Stat(us)ing the obvious

Most of us are guilty of this on social networking sites, whether it’s snowing or you’re giving a running commentary of a football match/Eastenders/TOWIE, we all state the absolute bleedin’ obvious all the time.

WHY? 

It’s clear that for many of us it’s an absolute pet peev, usually expressed in the form of [insert snow-related post here] so why do we feel the need to write often pointless statuses when everyone knows its cold? Surely the whole point of “What’s on your mind?” should be something far more interesting than West Ham finally winning a match (sports fans check Sky Sports) or whether it’s wrong that Mario should be texting 40 other girls on TOWIE  (just sit down, shut up and watch it).

”]Is it because we feel a need to identify with one another? Like some sort of conformity, the whole sheep brigade phenomena where we feel we need to pipe up and get involved in order to feel like we belong. Is anyone’s status on Facebook actually unique anymore? Isn’t the whole point of social networking to  be nosy get to know someone a little bit more rather than receive a running commentary of X Factor (urgh), where everyone is more or less harping on about the same thing?

Through habit myself and many of my journalism classmates have adapted to a reporter’s way of thinking “So what?” when writing a status. When writing a news story or a feature, in order to encourage the reader to continue reading your article, you have to ask yourself the question, “So what?” “What is the point of this story?” and although it sounds a tad pretentious when it comes to social networking, I think this principle should sometimes be used. Whether you like or not, if people regularly read your statuses, they begin to build up a picture of what they think you’re like and it might not necessarily be the picture you want to be. In fact and yes I’m going to be brutally honest here, I’ve done Facebook culls after becoming bored of the same drivel on some people’s statuses.

Are we all following the herd?

Yes, hands up, I have a massive habit of quoting from TV shows or movies when I’m watching them and usually I’m not alone in doing this. However, I know for a fact that most people don’t wish to be given a running update of the weather forecast when they know it’s cold outside, we all know it’s cold outside  and that’s why we’re doing what most people are doing right now- curled up on the sofa in your layers with a mug of hot chocolate and debating whether you want to go out tonight and risk pneumonia or not.

It’s useful in some ways because sometimes if you’ve been stuck in work all day or you’ve been away on holiday (yes I refuse to log onto any social networks when I’m on a break) Facebook can be like a mini gossip column and every now and again, you find something juicy. Sometimes, I won’t have seen the news or read a paper all day but then I see a buzz online. In fact, recent surveys have shown that most people get news from social media rather than a newspaper.

But next time you write a status, just try and have a little bit of originality because seeing a whole newsfeed full of:

“It’s snowing!!!”

“OMG…SOOOOO COLD BRRRR!”

and “I hope it snows enough so we’re sent home from school…”

It’s boring! I’m sitting here in my thermals with the heating up to 25C…

No shit, Sherlock.

 

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