Admit it; you're kind of obsessed with Facebook. You go on when work is slow, when you feel like procrastinating, or to check if anyone posted pics from Saturday night’s party. You spend huge chunks of time throughout the day learning way too much about people you haven’t spoken to in years. Sure, it’s crazy but we’re all totally addicted.
So, after some extensive research, I got to the bottom of why we love it, why we hate it and what keeps us constantly checking it all day long.
You’re Addicted to Status Updates (even the annoying ones): Why does the whole world need to know that you are giggling, working late, craving cheese, watching The Goonies, or think "tricks are for kids"? (Thanks Dan for that one). Yet, I find myself reading these updates all freaking day. Am I glad to hear an old college friend got engaged? Yes. Do I care that someone’s eating chicken? No. Just eat and stop writing about it.
On the other hand, it's nice to see when someone gets married, has a baby, got a new job or traveled somewhere cool. Status updates can also create an air of mystery. "____ is pensive." Or "_____ is waiting". Why do you have to be so elusive? Do share…you know you’re dying to.
You’re Nosy: It's so sad to see that little broken heart icon show up in the News Feed: "Jane is now single." Great, thanks Facebook for making Jane never want to leave her house again. Not only does Jane feel like a total loser, but now 300 of her friends want to know what happened, which then kicks off the phone chain: "OMG, it said on Facebook that Jane is single! And now there are no more pictures of Mike in her albums." And that ultimately leads to an influx of set-ups Jane is not quite ready for. The upside of this is that she can immediately look at the new set-up on Facebook to determine interest and potential.
And don’t deny it – studying people’s wedding, vacation and baby pictures keeps you busy for hours.
You Just Found Out Your Parents Are On It: When did THIS happen? One day you’re teaching your mom how to check voicemail on her cell phone and the next day you’ve got a friend request? No thanks lady…and stop sending me “cupcakes” all day long.
You Can Learn More About Your Siblings: A few weeks ago I saw that my brother was tagged in some pictures from a Saturday night out. One that caught my eye was him lying in a flower bed on his lawn like Long Duck Dong from 16 Candles. After a frantic phone call I was relieved to hear, "No Jess, I did not get a concussion..." and that he just got a little carried away because Greg was visiting from LA.
You Need to Monitor Your Tagged Pictures: There's nothing worse than when your friends tag the most hideous pictures of you (usually with three chins) and you don't notice for a couple days. So for this reason alone you need to check in often.
You’ve Become a Pseudo-Stalker (sorry it’s true): The things you know about people you rarely talk to are frightening. And then when you bump into these long lost acquaintances, you have to make a quick decision. Do you just tell them that thanks to Facebook you're all caught up on their lives? Do you pretend you didn't see all the pictures of them in Cabo? Do you act surprised that they're moving to Bangladesh when you've known for months?
You Need a Date: Facebook is one of the best ways to get a date, and then to do some major research on them prior to meeting. If you're lucky, you can find out what they do, where they went to school, what they did last weekend, and if they're good with small children. (Most single men post a shot of them holding a newborn to show their sensitive side). You can also get opinions of a blind date from your friends before you accept. They can help predict the future of his hair pattern, comment on wardrobe, approximate height and long-term relationship potential. The downside of this is you will find out a few months later that he's dating someone else after it didn't work out with you. Sorry sister.
You Sorta Think You’re Famous: Sometimes the pics of people posing by themselves, longingly staring at a wall with perfect hair, makeup and lighting is a bit much for me. Or if it's not the self portrait, it's a picture that would fit in US Weekly. I was thinking of asking a friend to take a picture of me leaving a restaurant later, stepping into a black SUV…
You Absolutely Cannot Focus on Work: Facebook is the ultimate tool for procrastination. The downside is that anyone that walks by your desk knows you're on it when you frantically minimize the screen and then look intensely at your desktop like you're in the middle of crafting a plan for world peace. On the flip side, it helps you fake looking busy when there's not much going on at the office. You might appear to be deep into a research project when really you're just taking the Saved by the Bell Trivia Challenge.
You Are Amused at the Secret Lives of Co-Workers: You know when they're cranky or on the brink of quitting in which case you can quickly intervene before it gets ugly. You can also see that the shy girl from accounting was not shy last weekend, or why Mary was late today (since she has Facebook for Blackberry, you know she's stuck waiting for her dentist appointment).
You Need to Network or Promote Something: Thanks to the good old Status Update, I probably got a lot of you to click on this article. You can promote your new blog or company. You can broadcast that you're looking for a new job or a sublet for October. You can tell everyone that you're moving to Boston and ask if they know anyone.
On that note, it's been about an hour since I've last checked Facebook, so I better get back to it. I have a new wave of status updates, photo albums of babies I've never met, party invites and inappropriate wall postings waiting for me. I’ll get to that work memo later…
For more original lifestyle content from FOX News Channel, go back to www.fncimag.com