Facebook Archetypes: Who's in Your Timeline?

By now, we've realized that Facebook follows a type of formula. There are rarely surprises when one scrolls down their Timeline or News Feed, or whatever they're calling it these days, save from the occasional, "Guess what? We're six months pregnant!" or, "A tree just fell on my car," adorned with an Instagram picture through the Kelvin filter.

Facebook's sort of become that office building you worked at for six years, the one where Mr. Jones steps out at 10:15am every day to make coffee - black with two sugars, Melissa lovingly prepares her Quaker Weight Control oatmeal at her desk and powerwalks her way through her lunch hour, yet hasn't lost a pound since she started, you can set your watch by Irene's daughter calling to check in after school every day, and that it must be Friday, because your boss is wearing his Snoopy tie.

Yawn. YAWN.

I would go so far as to say that everyone's timeline pretty much looks the same by now.

That said, do you recognize any of these people?

The Revolutionary Profile picture is of Che Guevara, Joan of Arc, or the little angry guy from Rage Against the Machine. Every status update is a link to a social justice organization, every picture is of a march, sit-in, or peaceful protest, and the only interaction you really have with them is e-signing their petitions.

The Whiner Whine, whine, whine, whine, whine. Their profile picture is a blurry cell phone picture, one that you perceive they imagine perfectly encapsulates the image they consistently fall short of displaying. Status updates inlcude, "I don't know how much more of this I can take..." and, "I'm sooooo frustrated right now!" Details are not provided. You're expected to ask.

The Braggart Profile picture is, you guessed it, she and her man. She's the luckiest girl in the world, from breakfast in bed right on down to her nighttime foot massage. He bought you flowers? Nice. A puppy? What a guy! The third book in the Twilight saga, the paper version? I'm all for literacy. He left a love note in steam on the bathroom mirror? Okay, get over yourself.

The Man Whore Usually a picture of a character from an HBO drama, The Godfather, or an animated series, which is fine because you're as ashamed as he is of his own face. Posts rambling subjective narratives about the intricacies of Eva Longoria's body and where he would attempt placing his appendages if he had the chance. As an added bonus, his friends interject with equally prehistoric/offensive comments. Before you know it, you're virtually smelling of sweaty jock straps. You're in the locker room, and anything goes. Aren't you glad you wandered in?

The Lady Whore Profile picture is, of course, of her, in a tight dress, posing provocatively. Oh, hell, every picture is of her in a tight dress, posing provocatively. Albums are solely of her in bars and clubs, cuddling with various male strangers, save from a stray picture here and there of her kids (wait - she has kids?!?). Status updates include musings about "why I can't find a good guy..." and how "someday I'll find someone who truly treats me right." (Pssst. Ask one of us.)

The Narcissist Profile picture changes at least once a week. From coy smirk to doe eyes to an eyelash-accentuating black-and-white. Status is updated (way too) frequently to include mood shifts, preferences, addictions, wants, desires, indulgences, and revelations such as, "This is just the way I am!" Exhausted yet?

The Saver Profile picture is of their twelve kids and/or extended family. They're frugal, and they want you to know it. They found a deal on toilet paper and are eager to share. Buy one, get one free? They've got you covered. They make extreme couponing look like an afternoon on a hammock. Talk to them if you want to know where to buy cereal in a brown paper bag or deodorant for $.44.

The Pioneer In the Pioneer's profile picture, he is sitting smugly on a chair made out of recycled soda bottles, on the porch of his completely sustainable home. He fashions his own tools, grows his own vegetables, shaves with a whittled reed, and drives a Volkswagen that runs exclusively on children's tears. He's concerned about his carbon footprint - and yours. Photographs his homegrown produce with a brilliance usually reserved for the likes of Bon Appétit. With his insistence on documenting his every move in the garden, on the beach (hand fishing for his dinner), and in the kitchen, one has to wonder where he finds the time to eat at all. He has an entire album devoted to burlap bags and his compost heap. You know that Monday is 'Farmer's Market Day' and that he just sent his sandals back to LL Bean to be resoled. Are those locally sourced fava beans? Why, yes, yes they are.

The Drama Mama You know who she is, and, no, you can't hide. She spouts her business, and, if you don't watch out, yours, too. She documents every solitary second of her relationships, which is extremely helpful for others to determine when they will all go up in flames. Her current man always has kids (but no custody) and a hoochie for an ex, and oh, by the way, she was at Save-A-Lot today, looking stank and talking junk. She posted a picture of her ex's license plate, you know, in case you ever run into the bastard. You'd delete her, but you're afraid. Instead, you nod and smile accommodatingly and hope you stay off her radar.

The Worrier Profile picture is of her baby, teetering precariously over an activity table, you know, to ensure that you see that he's meeting his developmental milestones. Is this headache normal? How many toes is one supposed to have? Can dogs eat Advil Liqui-Gels? Has anyone died from employing the three-second rule? What does a tick look like? She wants to know. Her mental anguish is your mental anguish. And no one's had the chutzpah to tell her to Google it yet, so pull up a chair for the crazy show.

I realized in writing this that I'm "the annoying bigmouth who complains incessantly about bad customer service" and "she who laundry-lists everything that's gone wrong in the past few weeks". I could literally continue this list indefinitely, but I don't want to be the chick "who goes on and on and never lets anything go".

So, tell me, who's in your timeline?

Momma Be Thy Name

@mommabethyname on Twitter 

Momma Be Thy Name on Facebook  



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