The Fine Art of the Status Update

By webponce, Flickr Creative Commons

When I was in college AIM was all the rage. “Away Messages” were the “Status Updates” of the early 2000s. I used to get annoyed to no end by people with literal away messages: “In Stats until noon” was awfully boring. I was a fan of song lyrics and cryptic inside jokes. If I was at dinner you could count on, “At the meat market with the Smurf.” The “meat market” was what my roommate (Smurf) and I called our cafeteria, where girls who didn’t even get out of their pajamas to go to class would put on heels and formal wear for dinner. Now that no one uses AIM anymore, Facebook status updates and Tweets have replaced away messages. And I take my status updates very seriously.

If Facebook is a place to display your best self, complete with pictures of your fancy vacations and attractive significant others, then the “status update” is the space where you have a chance to display your wit, sense of humor, and superior intelligence all while letting your friends know a little something about you. (I’m not the only one who thinks so.) If you can do all of this in one fell swoop then you have achieved something to be proud of. Let’s take one of my most recent attempts at status update greatness as an example:


This little gem lets my friends know what I’m watching, how I feel about it, and hopefully makes them laugh. When I’m not feeling particularly creative I often resort to using lines from 30 Rock to express myself. Instead of saying, “Watching 30 Rock, Tina Fey is sooooo funny!!!!!!” I say:

Either people will get it or they won’t. If they don’t, well, I’ve obviously proven my superior wit and pop-culture knowledge…and hopefully made someone laugh.

4 thoughts on “The Fine Art of the Status Update

  1. Mary Vensel White says:

    I always felt that these updates were so inane but you’ve given them a new light. You’re right, it can be a creative expression like anything else. Thanks for the food for thought!

  2. TheresaMC says:

    Thank you, kindly. I’ll be sure to pop over, and, perhaps, give a lengthy acceptance speech.

  3. Jamie says:

    These really aren’t that funny. At all. Look at Alison Agosti, Dave Holmes, Yowhatsthehaps and Tara Ariano on Twitter for examples of flawless posts. (Their Facebook status updates are equally great; there are just more at Twitter.)

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