What with taking time out of Facebook lately and everything, I’ve had time to think – and it’s occurred to me that there are basically six types of Facebook post. Why not? There are six types of just about everything these days, so why should social media be an exception? So here they are, in no particular order:
1. Trivia. There is, as many people have spotted, an awful lot of trivia on Facebook: from photos of people’s pets (a perennial favourite) to stories of what happened the last time you dunked a biscuit in some overheated coffee or tried to sell your house. Trivia is the mainstay of Facebook.
2. Stories. These merge into trivia but tend to be more serious, focussing on illness or hardship or tales of woe relating to claiming Housing Benefit (I know whereof I speak).
3. News. These take the form of takes on the day’s news; whether simply reporting it, giving a supposedly ‘insider’ slant on it, or commenting on it. They are not specially reliable but can nonetheless induce feelings of anger or outrage.
4. Causes. These posts try to recruit people to good causes, whether to sign a petition, donate money or simply share a status. They range from missing toys to genocide.
5. Ranting. Ranting is obviously related to both News and Causes, but need not be either. People very often use Facebook to have a good rant, and the topics of these rants range from the temperature of their tea to the imminence or otherwise of global environmental catastrophe. Food and drink are very popular subjects for a rant, as are people’s partners (and especially ex-partners).
6. Cat. There are so many posts about cats – photos, videos, stories, stories with photos, stories with videos and stories with photos and videos – that they need a – ahem! – category all to themselves.
And that’s the whole of Facebook.
Now please repost, have a rant about it, get people to sign the petition and post a photograph.