From Willow's homophobic Facebook rant to Sarah's confusing and misspelled political "notes" to Bristol's counterattacks on Keith Olberman and Margaret Cho, the Palin family can't resist the siren song of Facebook, the preferred venue of passive aggressive jerks. Ladies: stop.
Appealing to Facebook when you have a beef with someone is just about the least direct and constructive way to advance dialogue. It's snotty and shields you from direct counterattack, and thus it's the perfect venue for Sarah Palin and her ilk to not-communicate with the people whom they feel have wronged them. Responding to adversity by posting something on Facebook is like being angry with a coworker and rather than directly discussing an issue with them, at their desk, face to face, you email the entire office. Or, like, email an entirely different department and sit back in your desk, crossing your arms across your chest, satisfied with a job well done.
Quite frankly, it's all starting to get embarrassing. I'm actually embarrassed on behalf of the Palins, those social media-misunderstanding rubes, like how I'm embarrassed for a growing segment of the population that doesn't seem to understand that Facebook isn't appropriate for airing most of your personal problems and expecting to get some kind of karmic satisfaction.
The person in my life who most exemplifies this crippling lack of self awareness combined with a dramatically inflated sense of self importance and self confidence is high school friend of mine who doesn't quite understand that people who are not the intended recipient of her ire can read her Facebook profile.
For the sake of her anonymity, I'll call this young woman "Kelly." Kelly acquired herself a Facebook account about a year ago and has since filled her cyber-time with "liking" things that aren't even things at all; they're more like angry, contradictory one liners that writers of shows on The CW have probably used as clinchers in arguments between teen lovers- "When You Let Me Go, You'll Be Saying Goodbye To The Best Thing You've Ever Had!" (Kelly likes this.) or "Things Happen For A Reason... So When I Reach Over And Smack You Upside The Head, Remember You Gave Me A Reason!!!" (Kelly also likes this). Kelly's status updates are a litany of her romantic problems and express a lack of self awareness that makes me feel my own face turn red, like when I look at pictures from myself from that era in college when I thought it would be a smart idea to dye my hair blonde. Girl, look at yourself. Look at your choices. Stop this.
The Palin women are like Kelly, but on a national stage, and I'm not sure whether or not I want them to ever realize how silly they look, as they may implode from self conscious humiliation.
I'm not sure how to address our national epidemic of public Facebook flaming into the ether, but I do know that it might serve many of us well to respond to anger by taking a deep breath, putting on a pair of shoes, and walking far, far away from a computer until you're in a state of mind wherein you feel like you can resist publicly sparring with your crush, or your ex boyfriend, or your friend who pissed you off. Or Margaret Cho.
Image via AP