Wednesday, April 16, 2014

17 Steps to Writing “Like”able Status Updates and Stop Annoying Your Friends

Keep it to twenty words or less
I want the info and I want it fast, particularly if you’re trying for a witty post. Cut, cut, cut the fluff.

Read your status update before you post it
Typos make you look foolish. Clean it up.

Try action verbs and avoid overused adverbs and adjectives
Going right along with eliminating unnecessary words: try switching out those to-be verbs (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been) with some action verbs. And eliminate overused adverbs and adjectives like “totally” and “very.”

Blah: “We’ve been together five terrific years today and went to the Dodger-Diamondbacks game to celebrate.”

Oooo: “Celebrating our five years together with a little friendly rivalry at the Dodger-Diamondbacks game.”

Beginning with the action verb and eliminating the “to-be” verb immediately puts my friends in the action.

Be realistic
When sharing a video, blog, or meme, give it to me straight. I’m much more likely to look into it if you’re honest with me. Refer to my friend Amy’s self-test about posts like “BEST EVER!” or “Most amazing------in the world!”

“Is a dog jumping through a hula hoop or a 5-year-old kid singing a crappy rendition of a song the best thing you have ever heard or seen?” Likely not.

Use exclamation marks and CAPS LOCK with trepidation
Unless you are literally jumping up and down and about to run through the streets shouting your news to the heavens, keep your punctuated “excitement” to yourself.

Post 2 times a day or less
If you limit your posts, you by-product only post the best of the best, and your great posts don’t get lost in the mundane, and therefore get more likes. If you’re using Facebook as your only source of validation and feel the need to post about every menial thing, go ask your mom to give you more hugs. #momhugs

People like relating to your post, so find the nugget in your status that makes people go, “Amen!” or “Happens to me all the time!”
We’re all here just trying to relate in the human experience. State your universal truth and give us specific details. Don’t leave out the details because that’s what makes the truth funny or interesting—aka “like”able.

“Just signed up for Spotify Premium solely because I was sick of listening to 30 second commercials for 1) Trojan and 2) terrible rap artists” (Natalie Wall).

“When your child poops on your pants the day after you did laundry and you think, ‘It's not that much poop . . . a little water . . . no one will ever know’” (Yours truly).

Funny observations
The world of comedy exists in being able to translate funny observations into words. Join the world. Everyone loves a good laugh.

“Cell bio fact of the day: the race for zygote fertilization isn't about being the fastest sperm-swimmer. It actually comes down to being the best mucous-eater. So congratulations; you all once ate egg-mucous faster than your competitors” (Natalie Wall).

“I'm watching my carbs. I'm watching them go in my mouth. I'm watching my gummy bears too” (Kyle Martin).

Quotations, usually without commentary
If you overhear or engage in an amusing conversation, we love hearing about it. Don’t feel the need to also tell us it’s funny by posting after the quotations, “I could not stop laughing.” We know. We just read it, and we laughed too.

Cim: “I had a dream where you kept your tummy to yourself and didn't put any babies in it.”
Me: “Oh?”
Cim: “Yeah. It was a scary dream.”
(Shannon Cooley)

Satire and Sarcasm
We all love a little snarkcissism. Just don’t go too far or too often into the “pity me” zone. #momhugs

“11:39 PM: hot date on the couch with my cell bio textbook and a bag of Smarties. Living the dream” (Natalie Wall).

“I enjoy short walks on the beach. Really short. More like driving past the beach. I enjoy seeing pictures of the beach. I acknowledge beaches” (Kyle Martin).

“Sorry I opened your Valentine's Day chocolates. I was hungry and you're imaginary” (Kyle Martin).

Nobody cares about your play-by-play except your mom, so text your mom instead
Basically, post two times a day or less, and this one sorts itself out. #momhugs ‘Nuff said.

We don't care about your baby's mile-marking #momhugs, but we do care about funny or sweet things your baby says.
Again, two posts a day or less and this one pretty much takes care of itself. This mom rocks my socks with her kids’ dialogues:

Mari: “Can I have a drink, please?”
Me: “Sure, what would you like to drink? Milk? Water?”
Mari: “Yours.”

THIS, people. This is a parent’s life in condensed form.
(Shannon Cooley)

If you’re going to mush about your spouse or partner, keep it short and specific.
Avoid clichés—“He's the best husband in the world!” That just makes everyone roll their eyes.

And while we’re on personal relationships, NEVER use Facebook to say negative things about your spouse or (the one I usually see) your kids.
I know your kid is a terror; I’ve met him/her. But if you’re not planning on soliciting advice on behavioral problems, stop using Facebook to complain. Wait until your kid is asleep and definitely can’t hear you, then call your mom and vent it up. #momhugs

Fishing posts
If you’re not willing to share the drama (and it’s likely we don’t want to hear it anyway) then don’t post at all. “Worst day EVAAAAA!” “About to kill this school’s admin!” Come on, people. Call your mom. #momhugs

Don’t be a hater
State your opinion, share your beliefs, quote a scripture—terrific. But Facebook is not the medium for hashing out your beliefs against others’. You’re not going to change anyone’s mind over social media. Get off Facebook and go build yourself a soap box.

Don’t force their hand
Posts that read like chain mail often have the exact opposite effect. We all like to think we’re intelligent enough to decide for ourselves whether or not we want to post, like, or share. Leave it up to us. 

Call your mom, be intelligent, be funny, and be nice.

Thanks to Shannon Cooley, Kyle Martin, and Natalie Wall for letting the world benefit from your fine examples. Here's to making News Feed a better place.

This is what Andilyn thinks. Comment below with thoughts of your own.


  1. Who do you call when you mom isn't alive? I know, that's grotesque, but I'm old and can get away with it.

    1. I guess I painted myself into a corner there, didn't I?

  2. I don't seem to have enough to say even for one post a day. I see others who do exactly what you're talking about--writing cutesy things their kids say and sometimes rat them out when they've done something bad (like embarrassing them on Facebook is a good thing?), but my kids are grown, and even if they weren't, I don't share that easily. I do like to "share" (repost) placards, inspirational sayings or beautiful photos I think are interesting. But I'm very much an introvert. Don't know if I'll ever overcome my tendency to keep to the background.

    1. Well I appreciate you commenting here. And I always love seeing beautiful photos in my News Feed.