In one hundred years, I expect Facebook will be viewed as one of the great social experiments of all time. It is used to inform, teach, motivate, inspire, evoke, incite, share… the list continues. It operates on a simple premise – you type a remark, post a photograph, or add a link to an article you’ve read or video you’ve seen. When your Facebook friends see this, they have five options: 1. ignore; 2. read or view, and move on; 3. click a “like” button”; 4. add a comment, and/or 5. share it with their friends.
It’s the personality profiles that are revealed when someone originates a post OR how someone responds that will provide a link to mankind’s thought processes in the early 21st century. That’s the experiment. Let me explain with a real life case study.
Recently, I “shared” an article about adding only one space after a typed sentence instead of two, which so many of us learned back in the day (who can even remember what day that was?). You see, I have just very recently learned this myself, so I was happy to pass this tidbit of information on. http://www.cultofpedagogy.com/two-spaces-after-period/
If you wallow in Facebook mud as I am known to do, you know there are a ton of quizzes to help you determine your true career, what children’s author you’re most similar to, and who should play you in a movie (as if!). Well, the responses I received after posting this fairly innocuous piece of information could be one of those quizzes. It would read “Take this quiz now and learn how one simple response reflects your personality”.
I have never received responses that demonstrated writer personalities quite like this post, and I am left to wonder, what passion for sentence spacing has been stirring in the recesses of the souls of so many people for so long?
So with this newfound test data, let me share my Official Assessment of Facebook Personalities,with actual responses quoted, followed by my analysis. Remember, the information shared was that one space should be added after a sentence in a typed document rather than two.
Defiant: “Still do it even after I learned of the change sometime last year.” (Not even willing to consider change.)
Militant: “Who cares! I choose to flamboyantly flaunt my two spaces! And I invite you to join me in this daring rebellion Pam Sievers.” (Similar to Defiant, but issued a challenge, no doubt pounding the table at Starbucks, making sure she never spilled a drop of her latte.)
Philosopher: “I am proudly a 2 space user. Age can bring wisdom, you know.” (Has mastered the art of BS and can sling it whenever required. Must be an attorney.)
Survivor: “I am open to the challenge.” (Approaches life with a can-do attitude.)
Competitor: “This changed with the ADVENT of WORD SOFTWARE PROCESSING. Think about it – how long ago was that – time for the one spacers to take down the double space oldies.” (Had to use caps as if we didn’t get the message. Could also be called the annihilator, because being right isn’t enough.)
Challenger: “What does the writer’s Bible, The Chicago Manual of Style, say on the matter?’ (Didn’t believe the article or the PR professional who cited AP guidelines; she still needed further proof.)
Humbler: All I need to do is click “like”. No one else needs to hear me say “I knew that.”
Dependent Justifier: “My i Phone auto places a period if I space twice.” (Which isn’t even quite the same. These people seem to look at the same folks who have them hooked on Candy Crush for direction in life. Note: Apple Inc does not include a pledge to maintain expertise in sentence spacing in their mission statement.)
Lifelong Student: “Learn something new every day,” as she quickly shared with her friends. (Not only is she happy to learn, but she wants to teach others along the way.)
Observer: They declared no response; maybe they didn’t read it, maybe they knew, maybe they didn’t, but we will never know. They probably run the world.
Impostor: The person who likes comments supporting both single and double spaced backers. Probably not to be trusted.
We learn so much about human behavior from Facebook. I’ve even determined there is a Facebook Trifecta, and if I want to ensure more likes, all I have to do is simply include any one of these three links to my post – a puppy playing in a lawn sprinkler, a kitten falling into and then trying to climb out of a box, or a favorite cheesy chicken casserole recipe. That’s it – pure gold to ensure a like, and my self-esteem will get a boost.
So tell me, what other personalities do you find lurking behind the Facebook curtain? I promise, I won’t make any assumptions about you based on your response. That data has been collected.