Facebook Decoder Ring

I click on Facebook more often than I should. I admit to having a burning desire to know what that girl from my 5th-grade Earth Science class is up to now that she’s in her mid-50’s.  From what I understand, she’s unhappily divorced and living with her elderly parents and a three-legged cat named Squiggy. For the detail seekers amongst you, Squiggy was diagnosed with a rare feline circulatory disorder just over a year ago. Despite the prayers and smiley-face emoticons sent his way, Squiggy lost the wheel anyway.  For his part, he doesn’t appear to miss the leg too much, though it’s hard to tell from the pictures.

Squiggy lays on the floor in the most hazardous spots.  It's only a matter of time before he's going to get tangled up in Dad's walker.  (Image from echeng dot com)
Squiggy lays on the floor in the most hazardous spots. It’s only a matter of time before he’s going to get tangled up in Dad’s walker. (Image from echeng dot com)

That’s the thing with Facebook – you can’t always tell what’s really going on.  There are posts and photos galore, but sometimes it’s hard not to imagine that there’s more to the stories.  With this in mind, I’m developing something called the Social Network Objective Reinterpretation Tool, or SNORT.  When completed, this tool will be able to take a standard Facebook post and reinterpret it to give the reader the  poster’s actual message.  The results look promising so far, but I’ve still got a few bugs to work out.

Here are a couple of quick SNORT interpretations.

Original Post:  “I’m going to miss my son/daughter when I drop them off at college for the first time next week.”

SNORT version:  “That’s right bitches, my kid is going to college!  You whispered behind my back that he looked “a little slow” at that birthday party back when he was turning 6, even though I had already explained that it was because he was taking allergy medicine.  I knew you didn’t believe me.”

Maybe he'll make the dean's list, or maybe he'll find a market for those allergy meds.  (Image from quickmeme dot com)
Maybe he’ll make the dean’s list, or maybe he’ll find a hot market for those allergy meds. (Image from quickmeme dot com)

Original Post:  “Congratulations to my daughter Savannah and the rest of the Pikesville 8-and-under swim team on another great season!  Go Pikers!!!”

SNORT version:  “Savannah can swim, just not fast enough to get a medal.  I hope this post soothes the sore feelings about my forgetting to bring brownies to the Tri-County qualifier meet.”

Original Post: (Inspirational Poster).

SNORT version: “I’m feeling like this quote from some guy I’ve never heard of is right along the lines of how I’m feeling today, but there’s a strong possibility that I posted it because I like pictures of unicorns and rainbows.”

Why ruin this illustration with an attempt at a witty caption?  (Image from demotivational posters dot com)
Why ruin this illustration with an attempt at a witty caption? (Image from demotivational posters dot com)

Original Post:  “If you’re against child molestation, you’ll repost this.”

SNORT version:  “If you were a child molester, posting something like this would be a good way to make people think that you weren’t.”

Original Post: “This is a test…this will determine my future on FB
Don’t often do this but….It occurs to me that for each and every one of you on my friends list, I catch myself looking at your pictures, sharing jokes and news, as well as support during good and bad times….[blah blah blah blah for a ton more words, then ends with the following:]… So, if you read this, leave one word on how we met. Only one word, then copy this to your wall so I can leave a word for you.”

SNORT version:  “A clever vehicle constructed to help people with failing memories remember how they ever came to  know their “friends” on Facebook in the first place.  Sadly, the use of a one word clue for the real-world connection is often insufficient to give the original poster enough information to actually recall meeting the friend.  For instance, ‘church‘ is nowhere near as descriptive as ‘we used to go sniff glue together out behind the church’.”

Original Post:  “Joe Blow is listening to Nickleback on @Okeydokey Internet Radio – you should too!”

SNORT version:  “Joe Blow’s taste in music is nearly as horrific as his taste in TV reality shows.  If you join him, all your friends will see what hideous taste you have.”

Several major college football teams have changed the names of the positions in their defenses due to no one wanting to play "Nickleback".  (Image from nashvillescene dot com)
Several major college football teams have changed the names of the positions in their defenses due to no one wanting to play “Nickleback”.(Image from nashvillescene dot com)

Original Post:  “Joe Blow is watching the “Say Yes to the Dress” marathon on TLC.”

SNORT version: “Joe Blow’s taste in reality TV is even worse than we had originally thought.   If you want to watch this crap, it’s your business, but letting everyone on Facebook know about it is just a bad idea.”

Original Post: (Biblical quotes, requests for prayers and/or offerings of blessings)

SNORT version: “I may not attend services with any regularity or behave in a very pious manner, but I’m hoping Jesus is on Facebook.  If he is, I’ll try to friend Him .”

I saw what you wrote on Facebook - you're allowed into heaven now. (Image from popejokes dot com)
I saw what you wrote on Facebook – you’re allowed into heaven now. (Image from popejokes dot com)

Original Post: “Hey everybody, click this link to see my latest blog post.”

SNORT version:  “Thanks to this blog, I can tell people that I’m a struggling writer and not a middle-aged loser.”

Obviously interpretations like that last one are examples of the kinks in the program which still need to be ironed out.  I’m thinking once I get this working well, I can create an app with it and sell millions of them.  Once I’m rolling in the bucks, I’ll quit my dead-end job and maybe get myself a Trans-Am and some hair-plugs.

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42 thoughts on “Facebook Decoder Ring

  1. Ummm…. yeah, no comment about that last one. Other than that, though, this list is scarily accurate. I think I’ve seen all of these. I’ve only gotten the “if you don’t read this incredibly long, rambling, passive-aggressive message all the way to the end and then repost it so that you’ll look as annoying and pathetic as I do right now” message once. I didn’t respond, and I was actually kind of surprised that the guy didn’t unfriend me.

  2. Hey, friend! If I hadn’t already scrapped FB, this post would do it for me, my friend. My dearest friend, hope you make millions and don’t forget your blogging friends. In friendship, your friend, Blogdramedy (the goddess)

    1. Vacation photos present a big problem for my software. Sometimes they translate to “Look at me spending the money that should have gone towards my kid’s orthodontia” then other times it says “Some lucky bastard shared a commercial jet with my brood and me”

  3. The ones that get me are the ones that start off “Do me a favour, repost this on your status, just for an hour, I think I know the ones who will…” It’s the “I think I know the ones who will” bit that makes me want to slap them! (And I’m totally anti-violence, so THAT’S how bad it is). It’s so judgmental, they’re saying that they know who the kind and thoughtful people are who will repost it, and everyone else is selfish and thoughtless. Nah! “I think I know the ones who will”, yes the other losers like you! And don’t even get me started on the urban legends that people share and post on there which translate as “I love to be the the one who passes on shocking/scary information and I really don’t give a toss whether it’s true or not, even though people like Vanessa have regularly redirected me to snopes, or hoax-slayer, I don’t want to find out it’s not true, so I will just repost it anyway”.

    1. You’re so right. The other aspect of the people you describe which drives me crazy is the fact that most of them actually write nothing at all – they just cut and paste almost everything. As something of a writer, it irks me that these people can’t even come up with original material to bother me with.

  4. Geez I’ve missed you. So have the ducks, chickens, assorted hogs (several new litters if you want to know) and of course the black and whites all-over and their accumulated shit.
    Flags (well, one) lowered (rope broke) when you and famn damily left our fair city.
    FB?
    Really?
    Comments are closed.
    XXOX

    1. I’ve missed you as well. The pics and the story I’ll write with them are hanging over my head, ripening. Things have been choppy since my return East, and I’ve yet to get my feet beneath me.

      Comments are closed? Really, or is that just your pronouncement?

  5. Is it too late for May the Queen Of?….to make pronouncements and proclamations? Ripe away…Oh and if you do post your own photo…could you make me appear taller? Thanks for that…sending you the pick of the litter in gratitude. Maybe the litter.

  6. You missed the personal / marriage updates when everything is going wrong. I love those! Maybe they don’t need anything more.

    You also missed my personal favorites, begging for clicks. You know the ones I mean, right? “My boyfriend said if I get 1,000,000 clicks he will marry me.” I love these, I don’t click just to see what happens.

  7. I’m a big fan of the enigmatic facebook status updates, things like “So that just happened” or “I can’t believe that just happened” or “Wow, did that just happen?” This elicits several responses like “What happened” and “What?” and then no response. It’s like the greatest mystery.

    1. I just saw one of those yesterday! I was more curious than I should have been, since nothing which could have happened to that particular “friend” could have been all that interesting to begin with. Still…I checked there again this morning to see if there was any clarification.

  8. You had me until that last one, which is OBVIOUSLY a result of an egregious flaw in the SNORT program. (Long, awkward silence after which I walk away, filled with the self-loathing that comes from having a mirror held up to my own pretensions.)

      1. I post Facebook notices about blogs every 4-5 months or so, and always feel awkward.

        Right now I’m trying to figure out how to suggest to my local paper that an article on this new-fangled blogging phenomenon would be interesting, and, hey, what do you know, I just happen to know someone they can interview! I can’t figure out how to bring it off without looking like a total, braggy-bragadoccio which, of course, I am. Pathetic. I know.

        But any ideas?

    1. You did fall for it, but I’m glad you did, otherwise, I might have never figured out how we became friends. Your one word answer of “wine” was tricky though, until I recalled leaving those chardonnays and pinot gris in the bushes outside your door.

          1. Not at all. We have at least one over-sized housecat…and he never leaves anything on my doorstep. It could have something to do with the fact that he’s never allowed outside, but, deep down, I know he’s pretty selfish, so even if he caught a blue jay, he’d bury it in a shallow grave and deny everything. Bastard.

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