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The Weekend Five: Facebook Friends We Wish We Didn’t Have

bad_facebook_friend_tshirt-r9e77664892704bb584c6af29b37fa0bd_804gs_512In the age of social media, we find ourselves rubbing virtual shoulders with people we like and people we don’t like. Despite the fact that we choose the “friends” we follow, we still run into a few bad apples who slipped through our newsfeeds or timelines (which, sadly, look mostly like this).

Comb through your social media profiles, and I guarantee you will find at least one (if not all) of the five friends/followers that we all sort of want to de-friend.

The Weekend Five: Facebook Friends We Wish We Didn’t Have

1. The Rabid Politician.
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a little biased… for me, this definitely applies more toward the opposing political party than my own. It’s natural for a lot of us to feel exceptionally annoyed toward those who are vocal about something we disagree with. However, there are many times when even my fellow members of the Whig Party start to get on my nerves, when the only thing they post about is their political outrage. I don’t mind a few political posts now and then (I’m guilty of a few myself!), and I obviously think it’s important to care about your country’s affairs. But when your timeline reads like a political attack ad, it’s time to put down the (probably partisan) newspaper and go enjoy some fresh air.

esc_010WiestFerrell2. The Salesman.
No, I do not want to buy your makeup product or nutritional** cure-all pill, thank you very much! I have become much more jaded thanks to people like this, so whenever I receive a message from someone “out of the blue,” I am instantly suspicious. These relationships are often one-sided and unless you are offering something I truly need, I don’t want our first conversation since kindergarten to boil down to you asking me for money.

3. The Purge Enthusiast.
This is the girl who threatens to purge all of her contacts except for her “true friends.” (Let’s face it, in my experience, this has always been a girl.) Every few weeks, she complains that “no one is reading this” and that she will be deleting everyone who hasn’t “been there” for her. Sometimes she even provides a call-to-action (“if you still want to be my friend, message me” or “comment with three things you like about me” or “go to the farthest mountain and bring back the final ingredient to the potion I am brewing”), which – more often than not – I refuse to participate in. Sometimes I am unaware of the purge that has taken place, only to wake up to a status that says something along the lines of: “If you’re reading this, you fulfilled the unrealistic requirements I have been imposing on my casual acquaintances.” Sometimes I do not pass this test, but instead receive a friend request from the person under a new name a few weeks later. And the cycle continues.

1344315965956_40575544. The Perpetual Smart-Ass.
This person does not have one nice thing to say. Instead, he (occasionally a she, but usually a he) copes with his insecurities by trolling our social media profiles. Did you just post the most beautiful profile picture you’ve ever posted in your life? Well, The Perpetual Smart-Ass will be sure to comment… not to compliment you for how you look in the photo, but to poke fun at something very miniscule in the background. Did you write a particularly clever status? The Perpetual Smart-Ass will attempt to one-up you with something they believe to be even wittier. I’ve even had my grammar incorrectly corrected by this person! In fact, there are a few people whose notifications I dread receiving, because nothing they write is genuine and everything is underscored by their secret longing to be the smartest, most interesting person in the room. (This is the same person who regularly quotes Internet memes in real life conversations.)

5. Who’s That?
I can’t remember where we met or how we know each other. I’m sorry, are you a mutual friend of So & So? Did we do a group project together in middle school? I want to know who you are but I became too embarrassed to ask after you Facebook-poked me the other day. I’m not sure if this is related to some inside joke we had, or if you’re just creepy. Actually, I’m not sure if we know each other at all! It looks like we have no mutual friends, your profile pictures are all images of Jim Carrey in his various movie roles, and all of the comments on your wall say something along the lines of, “Who is this?”

Who are some of your most dreaded social media contacts? Any you’d like to add to the list?

** – Not approved by the FDA. May cause horrific disfigurement. Use with caution.

Things Girls Like

caa8957a12a25135_2894847831_1aa08871c7_b.preview_tallToday is my 24th birthday! I have had a feeling for a while that 24 is going to be a good year, filled with unexpected opportunities and accomplishments. Over the last few days, I have been celebrating with my family and friends (and my boyfriend, whose birthday is also today), and am so excited to ring in a brand new year. Because my birthday has been filled with the things I like — chocolate cake balls, yoga, useful gifts, free burgers, fantasy football and, of course, my loved ones — I thought it was only fitting to share this slightly more general list of things that many girls like. If you’re shopping for a 20-something girl this season or simply trying to understand one, please enjoy this comprehensive (and probably sexist) list.

Things Girls Like

  • Farmers markets. We probably don’t need all the produce we just bought, but we feel a little more environmentally aware when we buy local. We also enjoy the experience of posting pictures of ourselves at the farmers market on Facebook, even if we didn’t end up buying anything at all.
  • Brunch. Brunch is a fun activity to participate in, especially after the farmers market. However, it generally doesn’t count as a true Brunch unless you order a mimosa or, at the very least, an orange juice. (A chronic water-drinker, I tend to fail at Brunch.)
  • Mason jars. A few months ago, the Mason jar became the Regina George of Kitchenware. Girls enjoy crafting with Mason jars, drinking out of Mason jars, even layering their salads in Mason jars. Want to make your friend a delicious cookie with a twist? Throw flour, baking soda, sugar, vanilla extract, eggs and butter in a Mason jar. It won’t taste very good, but she will adore it so much that she’ll post it on Instagram with the hashtag #blessed.
  • Starbucks drinks that “feel like Fall.” Girls from Florida and other states that don’t experience real seasons are especially guilty of this. When the pumpkin spice lattes are back in stores, we know that it’s almost time for “sweater weather,” and we can finally break out those cute-but-hardly-functional infinity scarves.
  • Taking pictures with flowers. Flowers make our lives infinitely prettier, so if we photograph ourselves holding flowers or sitting in a garden full of flowers, we are guaranteed at least 50 percent more likes on social media.
  • All things DIY. Especially when those DIY projects involve Mason jars.
  • Expressing their emotions with emojis. Why use words when we can use silly iPhone faces to show our true feelings?
  • Lighting candles. Vanilla and lavender are sooooo relaxing.
  • Statement necklaces. What better to accessorize with, my dear?
  • Vision boards. They’re like a real-life version of Pinterest! Use your vision board to plan a wedding, shed excess weight or plot out revenge on all of your ex-boyfriends.

Share your own favorites in the comments section below. You know you want to!

Late Night Link Love: But First, Let Me NOT Take a Selfie

89c7ab46a1158ee92944f06ad3cb0fdcHappy Wednesday and end of July! The month was a bittersweet one for me, as two close friends from college packed up to move out of state, but I’m looking forward to the adventures that August brings. Beginning Friday, I will embark on my third Whole 30, and am excited for other opportunities in the coming month. I will also take advantage of the warm weather and continue to work on my pathetically miniscule tan!

What are you looking forward to in August? Share your own adventures in the comments section, and in the meantime, enjoy another fabulous round of Link Love.

What are some of your favorite articles and links this week? Sound off in the comments below!

Link Love THURSDAY: Terrible Real Estate, Frozen and Social Media Pre-Nups

6097da4d58773b2814cef7fea44965eeGood evening, readers, and happy June! How have you decided to start your month? I kicked off June with my third Whole 30 (because I am clearly insane!) and by participating in the 100 Happy Days challenge. For the next 100 days, I will photograph something that makes me happy – and I encourage you to do the same! If you’d like to see my progress (I’m on Day 4 so far), feel free to follow my Instagram!

Plenty of interesting/strange news has also come with the new month, so allow me to share this week’s batch of link love with you!

What links have you come across this week?

The Weekend Five: Profile Pictures That Every Guy Has Posted

funny-pictures-selfie-dog-no-filter-makeupA few months back, in honor of my social media addiction, I wrote a little piece about the five profile pictures that every girl has posted, at one point or another, on Facebook. Because I believe in equal opportunity for the genders, I felt that it was high time to poke fun at the males this week! Guys, we know you are all special and unique, but much like the ladies, you too are guilty of falling into predictable social media patterns. :)

This week, we’ll explore five of the most popular types of Facebook profile pictures that most of the guys on your friend list have uploaded.

The Weekend Five: Profile Pictures That Every Guy Has Posted

1. Group Photo With All Friends Still Intact.
Unlike the ladies, who tend to crop all of their friends out of group photos, guys are likely to post these pictures to their page as they were taken, no edits. This can prove especially confusing on mobile and online dating profiles, as visitors to those pages may wonder which guy in the picture is actually the man in question, but for Facebook, it makes sense:  guys can assume that their social media contacts will be able to distinguish which person is them!

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2. The Goofy Picture.
Again, unlike many of the young women who use social media, guys aren’t afraid to post a less-than-perfect picture of themselves that shows their sense of humor. This picture is posted without regard for angles or any other artistic properties, and is meant to make you laugh.

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meet-someone-profile-pictures-century-flirting-ecards-someecards3. The Slightly Dressier, More Grown Up Picture.
There’s always one picture of the guy in a suit, at a fancy dinner, in graduation garb or (in true throwback style) on his prom night.

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4. The Significant Other.
From my observations, guys post fewer of these pictures than girls do, but these pictures do pop up from time to time so that the subjects can prove that they are not #foreveralone.

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5. The Picture That Isn’t Him.
Usually, these are memes that fit his sense of humor, but they can also include images related to his favorite sports team or stills from a sci-fi movie or video game that he loves. For many girls, this is a waste of prime real estate, but for the majority of guys, it isn’t that big of a deal. Personally, I have to take a selfie to make up for this every time I see one of these, but that’s just me. :) (Kidding, by the way!)

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Depending on the guy, you may find other types of profile pictures: action shots playing sports, flexing photos at the gym, artsy pictures with crazy Instagram filters… the list goes on. What are your favorite categories?

The Post-Weekend Five: Honest Relationship Statuses for Facebook

67469ce10f5ca882f88785d3642bb181Let’s face it – social media has a huge effect on how we talk about relationships. In today’s world, when a friend tells us about her latest love interest, we are quick to ask if and when they made things “Facebook official.” (Because obviously a relationship is not truly official until it has been declared so on Facebook!) However, when it comes to our real-life relationship statuses, there are shades of gray that cannot fit into the neat little single/in-a-relationship/married/divorced/domestic-partnership box that Facebook provides for us. Sometimes, life is a little messy, and while we may have a special someone on our minds, we may not be ready to classify it as a traditional relationship. (What is traditional, anyway?) This week, I present to you a list of honest relationship statuses that Facebook should enable to make the selection process a little easier when “it’s complicated” doesn’t even begin to cover it!

The Post-Weekend Five: Honest Relationship Statuses for Facebook

1. Talking.
I’m still not completely sure what it means to be “talking” to someone, other than having a spoken conversation, but among many teens and twenty-somethings, “talking” is all the rage. “He’s cute,” a friend might say in relation to a guy whose picture you showed her on your phone. “Are you guys together?” You smile and shrug. “We’ve been talking,” you reply, as if that answers everything. Readers, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times a friend told me that he or she was “talking” to someone. Obviously, talking isn’t serious enough to deem a full-fledged relationship, but at the same time, it implies at least some semblance of exclusivity and seriousness about the other person. Therefore, it should require its own status on Facebook!

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4dWzLh12. In a Platonic Relationship.
You and X are not actually dating, per se, but to everyone else, it certainly seems that way. You’re his date to every social event, you talk about yourselves in first-person plural (“thank you so much for inviting us,” “we were so happy you could make it,” “we LOVE the tortellini alfredo here”), you share desserts and you finish each other’s sentences. No one will bother to date either of you because: a) everyone is threatened by the friendship and afraid that it would affect a potential relationship, and b) the two of you are shaping up to be the greatest “will-they-won’t-they” story of all time. Even if you aren’t interested in one another, which is likely the case (these things tend to be one-sided, anyway), you might as well acknowledge the platonic relationship online.

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3. Hung Up On My Ex.
If you fit this description, you’re probably listed as “single” on Facebook (or you’ve elected not to include a relationship status at all), but “single” doesn’t really describe how you feel. You picture single people enjoying nights out at bars, dancing on tables and leaving their phone numbers scribbled on napkins. You hear single people claiming that they hate to be tied down, that they’re just down for a good time. But that doesn’t accurately describe you. You feel alone, and every movie, news article and billboard you see reminds you of your recent breakup. You aren’t ready to wear your singlehood proudly just yet. You may be technically single, but you are Hung Up On Your Ex, and that is a different breed of single altogether.

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tumblr_m9q9kmQVeh1qkpo94o1_5004. Emotionally Damaged.
You aren’t hung up on your ex, but the relationship was so dysfunctional that you have no plans to enter another relationship for a long time. Anyone who mentions “Valentine’s Day” to you clearly has a death wish.

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5. I Love My Pets.
You want to find a meaningful relationship someday, but right now, you’re perfectly happy snuggling with your cat or dog instead.

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What are some honest relationship statuses you would want to see?

From Breaking Up in the Age of Social Media

Happy Friday, friends! :)

I am excited to share that my guest blog, From Breaking Up in the Age of Social Media, was published today on The Things I Learned From. Check out my post on how social media affects not only the beginning, but also the end of our relationships. Drop a comment to let me know what you think!

♥ Valerie

Link Love THURSDAY: Happy New Year!

happy-new-yearYup, you read the title correctly – today has turned into a special Link Love Thursday! (It is very possible that I fell asleep very early on Wednesday after taking antihistamines for my horrible allergies…) I hope everyone had a fabulous new year and is enjoying everything 2014 has to offer. This week, I bring you a few new year-related articles, along with some sweet links that will make you smile.

Enjoy! :)

Have you read any great articles lately?

The Weekend Five: Profile Pictures That Every Girl Has Posted

funny-cat-selfie-sleeping-instagram-picsAs I comb through my various social media profiles, I begin to notice some patterns. From misattributed Marilyn Monroe quotes to silly BuzzFeed lists, my Facebook newsfeed is a constant cycle of “same content, different day.” Of course, the photos of ourselves that we post online are no different! It doesn’t matter how varied your interests are or how much you scoff at society’s need for retweets and likes – if you are between the ages of 16 and 30, you probably have the same basic profile picture as everybody else.

Ladies, we all know we’re guilty of choosing at least some (if not all) of these as our default photos. Let’s take a look back at some of the pictures we have all inevitably posted at some point in our lives! (Tweet this!)

The Weekend Five: Profile Pictures That Every Girl Has Posted

1.    The Selfie.
Yes, my friends, we are living in The Age of the Selfie, a time when it is (sort of) socially acceptable to take pictures of yourself sitting at your desk, with friends at a social outing or – more likely than not – in your car (the ever-popular Car Selfie). The word “selfie” has even made its way into the Oxford Dictionary online, which pains the aspiring social critics in us all, and yet we can’t help but snap pictures of ourselves doing the most mundane tasks. This probably says a lot about the self-centered millennial generation and our culture of entitlement (or something meaningful like that), but I’m not here to insult selfies. In hundreds of years, historians will look probably back at our selfies as a form of artistic expression. So rock those selfies, tinker with the filters and use as many hashtags as you want, because it’s 2013 and #YOLO.

BALs0dzCcAA6bz22.    The Significant Other.
We love to take pictures with our significant others and blast them all over Facebook! Maybe it’s because we want to capture the memories, maybe it’s because we want the world to know that somebody has found us attractive at least temporarily, but most girls have posted a cutesy picture with their boyfriends and made it the default photo at least once. If you go back far enough in a girl’s profile picture history, you may even find photos of exes buried between a prom pic and that one time she decided to have side-bangs. For some girls, the significant other pictures are few and far between, but for others, they make up the majority of photos posted since the relationship began.

3.    Group Photo With The Friends Cropped Out.
Guys are notoriously guilty of not cropping their friends out of their default photos, but girls are usually much more meticulous about it. Sure, we might post a few pictures with our friends, but most of the time, we cut our friends out so that viewers of our social media profiles will know exactly which person in the photo we are. While appropriate for online dating profiles, the cropped friend shots are a little silly on other sites where the bulk of our friend list includes people we know in real life. However, if you’re ever with friends and the camera comes out, you can put your hand on your hip, turn to the side and take comfort in the fact that after cropping, you will have your latest profile picture.

auto-instagram-morpheus-what-if-i-told-you-2019384.    Artsy Photo Taken Outside.
I’m not sure where we find all of these grassy knolls for our photoshoots, but we always do. It never fails to amaze me how every girl seems to have a friend with a fancy camera or the desire to take pictures of her! Whether we are outdoorsy girls at heart or in love with being inside, we all have a photo of us that was taken in a meadow, on a mountain or – at the very least – surrounded by flowers. Bonus points go out to those who then posted those pictures on Instagram with beautiful but completely unnatural filters. If your picture doesn’t make people ask themselves, “How could the sky have possibly been that blue?” or “Where is the lighting this perfect and slightly sepia-toned?” then you’re obviously doing it wrong.

5.    The Throwback.
We save most of our throwbacks for Throwback Thursday (#tbt), but occasionally a few oldies but goodies make their way into our profile pictures. From ridiculous high school photos to baby pictures we clearly asked our moms to scan and email to us, throwback photos appeal to our sense of nostalgia, which seems to be stronger than ever at this point in our lives. It’s never too early to relive the glory days!

Sound off in the comments below! Are you guilty of any of these? What photos would you add to the list?

Link Love Wednesday: From Glazed Donut Breakfasts to Tin Foil Hats

Rottenecards_10544754_ktxbvprgkfHave you missed me? :)

Link Love Wednesday took a brief hiatus over the past couple of weeks as I began adjusting to a full 40-hour work week, but fear not – this brand new feature is back! This set of links ranges from recent ad campaigns to articles on employability, and many topics in between.

  • For recent college grads and others looking for employment, check your social media to make sure it is employer-friendly. This article talks about what you need to look out for on your own Facebook page. (Just this morning I listened to a Chamber of Commerce member talk about how important this is, especially for young people!)
  • On a related note, Thought Catalog posted a list of things we have to stop sharing on Facebook. I think we’re all guilty of a few of these, but what are you most likely to overshare?
  • No wonder obesity is on the rise! Dunkin’ Donuts is about to launch a new glazed donut breakfast sandwich, and they’re claiming that it’s not even that bad for you! (I don’t know about you, but I can’t even imagine pairing a glazed donut with hash browns.)
  • Swiffer released an ad campaign featuring Rosie the Riveter, but because consumers are complaining that the ads are sexist, Swiffer is taking them down. Are consumers becoming too upset over nothing, or are these ads truly guilty of perpetuating women-in-the-kitchen stereotypes?
  • Tin foil hats may actually make it easier for the government to read your mind, according to Business Insider.
  • As someone who will be moving to a new apartment in a month, I found this quick article about apartment utilities especially helpful.
  • Mental Floss composed a list of 11 completely bizarre books that really exist. My favorite is Whose Bottom?, a children’s book that illustrates several animal butts, although I strongly believe that any child whose parent gives him or her that book may need Child Protective Services.
  • To lighten your day: this website helps you figure out what your baby with ____ will look like. Perfect way to come across as creepy on a first date!

What great articles and websites have you stumbled upon in the past couple of weeks?