I recently left Facebook, but as a parting gift would like to offer a few pointers for users old and new of this fabulous social portal.
Essentially, my final year was a frustrating affair. So frustrating, in fact that I felt the need to implement an 'instant cull' rule whereby, anyone who published an FB post that I deemed useless was instantly culled from my friends.
I realise that this seems like a harsh thing to do - after all, I enjoyed finding out what my friends are up to, however, when I have to sift through five different posts that simply read "it's f*cking cold", by someone I have no contact with anyway, it gets a bit tedious. I'd rather hear about interesting stuff.
Therefore, as nobody appears to have done it yet, here are my rules for Facebook/Twitter posts going forward. I should make it clear at this point that the breaking of one commandment on its own will not instigate an #instantcull necessarily, but two or more is pretty much a capital crime.
1) Spelling and grammar: Get them right.
Computers are clever, they tell us how to write stuff with helpful squiggly lines. Feel free to go against them if you are making a definite point, but if your average post looks like a David Cronenberg dénouement, consider taking a little more time over it.
2) No talking about the weather, unless there is a danger of death.
Obviously, if you are sharing vital information, I can see the value in this, but generally, I don't even bother with the weather report, and neither should you. It rains in England, get over it.
3) No photos of injuries or babies.
Injuries are disgusting. If I had wanted to look at them, there are two dozen websites that cater for this fetish. As for photos of babies; please remember that childhood is sacred and act accordingly. Being a member of Facebook is a choice that should only be made by individuals with the appropriate cognitive capabilities.
4) If it's had more than one million views on YouTube, don't post it.
It's old news. Source your own cool stuff.
5) No complaining about sport. Take it like a man, and bottle it up.
I was tempted to have a sub-commandment entitled 'Any sentence that starts "I can't believe..." and then gives a completely believable scenario, eg: "I can't believe Rooney missed that penalty tonight. Gutted" will result in an immediate cull, but it didn't read so well on the page. Still doesn't, come to think of it.
6) Spice it up.
Sexy, arty or debauched photos are good. Don't worry about being pretentious; it's only pretentious if you are pretending to be something that you are not - which is harder to do than you'd think.
7) Don't do holiday pictures that are simply photos of buildings.
I can Google Image search the Parthenon. Not only this, but I can find professional photos taken by the world's finest photographers on the best cameras. It is only when you are in the photo that it adds value. Also, let's not beat around the bush, holiday photos are usually perused for the holy grail of swimming costume pictures. I refer you to Commandment 6.
8) No complaining about technology, such as Facebook.
If you complain about it you are automatically too dependent on it. The strides that we have taken in the past ten years are nearly unbelievable, nearly.
9) No posting about how much you love your significant other.
The handy 'relationship status' feature is a good guide as to who loves who, and while it does not in itself remove the necessity to remind one's friends, it is as well to remember that the quest of validation through another person is a sign of weakness, not strength.
10) No negative sh*t.
It goes without saying that racism, bigotry, sexism etc. are not to be tolerated, however should you find yourself in the position of un-friending some one on this basis, I encourage a spot of Facebook vandalism shortly before - tag them in a picture of Jimmy Savile or John Terry. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself 'What would outrage a Daily Mail reader'?
Long live #instantcull! I encourage everyone to Tweet the updates that earned their (former) friends the #instantcull. It can be the new craze, like Tamagotchis or happy-slapping.
Follow Jacob Brookman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jacobbrookman