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Well, maybe not YOU.

But some of our Facebook friends are making us cringe when we see that we have comments to review. Here are the top 5 Facebook commenting blunders that I’ve noticed seem to be on the rise:

  1. Adding needless drama and stress in the form of one-upmanship. Your FB friend may complain of recurring back pain, but YOUR brother had long-term back pain that was finally so disabling that he couldn’t walk anymore. Yeah, your FB friend’s headache is PROBABLY related to allergies, but that’s what your uncle thought before he died of a neuroblastoma three weeks after diagnosis. You’re not only asking your friend to worry needlessly, you’re managing to focus the attention on YOU. Way to go, Narcissa.
  2. Offering unsolicited advice. Your FB friend announces that he’s found a diet and exercise plan that works for him? No better time to tell him how much you love this OTHER diet plan and how it has ALWAYS worked for you. Your friend has made the painful decision to have his dog put to sleep? Why not tell him he should TOTALLY reconsider because your cousin’s dog was misdiagnosed and got better after a few weeks with another vet. If someone has thought long and hard about a tough decision or lifestyle change and you insist on offering unwanted, contradictory information, they’ll remember that more than any helpful advice you’ve ever given them.
  3. Ignoring other comments and repeating useless, damaging information (see Nos. 1 and 2). If someone has already said exactly what you’re going to say in a comment, and your FB friend has responded with a “thanks but no thanks” reply, you’re going to look like the biggest idiot in the village when you make the same comment. If you just can’t bring yourself to read all the previous comments to ensure that you’re offering unique and/or reassuring information, then you’re just adding white noise to the conversation anyway.
  4. Saying something unforgivably filthy. As a former newspaper copy editor, I admit that my tolerance for inappropriate humor is a bit higher than normal. And I realize that Internet discourse is a little rougher than interoffice email, depending on the office. But when you say something so obscene that I have to drop whatever I’m doing at the moment to log in and delete your comment from my timeline, you’ll never see anything I post again.
  5. Starting arguments with other commenters just for the sheer egotistical joy of outmaneuvering someone intellectually. This leaves the “losing” commenter with much less of an inclination to ever comment on your mutual FB friend’s wall again. Unless this commenter is someone with whom you engage in intellectual horseplay on a regular basis, save the academic arguments for your own posts.

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