7 Facebook Behavior Patterns That Could Never Exist Offline

Facebook is, surprisingly enough, not real life and some of the most common behavioral patterns we display online would be completely ridiculous if translated to our daily lives. Read on to see our list of the 7 Facebook behavior patterns that just couldn't exist offline.

There are a number of reasons why we do what we do on Facebook. Behavioral psychologists and social theorists could wax scientific on any number of common Facebook actions for days but, guaranteed, their conclusions would boil down to pretty much one simple reason: we all act like 16th century lobotomy patients on Facebook because it’s acceptable in that setting. However, Facebook is not real life and some of the most common social actions we make therein would absolutely not translate offline. After the jump we’ve got the 7 most common Facebook behavior patterns that couldn’t exist in any other context.

7. Announcing It All

Hey, I’m a single (well, it’s complicated) atheist, bi-sexual female born on February 8, 1988. I like Modest Mouse and The Wire a lot, vote democrat and am looking for friends! The last time someone told me this much about themselves all at once they were narrating their autobiography aloud on their death bed (that never happened!). So, why then, do we feel comfortable sticking all of our vital information into the most prominent, attention-seeking space on our Facebook pages? Taken offline, the behavior of meticiulous profile completers would translate to a collection of people that display an astonishing shortage of interpersonal tact.

6. Butting In

You know when there is a group of people talking — some of them you know and some of them you don’t — and they’re discussing something you’re interested in? Have you ever just gone over to them, sat down and started arguing your position on the subject? No? Me neither — because I wasn’t raised by orangatans (a notoriously rude species of ape). On Facebook, however, this is one of the most common behavior patterns; interjecting in any newsfeed-hitting conversation that happens to catch your interest.

5. I Like It!

One time a friend of mine came over to my place and either “thumbs-upped” or “thumbs-down” everything I said, every song I put on and every book I recommended. We’re not friends anymore. Except on Facebook where constant “liking” and “disliking” is just fine.

4. Buy My Stuff

If I had real-life friends that were always phoning me to read their new blog post or check out their small business updates I would have to change my number. The serial self-promoter is welcome on Facebook, however. In fact they’re a vibrant part of the social landscape!

3. I Was Drunk and So Were You

It’s a good idea to watch how much you drink at the office Christmas party and it’s also smart to keep the most personal aspects of your private life to yourself around work colleagues and, say, your grandparents. On Facebook this isn’t the case. I like to think of all the tagged pictures of wild nights out as being roughly equivalent to a friend bringing a bachelor party photo album to the office and plopping it down on the lunchroom table for everyone to browse. Photo tagging is, without a doubt, completely unacceptable behavior outside of the web.

2. Look at All the Friends I Have

I once thought that it would be a great idea to walk around with a white t-shirt that was ticked with black marker lines representing each of the friends I had. Then I woke up and realized that that would be the single most terrible thing I could possibly do, both to myself and to others. On Facebook, however, carefully bulking up your friend count is implicitly encouraged and “friend-collecting” behavior is common.

1. The Poke

Can you imagine someone that walks around their office or campus jabbing at friends and acquaintances without a word and casually walking away? I hope not. No matter how long Facebook has been around, the poke is still an extraordinary bizarre feature; and one that has no place in the unplugged world.

So, what have we learned with all of this? I guess it’s that there is a time and a place for acting like a lunatic; if that place is Facebook then, apparently, that time is always.