Certain Facebook posts try my patience more than others. In particular is a class of passive-aggressive posts that remind me of the now old-fashioned chain letters that used to sweep through email inboxes. If you are on Facebook at all, I’m sure you’ll recognize these.
There are two types of these passive-aggressive posts. The first usually begin like this:
I know most of my friends won’t share this, but…
You’ve seen these posts. They attempt to bully their way into getting shares by, what? Making people feel guilty because you have no intention of sharing the post? I’ve got to say that I’ve never felt guilty for not sharing a post.
This kind of post most reminds me of the old email chain letters that command you to forward the message to 10 friends and you’ll have good luck. On the other hand, if you ignore the message, you will be sucked into a sinkhole before sunset.
There is another type of passive-aggressive post that I see frequently. These turn up more in ads for puzzles and games and usually begin by saying something like:
Only people with 160 IQ can solve this puzzle.
There is, of course, absolutely no evidence whatsoever for these claims. What makes them successful is that people find they can solve them rather easily and therefore assume their IQ must be 160. Forget the fact that IQ measures a problem solving ability specific to IQ tests. It seems patently silly that these posts make the claims that they do. This is what I like to think of as the “I dare you to try my product” type of advertising.
When I think about the things that want to make me give up on Facebook, these passive-aggressive posts are at the top of the list. But these proliferate because they are successful at breaking out of all of the noise.
It recently occurred to me that I get the same feeling browsing Facebook that I had while wandering through the strip in Gatlinburg, Tennessee a few years ago. It’s just a mess of competing novelties that no longer have anything to do with its original purpose.
Look, I’m sure most of you won’t share this post and get the word out of just how awful these passive-aggressive Facebook posts are. I figure that it takes someone with an IQ measured at least 165 to take such a brave course of action.