The habitual scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed—alone on your computer late at night; on your phone while standing in line for coffee; right now, at your desk at work—is among the worst learned behaviors of the last 10 years.
The Facebook feed has re-calibrated the way we read, namely by making it so much easier for us to not read—as we scroll, we scan, our eyes primed for anchor points in the stream. We are all familiar with the blocky outlines that cause us to slow our rapid scrolling to a hover: photos, videos that start playing automatically, status updates from friends you actually like, status updates from your parents or extended family, whatever is “going viral” right now.
Yes, your “feed” is personalized to some extent, ever-changing algorithms notwithstanding; you add the friends and “like” the pages that are thrust into your own timeline. But humans are beholden to an innate sense of laziness and churlishness: Years later, you still have a handful of high school friends, college buddies, old co-workers, and randos you met once at a party traipsing through your feed every day. And oh my God, do they say and post the stupidest shit.
That stupid shit can take on any number of formulations and permutations, but perhaps most commonly manifest themselves as racist tirades, opaque political diatribes, strident bigotry, and just general outrage.
The shaming of your crazy, racist high school classmates, your crazy, racist aunt, or some other moron you keep visible on your Facebook for the pure thrill of their stupidity and your incumbent feeling of superiority is wasted in secret. Share the worst thing you’ve ever scrolled past on your Facebook in the comments below. Include screenshots and provide some context. The best-worst items will be honored and thoroughly shamed in an upcoming post. And remember: the Facebook friends you think are the worst could be thinking (and saying) the same thing about you.