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How to Restrain in a Public Domain: A Facebook Exposé

Scrolling through the Boston College Class of 2019 Facebook group evokes nostalgia for the second semester of my senior year of high school. As colleges start sending out regular-decision acceptance letters (and rejections) in mid-March, many high school seniors turn to Facebook to befriend (and undoubtedly creep on) their potential future classmates in the hopes of discovering a best friend, a roommate, and/or a future spouse.

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 3.36.55 PMThe class Facebook group is a great way to distinguish oneself from the other two thousand or so members of the incoming freshman class, however, many quickly forget that not all attention is good attention. In my experience, I have observed four different types of Facebook users, which I have categorized accordingly.

The first type I like to affectionately refer to as the “Facebook Eddie”, a tribute to one of my closest friends Edward, who I became friends with last year through the Class of 2018 Facebook group. The Facebook Eddie is the person that constantly posts in the group, fishing for likes and sending out mass friend requests to the members of the group. This person is often outgoing and has a great sense of humor, but becomes notorious for his or her incessant Facebook posts.

The second category is comprised of the self-proclaimed “bandwagoners”. The Bandwagoners typically “hop on the bandwagon” by posting 15 Facts about themselves in the group, or a brief introduction. Bandwagoners are united in their collective appreciation for Netflix, their shared affinity for food and working out, and their mutual passion for the Arctic Monkeys and/or other comparable musical groups.

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 3.34.04 PMThe third category is the group of trolls, who post bizarre greetings and stir up controversy within said Facebook group. In reality, Trolls are often college students posing as incoming freshman or high school seniors that are actually committed to different schools.

The last category is devoted to the passive observers, the conservative members of the Facebook group that choose not to post anything of their own, but instead discreetly observe the interactions of their classmates.

Unfortunately, I soon discovered at my freshman orientation that I regrettably fell victim to the first category; I too was a “Facebook Eddie”. As I introduced myself to my fellow classmates, I was horrified when many of my peers recognized me as “that girl from the Facebook group”. Another uncomfortable element of freshman orientation, and subsequently the beginning of the school year, was deciding how to introduce myself in person to the people that I knew I had interacted with online or whom I had definitely Facebook stalked.

1425996144400Was I supposed to assume that they recognized me, or pretend I did not remember following them on Instagram? In some circumstances, I met people in real life that I genuinely did not remember previously befriending or communicating with online. In fact, I discovered halfway through first semester that one of my Tinder matches from over the summer lives on my floor, and undoubtedly remembered me, yet said nothing during any of our numerous face-to-face conversations.

To this day, I still recognize certain infamous Facebook posters, such as “Video Girl”, the poor girl who posted a cringeworthy nine minute webcam video in the Facebook group last year looking for a roommate. Although I have never met her in person, she will forever be remembered as Video Girl.

Nowadays, the class Facebook group has largely lost its appeal.  The only time deemed appropriate to post in the Facebook group is if you need something, whether it be a Beanpot ticket, a roommate to complete an 8-man suite, or a belonging that was lost on campus. However, every once in a while, a particularly evil individual will take cruel pleasure in unearthing one of his or her friend’s embarrassing past posts by commenting on it so it pops up to the top of the Facebook page.

The sadistic part of me admittedly encourages the members of the incoming freshman class to entertain me with their excruciatingly awkward attempts at breaking the ice in the Class of 2019 Facebook group. However, the moral of the story is that unless you either thoroughly enjoy being forever haunted by the Post of Christmas Past or you are Boston College’s next Amy Poehler (A&S ’93), remember to always use your best judgment when posting in a public domain comprised of two thousand of your future classmates and, whatever you do, always restrain yourself from sending a flirty message to a potential future spouse.

The Internet is written in stone; thus, proceed with caution.

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