How to Spot an Asshole on Facebook

Facebook means friends forever. When it comes to friend requests, David Tveite makes it very clear when you should just say no.

You have a new friend request on Facebook. When you first see the name, your initial reaction is “Who the fuck?”, but then you check the picture and immediately recognize the girl/guy from the party last weekend.

Now, your initial instinct is probably just to add this person without giving it a second thought. Resist this temptation. No matter how cool they seemed at first, this person may still turn out to be an asshole, and you don’t want to just let any asshole leave you birthday wall posts or make comments on out-of-context photos of you from years before you met them. Check for the warning signs:

Do they have one or more lines from John Lennon’s “Imagine” in their quotes section?
That song sucks ass. There, I said it. Okay, it’s catchy and has a positive message and whatever, but I can’t possibly be the only person on the planet who thinks the lyrics sound like the sentiments of a ninth grader who just tried pot for the first time. “You might say that I’m a dreamer/ but I’m not the only one.” Whoa. I am floored by your vague idealism, man. Give me a fucking break. Do you believe in ghosts? Because if I die and you decide to make a slideshow of my life and set it to “Imagine” at my funeral, I will come back from beyond the grave to scream obscenities at you every time you try to go to the bathroom.

Is their profile picture a blurry snapshot of them playing the bass in what appears to be a high school auditorium?
This one should probably be self-explanatory. It could have been any instrument really, but I went with the bass. Don’t take it personally.

Have they used their “About Me” section to place a free personal ad?

I’m a warm-hearted, hard-working, laidback, easygoing, outgoing, personable, down-to-earth guy who loves to have a good time. I love my friends and family and my job and my dog. I’m relatable and approachable and I’m an excellent conversationalist. I’m always interested in meeting new people who are cool.

Other common adjectives include “chill,” “honest,” and “easy to talk to.” Let me guess: you hate it when people are fake. I can’t tell whether you’re desperately lonely or running for public office. I’m not sure if you noticed this, but the section where you listed your turn-ons is called “Interests.”

Do they use complete sentences to fill out each section?
You are listing things that you like. You really don’t need to get all prosey on us. If your favorite music section involves an apology for half the bands on it (“I loooooove Panic! At the Disco and I don’t care what anyone thinks. Also I like Aqua I am a dork lol :)”) then you are almost certainly an asshole.

Do they advertise every embarrassing detail of their failed romances in the status section?
Last year I had the unique opportunity to observe a bitter status battle between two recently broken-up acquaintances. It was fascinating from an anthropological standpoint.

Boy X has fallen and landed on his heart and it hurts bad.
Girl Y is sorry it had to be this way.
Boy X has decided it’s her loss.
Girl Y doesn’t love you anymore and wishes you could just accept that.

And so went the bitter argument for several days, and thanks to Facebook, they were able to broadcast it to every person they’d ever met who happened to own a computer.

Do they have the copied lyrics of any significant number of boring radio rock songs posted in their notes?
It’s not that song lyrics have never affected me on a really personal level before. It’s just that none of them have been by the Killers.

Any Dane Cook in the quotes or posted items sections?
You’re also an asshole if I even need to explain this one to you.

“Somebody shit on the coats!”

Die in a fire.

Is their quotes section crammed with out-of-context inside jokes?
These can be any number of things. Typically, they consist of dirty-sounding misspoken phrases, potty jokes, and any possible variation of “That’s what she said,” attributed to a stupid nickname (usually something like “Big [capital letter]” or “The [Surname]ster”). The issue here isn’t whether or not these jokes are funny, because they almost never are. The important thing to note is how many of these there are. The rule of thumb goes like this: “Three dumb quotes is fine, four dumb quotes is okay, five or more dumb quotes, you’re playing with yourself.”

David C. Tveite, Esq. is an English and history student at the University of Puget Sound. His coming of age was badly stunted by Hollywood fame when he appeared at age fourteen on the hit CBS series Survivor: The Moon. He still considers himself a celebrity, and it's beginning to make his family and friends sad. He also writes A Regular Dude's World Atlas.