What Does It Mean To “Like” Your Own Facebook Status?

Depends: Are you terrible? Also: post-date Twitter rules, and untagging exes.

I have a Facebook friend who every time he posts a status update promptly “likes” it. And it makes me sad! But should it? Or is this a thing people do?

Well, your first mistake was framing those two things — stuff that makes you sad, and legitimate-ish THINGS that people, as a significant group, do — as being necessarily mutually exclusive. Let’s say we had a drawing of a very big Venn diagram. The circle on the left side is labeled “Things That Make Us Sad,” and the circle on the right side is labeled “Things That People Do.” The overlapping portion in the middle would be labeled “The Internet.”

I think we all have a Facebook friend or two (or twelve) who like their own statuses or their own comments with a frequency so striking you can pick up on this habit from the News Feed alone. How you feel about that is probably just going to be an extension of how you feel about that person generally. (I find it cute in a friend I like and admire, and annoying in a friend I find…annoying.) And one thing you can say about someone like this is that he or she probably does not care what you or I think. Yes, it’s a weird thing to do — especially every time, especially right away — but as someone who not all THAT infrequently ends up kind of having Facebook comment discussions with herself (because nobody ever cares about the UFO sightings like I want them to), I can’t really pass judgment on this one. (Oh. Ohhhh, I get it. Yep, never mind, it is sad! Haha, okaaaaayyyy, see you later!)

What IS a favorite? Via Twitter: @articles

I went on a date with this guy I met through Twitter, and it seemed like it went well, and I really like him, but we haven’t yet talked about another one. It’s been a week and a half. But then, yesterday, he favorited a tweet of mine. No word since. ??? What does THAT MEAN?

You know what I love? Doing what you’re doing now. Having a conversation with someone you have a crush on (haha, “conversation”) and thinking about it one way but then, two hours later, thinking about it the opposite. Asking your friends if they think this one tiny little thing he said or did meant anything and then, when they say they don’t know, because it’s impossible to say, asking them, well, but what if you think about it like THIS. Making up your mind that you are sure and then thinking up a few (implausible, frankly) make-out scenarios. Then starting to wonder again. What. Does. It. MEAN.

You know what I also hate? All of the above! Ahhh, feelings. They are so fun! And so horrible! What is the answer? What if THERE IS NO ANSWER??

Anyway. I’m going to do what I’m supposed to do and say “I don’t know,” because it’s the truth, and I do not have a great track record in predicting the outcomes of these things? But! I think there’s a decent chance this young man wants to go out with you again and is gauging your interest in the same. He might not be sure what you’re thinking either! (Weirddddd, right? And you thought you were being so obvious!) The favorite is a reminder that he is there, maybe. (Also, does he read my column? Sneaky!) I think you should send this guy a text message and tell him you had fun meeting him and want to go do something again soon. This wondering stage you’re in is SO fun/awful, but it’ll probably only get to the next fun-er/awful-er stage if one of you takes action. I hope he says yes.

Should I untag pictures of me with my ex?

Here is how I know you aren’t listening to me (or, if you’ve started reading only recently and didn’t have the decency to go back and read every last column I ever wrote to catch up): I told you in my very first column that you should unfriend your ex on Facebook and have been screaming about it ever since. And if you had done that (and absorbed the rationale behind it), you wouldn’t be asking me this question now, because they go hand-in-hand. They’re both answered by the same general rule you should have already carved into your own heart, like, over a year ago now.

That rule is this: As much as it is possible, in the vast majority of terminated relationships: Abandon your exes on the internet. (Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of the one internet, there were a bunch of them? And we could kind of send each other around to different ones as our relationships and friendships and interests shifted? “I don’t think you should come to THIS internet, anymore.” But if everyone had the same power to exile, and one person in one internet could kick someone out even if everyone else in that internet didn’t want her to go, would we all, ultimately, end up in separate internets of one? Gchatting with no one. Omg.)

It’s just going to be easier and better this way. Seeing this person’s name (and face) is going to prolong your grieving/emotional confusion period longer than is necessary. It’s also going to be a massive time-suck, and you and I both know that you don’t really need any more of those. Plus, you know all you’re doing by leaving them up is making it easier for your creepy friends to track your relationship history across your whole life, right? Just untag them. It’ll feel great. I’m sorry about the attitude in my first paragraph, too. It’s not you, it’s me.

FWD: Halp! is a weekly advice column on how to behave like a person when using technology. Would you like said advice? Email your questions to Katie.

Illustration by Cara Vandermey.

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