’s second cousin twice removed who committed some heinous act to society, the family or The Mama Drama, I want whack them over the head with an etiquette book — and maybe grab a bag of popcorn. Ultimately, these posts are like dirty laundry being left out. Putting one’s dirty laundry online is tacky, and it stinks up the Internet with the smell of mildew and desperation. Put your problems in the dryer like a normal person.
The Disneys: We cannot forget the would-be Disney princes and princesses of social media. These whippersnappers have everything on their side: love, youth and, most importantly, each other. Cue adorable sighs. Now that the fairy tale is gone, the reality sets in. The Disneys will post their tumultuous love online for the world to see, thus taking away the validity of their relationship. Their relationship status will bounce from “Single” to “In a relationship” to “In a relationship, but it’s complicated” to “Married” to “With Child” in the span of a single hour. The Disneys are a culture of teenyboppers who are more indecisive than Texas weather.
The Proud Parent: Shall we begin with people’s incessant need to tell the Web everything about their little bundle of joy? There are several ways in which mothers overly share information about their child. The main way is uploading so many pictures of their child that they could create a stop-motion animation from them. The child isn’t even doing anything interesting in these documented pictures — most of the time the baby is just lying there. There is a very small audience who would pay to see a stop-motion animation of a child. Know the demographic. In addition, I am so happy that you are so happy that your infant went number two, but I could not possibly care any less. If I cared any less, I would be a honey badger. Filter the excessive postings of the child — and I don’t mean filter with Instagram.
The Instigator: The Instigator is the equivalent of fighting with marshmallows for boxing gloves. This person seeks confrontation in the most passive way possible. It begins with a vague — yet obviously intended for one person — post where they address the anger they feel for a particular person. After followers of the Instigator question “what happened” or “who did that,” this person will typically follow up with an excruciatingly long status in which they will explain this particular dramatic situation with extensively tacky detail. This incident usually ends in one of two ways: either the Instigator completes the post by tagging this opponent so that they may see, or the unseen opponent emerges from the sidelines to defend himself or herself, aiding in making the situation even tackier.
The Spiritual One: So before everyone begins grabbing their pitchforks and religious reference books of choice to hurl at my face — hear me out. I have absolutely no problem when someone expresses their religious beliefs. However, I do have an issue with individuals making a wishlist online and ending it with “amen.” The main reason I have a problem with this act is that the Spiritual One treats the blank submission box as a chocolate-smeared, wide-ruled paper on which they are constructing their annual Christmas list.
“Dear God, this month has been really difficult for me. (Insert extended list of problems.) I would really love it if you would grace me with your love … and $500 — I really need to make rent this month. Also, if you could send me a man to snuggle and play with, that would be great.”
Religious entities are not Santa Claus. This person is not praying to God, they are searching for attention and for someone to comment and say, “I’m keeping you in my prayers.” The crazy thing is that the Spiritual One’s followers eat this up more quickly than festive cookies. God is not more susceptible to answer your prayers if you include an emoticon with two hands clasped together in a prayer following the post. Please don’t throw holy water on me.
So the next time that you are thinking about posting a tweet, Facebook status or Instagram photo, think of the people who have to see what you post. Have mercy on them.
Senior staff columnist Kelly Schafler is a print journalism junior and may be reached at [email protected]