Advice For People Who Annoy Everyone (Yes, EVERYONE) With Facebook Vaguebooking

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Self

Vaguebooking never solved anything.

My ultimate social media pet peeve is when someone on Facebook checks into an emergency room or an urgent care with zero explanation. There’s no “Darn, I just cut my hand trying to open an avocado,” and no “I’m pretty sure that tempeh I ate last night was spoiled.” I’d settle for a quick “just here to get this weird rash looked at,” but nope. Nothing.

I wonder, are they okay? Do they need anything? Is it their baby, spouse, someone else? What the heck happened? Of course, everyone asks in the comments, but it usually takes hours to get the answer.

This is next-level vaguebooking. Don’t know what “vaguebooking” is? Even if you’ve never heard the term, you’re definitely familiar with the concept.

You’re probably even guilty of committing this status sin at least once. We’ve pretty much all done it. But what is it, why do people do it, and what can we do to stop it? Because if you are doing it, you really need to quit this bad habit immediately.

Vaguebooking is when someone posts a status update that is intentionally free of pertinent details. Vaguebook statuses are open-ended and unclear. Without the major details, one is left with a sense that something serious is happening, that there is a situation going down, most likely with major drama involved, but what could it possibly be?

Often, these kinds of statuses appear directed at a certain unnamed person or group of people. It’s like one big inside joke that isn’t remotely funny, and vaguebooking is the Internet age’s version of telling someone that you have a secret or a really great story, but sorry, you can’t let us in on it.

When we vaguebook, we’re trying to kill several dysfunctional birds with one stone. How else can someone vent frustration, publicly shame someone, passive-aggressively send a message without having to deal with face to face confrontation, AND get sympathy and attention from a couple hundred people all at the exact same time? That’s why vaguebooking is so irresistible. People who do it think they are getting back at someone or telling them off without actual consequences, but that’s not true.

Sounding off in hazy status updates accomplishes nothing. It makes problems worse. Sure, it feels empowering in the moment, but actual power is resolving a dispute in real life or calmly, kindly asserting yourself and enforcing personal boundaries.

Here are 10 things you can do instead of vaguebooking:

1. Give details.

Let’s just get this out of the way right now. New rule: If you want to check into a medical facility in order to get sympathy, fine, but never do so without giving the reason for being there. Here’s how this looks:

WRONG: Sorry guys, can’t answer calls or texts. Just got admitted to the hospital.

RIGHT: Same exact thing except add in “Just got admitted to the hospital for some tests because it looks like I may have an ovarian cyst.” Too embarrassed to share medical info? Then don’t check in to the hospital on social media.

2. Mad at someone? Step away from all screens immediately.

Put the phone down. Give it an hour to cool down. Never air dirty laundry, no matter how vague, in a public forum. Classy people with healthy interactions don’t behave this way. Revel in your own grace.

3. Instead of lashing out on Facebook, be brave and confront the person privately.

Be genuine and kind. Explain to them that your feelings are hurt and try to come up with a way to resolve the issue. Take the high road, even if they don’t.

4. If the person or people cannot be reached, let it go.

Leave it alone. Accept whatever happened, learn from it, and move on.

5. Realize that public shaming someone, even if you don’t mention them by name, has never and will never work to make them change their ways.

It will only create resentment and defensiveness and make the situation worse.

6. Realize that needing to vent is fine.

Needing to vent to 657 followers is not. Call an impartial friend in order to avoid looking like a public train wreck.

7. Post party pictures.

Or pictures of you on vacation, or doing something fun and amazing and adventurous. Go be fabulous because success is always the best revenge.

8. Wait to share good news.

Sometimes we vaguebook about good news because we’re so excited that we want to share something prematurely. Take a deep breath. If it’s too early to share the good news, for whatever reason, don’t mention it until you can tell the whole world. Every emotion and change of mood do not need to be instantly recorded for perpetuity on the Internet.

9. If it seems like the need to vaguebook is overwhelming, consider that this may be an underlying symptom of something else, like loneliness or anxiety.

Dig deeper and figure out what’s missing and how to heal that wound. Professional help might be in order.

10. Refrain from sharing relationship details.

Vaguebooking may be a big red flag that a relationship is in big trouble. It signals a communication problem for sure, so examine the situation. It could signal that counseling is needed, or it might mean that it’s time to permanently end the relationship so you can move on to something healthier.

 

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