This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
Not too long ago, a poison pen letter sent to a young mom named Jade Ruthven went viral because it essentially asked her to shut the fuck up about her fucking baby. The reaction to the story was typical: People were outraged that a collective of moms were willing to print out the result of their anonymous gossiping and send it to their friend when the "unfollow" buttons are, like, right there.
But—how to say this?—deep down, are we not all tired of moms on our Facebook feed? I know I am. I know there's a six-year-old child in Wales who I know intimately despite never having met. I know all sorts of things about him. I know he's shit at karate. I know his favorite meal is a hotdog, sliced lengthways to accommodate a Cheesestring, covered in more cheese, dotted with pepperoni, and baked in the oven. I know he went back to school this week. He had his first sleepover a few weeks ago and he didn't go to sleep until midnight.
Previously, a man with my specific and unnerving information about a six-year-old Welsh boy would be locked up, and probably killed, in prison. Boiling pan of sugar water over my head, that sort of thing. There's no getting up from that. But this is the modern age, and this is Facebook, where pricks abound. Shit: I'm a prick on Facebook, and I bet you're one too. All I do is post links to VICE articles I wrote with faux-humble captions like "wrote a thing." And you? You probably do way worse than that. The point is: Everyone is terrible, forever.
Here is the rich variety of pricks you're friends with on Facebook dot com.
THE 'LIKE MY PAGE, GUYS!' SELF-PROMOTER DJ PRICK
DJ DARREN • 37 LIKES
DJ DARREN PLAYING ALL THE BANGERS THIS MONDAY AT DICKSHOT • THE NUMBER ONE CLUB IN WORKSOP PLAYS HOST TO DJ DARREN MAKING THE CLUB BANG BY PLAYING ALL THE BANGERS • DAVID GUETTA / CALVIN HARRIS / ARMAND VAN HELDEN / DJ FRESH / ANOTHER CALVIN HARRIS ONE / TIESTO / NERO / AVICII / CALVIN HARRIS / ALICE DEEJAY • YOUR MONDAY NIGHT WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN
THE PERSON WHO STILL LIVES IN YOUR HOMETOWN AND IS MAD ABOUT THE TRAFFIC ON THE WAY FROM WORK
It's six cars. You have a five-minute commute, and most of that is spent on Facebook while you try to get onto a busy roundabout. You're behind six cars. I know this because you've taken a photo of the six cars in front of you and hashtagged it "#fuming." Hashtags do not even elegantly work on Facebook. Your expression of anger as a memeable concept is moot.
THE GIRL WHOSE BOYFRIEND IS HER ONLY JOKE
"Sent him to the shops," she says, between cry-laugh emoji after cry-laugh emoji. "Told him to get heavy-flow pads and he got light-flow!" Cry-laugh emoji. Tags in boyfriend's name. "Can't believe it!" Twenty-comment thread between the girl and her boyfriend that ends in a row. Two weeks later they Facebook-announce their engagement. Tale as old as time.
THE BOY WHOSE GIRLFRIEND IS HIS ONLY MATE
Love my baby :) — feeling blessed with Lauren Girlfriend
Miss u tonite babe :( luckily soccer is on :) rogan josh! — with Lauren Girlfriend
Lauren comes into kitchen goes you know how computers have chips in them I says yes she says do you ever get computers with fish in them omg [FIVE HUNDRED CRY-LAUGHING EMOJIS IN A ROW] had to call my mom so funny I shat and pissed my pants — feeling happy with Lauren Girlfriend
THE MAN WHO IS OBSESSED WITH CARS AND THE CONCEPT OF CARS AND IS ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT BUYING A NEW CAR
It's an eBay link to a used Mustang that sparks an 88-comment thread with a guy called Lee. It's an entire Sunday spent replacing his existing washer jets with a pair of chrome washer jets that he ordered especially from America and furiously paid a $35 importation charge on. You know about this $35 import charge because he posted a photo of his receipt with the question "ne 1 else ever had to pay this???????" He's on the Top Gear audience waiting list. He thinks the BBC have "killed Top Gear." He spends most of his Friday night driving around the big roundabout in town, and occasionally parking on the big roundabout in town, opening all the doors and the boot, and playing Ministry of Sound Annuals as loud as it will go. His diet is almost exclusively McDonald's Chicken Legends, the bags and detritus from which is tamped down into a solid block in the passenger footwell. He cannot yet competently change a spark plug. He wants to know if you want to join the "Corsa Appreciation Group" he moderates. You do not.
THE GUY YOU MET ONCE IN A NIGHTCLUB SMOKING AREA WHO REALLY LIKES SHARING VIDEOS OF SUNDAY LEAGUE FIGHTS
There's a curious sub-species of the British Lad, uncatalogued by leading lad biologists, who you will meet in the smoking area of a nightclub and he will immediately makes friends with you on Facebook. "What's your name on Facebook, man?" he'll say, forcefully shaking your hand. "Joel," you will say, if you're me. "Yeah, but what's your name on Facebook?" And you watch him tap your name up, and find you, and zoom in on your profile picture and hold it up to your face—"That you?" he's saying, almost fiercely, and you nod, you idiot, you nod—and then he will send you a friend request. And then he will watch you intently until you take your phone out of your pocket and press "Accept." "I'll just invite you to a club night I'm doing next Tuesday," he says. "My cousin's DJing." And so you find yourself, inexorably linked forever to the kind of man who goes to a nightclub on his own, watching his constant feed of amateur soccer videos ("LOOK AT THIS FREE KICK!") ("LOOK AT THESE GOALS FALL OVER IN THE WIND"), fending off the occasional poke (How does this man still know where the poke button is? Mark Zuckerberg doesn't know where the poke button is), afraid forever to return to the scene of your friendship crime in case he clocks you again and makes you buy him a beer. And you will never be rid of him. He will never die. When the missiles hit and the cockroaches inherit the earth, he will still be stood in the corner of the smoking section of WonderWorld, in a River Island bomber jacket and on a final warning from the bouncer, scrolling through Facebook on his phone, sending you event requests, and laughing.
WATCH: Talking Politics with Drunk Yuppies at the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race:
THE FRIEND FROM SCHOOL WHO IS HAVING A NEW KITCHEN PUT IN
You remember Sarah—girl from primary school who was born with a broken leg so she got out of every PE lesson because she could only walk in a circle. Well guess fucking what: she's having a kitchen put in mate, and it's the best thing that's happened to her in her entire life. She's just instagrammed some taps from a big B&Q. She wants to know if any of you have experience with installing soft-close drawer slides (awful weekend!). A Timehop update a year to the day since they ripped the sink out of the wall. Does anyone know a good (cheap!) laborer who has experience with granite? She's found a bag of hinges that she doesn't remember the use for so she's posted a blurry photo of them with the caption "?" Guess what: Terry just proposed to her, so you're going to have to go through all this shit all over again when the fuckers plan their wedding.
THE GUY WHO SEEMINGLY ONLY GOES ON THE INTERNET ONCE A WEEK, WHERE HE SPENDS 45 MINUTES CATCHING UP ON WEEK-OLD BRO BIBLE POSTS AND SHARING THEM BACK INTO YOUR FEED—JUST AS YOU'D ALLOWED YOURSELF TO FORGET ABOUT THAT KID WHO THREW HIS LAPTOP OUT THE WINDOW WHILE HE WAS WATCHING PORN ON IT—AND THEN HE JUST LOGS OFF AGAIN, TO DO WHATEVER ELSE IT IS THAT HE DOES
What are you doing for the rest of the week, Tom? Where do you go?
ANYONE WHO INVITES YOU TO AN EVENT AND THEN ACTUALLY DISCUSSES THE MINUTIAE OF THE EVENT ON THE EVENT WALL AND EVERY TIME THEY FUCKING POST SOMETHING NEW ABOUT IT YOU GET A NOTIFICATION
Facebook has transformed party planning from a middling piece of admin into something excruciating and interminable, the highest note played on the worst violin. What happens when you get an event invite and say "Yes" now is that you co-opt the process of RSVP-ing—every single "Can't that weekend! We're in Berlin" and "sooooooooo sorry I can't make it! Florida!" message lights your phone up like the world's most annoying Christmas tree. And then, by the time the event rolls around, everyone has muted the group so hard they don't turn up anyway. There is no better schadenfreude than a "don't forget this is today, guys!" notification from someone who had the temerity to plan a birthday picnic three months in advance. "We're by the trees!" they are saying. "Baked plenty of little treat-sized muffins! Bring prosecco!" Choke on your loneliness, fucko.
ANYONE WHO STARTS A GROUP CHAT
If you've ever started a group chat with me, just know that I have seriously thought about paying to have you murdered.
THAT FUCKER WHO CAN'T KEEP THEIR PHONE IN WORKING ORDER FOR ANYTHING IN EXCESS OF SIX WEEKS
HOW DO YOU KEEP CHANGING YOUR NUMBER. IT IS SO EASY FOR PHONE SUPPLIERS TO TRANSFER A NUMBER OVER. I HAVE HAD THE SAME PHONE NUMBER FOR OVER A DECADE, AND I FUNCTION MEDICALLY AS AN IDIOT. HOW DO YOU KEEP FUCKING UP YOUR LIFE, OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. HOW. HOW. HOW.
THE PERSON WHO LEAVES FACEBOOK AND THEN COMES BACK AGAIN AND LEAVES FACEBOOK AGAIN AND THEN—
"Announcement: I'm leaving Facebook as of today (8 PM). This website is poison and I frankly don't give a shit about all ur lives and what your scores are on Farmville or whatever game it is this week! I'm off to go OUTSIDE and breath FRESH AIR and engage with the WORLD. If u know me u know how to get me, family and friends all have my number, to the rest of u randos who I met at parties or whatever… CYANARA!!!!! have a nice life on ur little website, but I've seen the other side" – some cunt
"Back for a while (work thing). Any adds I've missed?" – same cunt, eight days later
THE PERSON WHO IS CONSTANTLY LOOKING FOR A ROOMMATE
Yeah, I know you have room available in a spacious and airy two-bed with decent transport links (both bus and rail). I know this because I sent three people your way when you last needed someone, which was about six weeks ago. What happened? Did you murder them? If so did you take those photos of your living room before or after you washed the blood out of the carpet? Because your house is a shithole and it is legitimately difficult to tell.
THE PERSON WHO IS ALWAYS SELLING BABY RABBITS
There's something going on here that you're not telling me about, because not even professional breeders produce as much livestock as you seem to. Also: if you're charging $5 for a live animal, you may as well just not charge money at all.
THE PERSON WHO 'CHECKS IN' WHEN THEY GET TO WORK
Your life is so empty I can hear my own sadness echoing around it and ricocheting back towards me like a squash ball. Please just start learning an instrument, or something. Get something to make your life worthwhile. Get a new kitchen put in. Anything. Please. Christ.
THE PERSON WHO DEMONSTRATES HOW MUCH OF A FUCKING NIGHT OUT THEY ARE ON BY POSTING A VIDEO OF THEM AND THEIR MATES, THEIR BIG LUNKING ARMS OVER EACH OTHERS' SHOULDERS, SINGING ALONG INCOMPREHENSIBLY TO SOME FUCKING SONG OR OTHER, A VIDEO THAT CONSPIRES TO HAVE WORSE AUDIO QUALITY THAN VIDEO QUALITY, AS IF THAT IS EVEN POSSIBLE, AND IS SHOT IN THE WRONG ASPECT RATIO, AND CUTS OFF PRECISELY HALF A SECOND BEFORE ANYTHING NOTABLE HAPPENS
You know the ones.
THE PERSON WHO IS PERPETUALLY ON HOLIDAY
Actually, I quite like these ones. Like yes: when they post a picture of their hotdog legs with the captions "great view from the office," I think: well you're up there among history's greatest monsters, for this. But nobody has a psychological breakdown on a Monday morning at work like the person who takes six holidays a year. And that's the thing: unless they are smuggling bumfuls of cocaine around Europe and the Americas to pay for their out-of-control beach holiday habit, they have to work in the scant weeks they are not wearing swimwear and being a prick. They are pathos and they ethos. They splash playfully in the sea and they moan about taking a two-hour pub lunch because they "can't cope" with work today. They giveth and they taketh. They cannot cope with reality and they rub their escape in your faces. They are statistically way more likely to have one of them piss fishes swim up their urethras and eat their dicks from the inside out. Placate yourself with that.
THE #SMUGLIFE PERSON WHO SINCERELY DESCRIBES THEMSELVES AS A 'FOODIE' IN THEIR TINDER BIO
There is a lot of pop psychology floating around that's all "ooh, people only put the best representations of themselves online so it's not a true snapshot" and "ooh, envying other people's lives will only make you more depressed about your own" and "ooh, everything is a lie" but holy shit how many quaint countryside gastropubs do you go to each week? And what am I meant to get out of a DSLR photograph of a really tiny pudding? What am I meant to do with that? You didn't make it. I can't congratulate you. It doesn't make me hungry because I can see the thin skin that formed on top of it while you were fucking about trying to get the settings right on your Nikon. I don't want to fuck it. What do you want me to do? How do I engage with this? You paid $20 for a salad. Well done. I don't know how you keep affording to buy lobster mains and fun new twists on a gin and tonic without bailiffs coming around and crushing your knees to dust, but you do. Logistically, your life doesn't make sense. That's what hurts the most: not that you think food is interesting, but that your finances must be a wreck.
THE GREAT THINKING FEDORA BRO
This is the guy who took an IQ test on a Geocities page once and still puts the result on the first page of his CV. He's the one who thinks it's interesting to drink red wine and thinks engaging with popular culture is kitsch. He's the one who pretends he doesn't know who Taylor Swift is. "Taylor Who?" he says at parties. "Never heard of her." Here's a noise he makes when you mention Taylor Swift, ever: tchoh. He has more than one fedora. His profile picture is him wearing a fedora and drinking red wine and wagging his finger at a Taylor Swift CD. He posts statuses like: "Been thinking about the world and how it's broken…" and goes on some long self-fellating bit about how, if everyone just read a little more Anais Nin and spent a day in a homeless person's shoes, maybe this world wouldn't be so bad. "Sigh…" he says, booting up Second Life so he can have his ninth wank of the day over some furry in a crop top who lives in a precise 1:1 model of the Sydney Opera House. "That'll be the day."
Just had chippy tea think they undercooked the chips or something guts playing right up — feeling sick
Up all night with my #shits hoping Tracey From Work or Sian From Work will cover my shift today — feeling hopeful
Can't believe it Tracey From Work is my angel!!!!!! No 8 hour shift for me today just going to stay at home and #delicatelydoapoo — feeling blessed
Snuggled up on sofa with Cat Who Inexplicably Has Its Own Fucking Facebook Profile and watching Grey's Anatomy. Derek Shepherd is a #dish — feeling wonderful
OMG so bored!!!!! lol someone come and save me from this hell!!!!!!!! LOL — feeling annoyed
OMG Tracey From Work has turned up exhausted from her eight-hour shift, her hair slicked to her head with the sweat of labor, her limbs and her heart more tired than her soul, and has bought me a load of fucking Lemsip and an oven cook pizza. MY ANGELLLL!!!!!! — feeling blessed, again
LOL Tracey From Work I'm bored again LOL come take me bowling LOL keep joking with her we should go bowling — feeling the crushing weight of the universe fully come down upon my chest
Just got ID'd in Morrisons for labmrini I'm like LOL I'm 34 I haven't been id' d since I was 17 kid behind checkout counter goes 'sorry just store policy it's really not worth telling Facebook about it's just a very standard procedure at the shops' LOLLLLLL — feeling like the existential angst of being the most pointless human alive somehow seems to be screaming even louder than usual today
All in the same eight-hour timeframe.
PROFILE PHOTO SWAPPERS
In case you didn't know what the person who cycles through four identical profile pictures on a near-weekly basis is doing: they are trolling you for likes. They only change their profile picture because they know you get a pop-up in your feed, and they really want to get a photo with a hundred likes. The kids call this "being thirsty." These people are thirsty. They are thirsty people. Have a glass of water, profile swappers. Because you thirsty.
THE SCHOOL ACQUAINTANCE WHO IS REALLY SPIRITUAL NOW
Hey, thanks for the 54-minute video of a dude in a tunic sitting cross-legged in a pagoda saying "everything is connected Namaste" it really made me rethink my terrible life. Hey, remember that time you got pushed into the boys' toilets and just started crying uncontrollably? Not saying that's the moment you disconnected from the rightful path of the lord and started on your journey to becoming a person who is really into joss sticks and thinks tapping a tiny pair of cymbals together can cleanse a room of bad energy, but it is. That's the moment. I watched it. You cried so much the nurse thought you'd had anaphlyaxis.
PEOPLE WHO POST LINKS TO the Take That TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT AND THEN TAGS LIKE 50 OF THEIR FUCKING FRIENDS WITH THE CAPTION "SHALL WE?"
This is the laziest thing in the whole world. This is the laziest thing in the whole world. You see the information, don't you, through your little pig eyes, and you copy and paste the URL, and you just mash at the keyboard with your fat little fists, don't you? "FRIENDS," you're saying, essentially rendered breathless by your panic to get this done, just mashing away still. "TYPE ALL THE FRIENDS." And then, with a flourish, in a rare moment of psychic calm, you daub out: "Shall we?" I don't need to see the shits you poop out. Here's the most damning thing that can ever be said about a human being, but it can be said about these people: they don't deserve Take That.
THE PERSON WHO CHANGES THE DATE OF THEIR BIRTHDAY TO MAKE SOME WIDER POINT ABOUT HOW WE'RE ALL
DISCONNECTED FROM EACH OTHER IN THIS, THE DIGITAL WORLD
"Thanks for the messages guys but today is NOT my birthday!!!!!" they are saying. "I changed it a few months back because I didn't want people celebrating." A lie. "My REAL birthday is next month and I'd love you all to join me at [SHITTY PUB WHERE YOU CAN'T GET A DECENT BEER BUT THE COCKTAILS COST $15 AND IT IS BY A FUCKING CANAL]!!! Oh my god can't believe this happened to me!!!!!!!"
THE I'M NOT RACIST BUT…
You know. That racist person you know. The one who is always sharing racist things and gets really mad about the concept of mosques. The one who suddenly gets interested for the first ever time in animal rights because of halal. The one who isn't racist, but with a "but" hanging after it so heavy it could sink a ship. A "but" so heavy it could bring the moon toppling out of the sky. I'm not racist… but—and the tides turn, and kept animals start screaming in their cages, and the sun is eclipsed, and the mountains turn to dust—"I'm not racist, but: samosas. Do we really need them?"
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