1. Invite you to play Candy Crush Saga
The rule should be this: If you're going to invite someone to play Candy Crush Saga or Kim Kardashian: Hollywood or ask them to send you a cow for your Farmville game, they better be someone who you would invite to brunch or dinner or to go see a movie with you in real life.
I've never used the game section on Facebook so I truly don't know the incentive behind spamming your Facebook friends to get them to play. Maybe you get more "lives" or farm animals or opportunities to dress Kim Kardashian in some kind of Givenchy chic outfit. I don't know. But I do know what the disincentive is: having that person permanently block you on Facebook and making them scream, "AHHHHHH" when your game notification pops up. Is it worth it?
2. The Bait-and-Switch message
"Hi Jenny! It's been so long. We haven't spoken in years but I see everything you've been up to on Facebook. Congrats! That's why I wanted to tell you about my company!"
I give you credit for having the guts to Facebook message someone you haven't spoken to since the 5th grade with a generic hello and a paragraph or two about the new skin care or makeup line or dietary supplement protein powder that you just started selling. But it's not going to work.
It actually makes me sad.
When I log into Facebook and see that little red mark letting me know I have a new message, the butterflies in my stomach start to jiggle. Then I see it's you: friend I used to pass notes with in Biology class while Mr. Frank drew squiggly lines on the whiteboard, guy I once played co-ed softball with when I was 20 and always had a semi-minor crush on, person who sat next to me in 9A four years ago when I flew to Dallas, Texas. I'm excited that you reached out, that you want to reconnect. Perhaps message back and forth about the old laughs and memories and tiny package of Delta pretzels we shared during our three hour flight. But after reading 15 words, I see that's not the case. I see you're trying to sell me something or tell me I need something or show me that If I sign up with you (through you), I too can make six figures a year!
3. Poke me once, shame on you.
There are people out there who still Poke on Facebook. Just the other day a guy in Istanbul, who I'm not friends with, poked me.
That got me to click on my list of outstanding pokes. I had 167 and they dated back to 2008. In that slush pile, I found: a poke from my dad, a poke from my old boss, a poke from my multi-media journalism teacher from sophomore year of college.
4. Ah, you still exist!
You know when you go on a date with someone you like and then you never hear from them again (Please tell me I'm not the ONLY human being in the world this happens to...), and you start to think: maybe something happened.
Maybe they dropped their phone in the urinal at that bar with the neon pink sign on 6th street or maybe there is some odd glitch with their Facebook account and for some reason, you're the only person they can't send a Facebook message to saying, "Had an awesome time -- peed on phone, let's chat here."
You don't hear anything from them, ever again. (At this point, even a POKE would be okay...).
Until 2 and 1/2 years later when you post some semi-interesting Facebook status or video or picture of your toes dangling in Niagara Falls and there they are! Giving you a simple "Like" that months ago would have made your heart go all "Gangnam Style." But now, by this point, you've moved on. All your heart pitters and patters for them are now packaged up and stored in area of your brain called, "Whatever."
It's nice to know, finally, that your theory that something happened to their social communication toward you, prohibiting them from contacting you -- though you desperately wanted to -- is finally proven false.
5. Passive-Aggressive Facebook statuses
"Ughhh, I'm sick of people revealing too much on Facebook." "I wish my Facebook friends would keep their opinions to themselves."
I always think those are about me. Even if the only thing I posted all month was a video of two cats playing the piano. Even if I keep my political comments off Facebook (That's what Twitter and yelling at the TV during a presidential debate is for).
6. Public declarations of private emotions
I miss you. I'm sorry. I really do love you.
These are things that should be delivered intimately. Between just the people they are meant for. When it's blasted on someone's wall, it feels like you're taking those intimate words, strapping some magenta colored lipstick and a tutu on them and pushing them on stage where the bright lights of 1,687 people reading it are going to watch it twirl and fall flat on its face.
If you really miss someone, really are sorry about something, really want to express how sickly you are in love with them, do It the old fashion way.
7. The "De-Friend" turned "Re-Friend"
People will take you off Facebook and then request to add you back two months later when they realize they made some kind of blistering mistake. And then, when you don't accept them -- because you had no idea they ever de-friended you in the first place -- they'll message you asking why you won't friend them back.
8. Playing hard to get
"I got the job!" Or, "Best Day Ever!" Or, "I love my new boyfriend!"
Listen, okay. I'll be honest. I know we haven't spoken since the 5th grade when you used to sit behind me and pass me raisins during class when we were learning about ancient Greece or Saturn or long division, but I saw your vague status and I want to know more! Tell me! Where did you get a new job? Why is today the best day ever -- what happened? Who are you dating now?
It's like you're standing there, like I remember you in the 5th grade, holding a bag of Cheetos over my head screaming, "nana nana boo boo... I won't tell you!" But I must know. So I'll sit there and read all 56 comments, trying to figure out what you're saying but not saying.
Is that what you wanted? I think so.