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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How to Be Awesome at Facebook: Community Groups Edition

Facebook groups are a big thing right now. I'm  member of at least 25 and an admin on several of those. One very popular type of group is the community-specific group. This group is often titled "What's Happening in [insert city]," and it's a good idea in theory. It's like a modern day town hall, bulletin board, and social center all in one. I joined two or three of them (we live in an area adjacent to several small towns) hoping for updates on things like upcoming family events, places to watch fireworks or see Christmas lights, and maybe some local news. What I found were basically gossip threads punctuated by ads for businesses, a million lost pets, and lots of indignant rants.

Now, maybe the Facebook group for your city is very different. Maybe the people in your community manage to hold meaningful discourse when election season comes around. Maybe everyone in your city treats religious differences with respect. Maybe they realize that not every business appeals to every individual.

Or maybe not. If your group is anything like mine, there are a few types of annoying posts you are likely to see on any given day.  If you want to be awesome at these groups, try not posting these things:

1)  Does anyone know of a good doctor/dentist/lawn service/mechanic/neurosurgeon? They need to be very high quality and very cheap. I have an urgent issue, so they need to be able to address my problem today, preferably before noon. I know that ten other people have asked for the same recommendation just this week, but scrolling gives me vertigo and search buttons are for commoners, so help me out. Your recommendations mean so much to me, people I've never met! Thank you!

Most of these groups have a FAQ page that has links to threads discussing all of these types of recommendations.  Try that first.

2)  Help! I've lost my dog/cat/parakeet! Please stand outside and call for Muffin as loud as you can! I am crying right now as I type this! We miss our furbaby so much! Muffin does not have a collar or microchip because we never thought she would dream of leaving us! Please help us find her!

I have sympathy for people who lose their pets, but at the rate it seems to happen in the communities near me, either the animals have a secret competition to see who can get their picture on the Internet the most, or people need to keep better track of their furry friends.

3)  Did anyone else just hear that loud boom? What was it? Was it a bomb? Is the government invading our state? Should I bug out to the woods? Or was it an explosion? A plane crash? Are the aliens here??

I swear at least once a week someone asks about a boom.  

4)  Don't forget when you go to the polls tomorrow to vote for [candidate]. He is the only one who really loves our community, and he has promised to develop the empty land off the highway into a unicorn farm instead of a sewage plant like that other guy. I'm not trying to start an argument here. Just stating facts, so please no negative comments!

Politics.  Enough said.

5)  Does anyone know where I can find an elaborately decorated cake for around $20? Needs to look just like this picture from Martha Stewart Living. Oh, and I need it tomorrow.

Not sure why cakes seem to come up as much as they do, other than Pinterest making us feel like we have to have outrageously themed parties for everything from birthdays to potty training

6)  What's up with all the police cars on [road name]?  Is it kids doing drugs? Is it the Twitter? I bet it's the Twitter! This community has gone down so much since we moved here!

Do you really think anyone else on here knows the answer?  Either they are involved, in which case they are most likely not going to post it, (and most likely busy at the moment) or they are just guessing, same as you.

7)  I need to sell this exersaucer/deep freezer/bike/car/house asap!  Price: [exactly $6 cheaper than buying it new]  It is in beautiful condition!!  I mean, it may have a few scratches, one small hole, one light not working, a faint smell of mildew, and some peeling paint, but otherwise, LIKE NEW!! Must be willing to drive across town to meet me, because I live 45 minutes away from the city on the title of this group. Serious inquiries only, please.

A person's estimation of what qualifies as "excellent condition" is completely contingent on whether they are doing the buying or the selling.

8)  No one should ever use [name of businesses] again! They are terrible at everything ever!!! We went there today and it was the worst experience I have had in my entire life!  I'm pretty sure I have a new disease and/or neurological disorder because of them.  I am so upset, I am going to write the manager an EMAIL! I don't usually go that far, but I'm telling you, this is one of those times!!!!

This is usually a follow up to #1.  When you ask random strangers for recommendations, you get answers that may not be tailored to your specific and very particular needs.  

9)  My child is starting the middle school this fall. Is it a good school? Do the kids fight or join gangs? Which teacher did your child get for this school year? Mine got [name of teacher]. Should I be worried?? Please remember that most of the teachers are also in this group, so be as opinionated as possible when describing all the problems I am going to have with them this year.

I have personally seen all of the above questions actually posted in all seriousness.

10)  I need a job immediately. I went to like, three places today but they all just said they were "taking applications" and I needed to have a "resume." I need a job like, TODAY!  I can't wait for a resume!! Someone hire me! I'll do anything (except for the thirteen things suggested in the comments below)! Come on guys, help me out!

If this person is a quick study, they could make a fortune selling cakes in this group.

And as a bonus, the absolute most common post you will see on a Community Facebook Group:

11)  I am the admin of this page and NONE OF YOU JOKERS ARE FOLLOWING ANY OF THE RULES!!!  I will straight up delete all y'all and post on this page all by myself if you do not start following the rules immediately!!!

Usually this post is somewhat justified, because people don't follow the rules, and that is super annoying.  Still, this rant happens in just about every group I'm in at least once a week. 

Did I miss any?  What are the most common posts in your groups?

And please remember: Vote unicorns, not poop.


  1. I wasn't familiar with this topic, but it was a great introduction. My favorite line was "If this person is a quick study, they could make a fortune selling cakes in this group." I doubt they would have the patience to actually read all the comments, but it was a fair and reasonable thought. Bahahahahah

  2. Sorry, forgot to sign that.