Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hijacking Epidemic

You've see it happen. You may even have done it yourself. Someone (the Original Poster, or OP) posts an interesting status on Facebook and someone else replies with a comment that is ALL ABOUT THEM.

Example 1: Call the WAH-mbulance!

I named this one after my husband's favourite response when I go on a pity party: "Oh no! Should I call the WAH-mbulance?"

"Yum! Enjoy!
I'm going to nnn's, but my TMJ is acting up for some reason
so I probably won't be able to eat anything -- eat some for me!"
It starts out well with a nice affirmation of the OP's comment, but then it turns into a "poor me" comment. TMJ, for those who don't know, is tempero-mandibular joint pain. It's a bitch, but we don't need to know about it any more than we need to know about her urinary tract infection, which is also miserable and could spoil one's weekend.

In any case, the commenter's response is not out-and-out passive-aggressive, but it comes close.

Example 2: Topper

I named this one after "Topper" of Dilbert fame - he who consistently one-ups anyone he talks to. Had a miscarriage? Yah, well Topper had a late-term still-birth, so SUCK IT!

The use of all-caps may have been a sign that the commenter did not understand the subtle etiquette of social media. Again, she started out fine, with a congratulatory message, but then made it all about her: "Oh, yah?" she implies, "Well we've been married almost twice as long as you, and we went someplace hot and expensive to celebrate!"

When these kinds of faux pas happen in a normal conversation (as they do), we don't really notice. It's just the back-and-forth of dialogue. You say something that makes me think of something related, so I mention it. We go back and forth. It's all good. (Unless it happens every gal-darned time we speak to that person, in which case we know we're dealing with a narcissist.)

But when it happens on social media, it's like a record scratch - it can grind the exchange to a halt. And everyone can see!

Word to the wise: next time you start to comment, ask yourself: Am I making it all about me? If so, pause. Reframe your comment. Make it about the OP.

Thank you.


  1. Good post! The other day I was .............

  2. I read that generally that's how conversations work. :P Everyone vies for attention.

    1. Yes, it's pretty normal. It just looks way more tacky when it's printed on a screen.

  3. It does. I always hope not to do that, but I also want to share the "I've been there too" thing. Hard to balance, sometimes.


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