Like many people, I've been irritated by the status updates of my Facebook friends. What a freaking idiot, I've sighed inwardly when I saw someone's sandwich update.
Man, I've thought after seeing a slide show about someone's family vacation in Cleveland, I wish I could get those 40 seconds back.
But I sit before my computer today a reformed woman. I don't know what exactly made the change happen. Perhaps it was one too many rants over cocktails about the misuse of social media, some lanky man who waved his beer around and said, 'I don't give a shit about their honeymoon," or all of the women telling me how much they hated to see pictures of people's children.
People talk about the online presences of their supposed "friends" and "followers" with so much vitriol that I stopped empathizing somewhere along the line. Instead, I've started to feel defensive of those people who posted photos of their fried ice cream at Chi-Chi's or their Weimaraner in his Halloween costume.
If you don't like seeing that someone is "hanging with their cat" or enjoying a night of "sock folding and fruitcake baking" or are somehow offended that a woman you know who had a damn baby and wants to talk about it, you need to take a step back and look at yourself.
Apart from being a total snob, what were you doing at the exact moment this person made you so exasperated? It's not like you were researching a cure for cancer and someone ran into the lab and accosted you with their wedding album. No. You were messing around on Facebook. Unless you are reading your tweets or status updates from a scientific space mission, you are probably not doing anything important at the moment either. Your whining is moot.
How is it that we can waste hours looking at YouTube videos of baby animals but three seconds spent in the monotonous lives of our supposed friends make us indignantly demand our time back and spew moral outrage at anyone who will listen to us? I think it is funny that we become so irritated with those individuals who waste our precious time by posting tweets about their daily life activities to a medium we turn to specifically to waste our own time.
These extreme negative feelings toward people -- who let's not forget we chose to be in our network -- have been allowed to expand and fester under the guise of wanting a better online world. In reality what's been created online more resembles high school, with its petty jealousy and weird allegiances of cool people.
I say, let the annoyance go. The rage isn't going to make you any healthier or happier in that world or the real one. Some people online just want to get by with photos of their cat. Let them. Why do you even care?
Besides, if something starts to annoy me on Facebook, I think it should serve as a helpful reminder that I am wasting my time. In which case I should probably go do something more productive. Like going to get some coffee. And taking an Instagram of it.
This post originally appeared in xoJane.com, Jane Pratt's website for women, where you can admit to anything -- no judgement.