I work on the Internet for a living. Because of that, I glance at Facebook a lot. I’m not going to get into how often right now a) because my boss might be reading and b) because it’s an embarrassing amount for an adult man. Let’s just agree it’s enough to run into a lot of overly complicated ethical dilemmas on social media. Because of this, I’ve become pretty savvy.

I sign on, quickly fire through all the new statuses on my newsfeed, like all of the appropriate ones, laugh at all of the terrible ones and sign off. It’s all a pretty efficient process, but now and again, I come across a weird Facebook status that leaves me confused about what to do. Should I like it? Should I leave a comment? Or should I ignore? There’s no proper protocol.

But since these exact situations keeps coming up and over and over again, I decided to start keeping track of the confusing ones. After awhile, I lumped them together into different categories. And now, I’m presenting them to the world. You’re welcome.

Here are 3 types of Facebook statues I’m not sure whether or not to like…

Someone I Know Is Dating/ Engaged/ Married To Someone I Don’t Know
You know what I love? Love. I genuinely want every single person who I’m friends with on Facebook to find someone to be with, even the ones I secretly hate. So, on the one hand, my first impulse is to insta-like every single new romantic coupling. Some dude I went to high school with has a hot wife now? Like. A girl I knew in college has a new boyfriend with a weird name? Like.

But here’s the thing. A lot of people make terrible relationship decisions, and most of these couples are not going to last forever. Should I really just be liking some random relationship I don’t know anything about? This random chick, hot as she might be, could be a soul-sucking monster. This dude could be a d-bag to end all d-bags. Can I really take that chance?

Final Verdict: I usually Facebook stalk the person I don’t know. If they seem like a pretty good dude/ lady, I’ll throw out the like. If I find some serious red flags, I move along with my day without liking.
Someone’s Family Member Just Died
Oh no! Heather’s Uncle Steve died. Bob’s dog Winston had to be put down. How sad. I want both Heather and Bob to know I empathize with the difficult situation they’re going through. I too have had family members, human and animal, pass away. My heart goes out to them. But can I really, in good conscience, like this status? I don’t want to root on death. What kind of message am I sending here by liking it?

All of us have been faced with this Facebook-related problem at one point or another, and it really is confounding. If you’re super close to someone and a relative dies, you can reach out via text message (or call if you’re that close, a phone call), but for the rest of us, that’s not an option. Instead, it’s find a tiny way to say you care on Facebook or do nothing at all. The like lets the grieving party know you’re aware, but it also may or may not let everyone else know you have poor social skills and don’t know what the like button really means.

Final Verdict: Unless I hang out with the person on a regular basis, I usually don’t like. If I have hung out with the person in the past few months, I’ll usually wait and see what other people do. If a ton like, I’ll like. If lots of people leave “I’m sorry” comments, I’ll do that.
Someone Who Is A Complete Nutjob Says Something Sensible
We’re all friends with a few people on Facebook who litter our news feeds with really aggressive statuses on the regular. Whether because they have nutso, outside the box opinions that don’t logically make sense, because they’re completely up the ass of one political party or because they seem to have broken from reality, damn near everything they say is greeted with an eye roll. Every now and again, however, these wackjobs unleash a status that actually makes a whole lot of rational sense and then I can’t figure out what to do.

If anyone else had said “I love a good tartar sauce” or “The Baseball Hall of Fame voting process is a mess”, I would like it immediately, but because this person normally spends their days cluttering my news feeds with petty complaints about the Republican party or stupid rants about Democrats and religious liberty, I really don’t want the person to know I agree with anything they say.

Final Verdict: Unless it’s a once in a lifetime status that I have to let the world know I agree with, I just let it walk on by. That’s way better than potentially letting some weirdo think he found a new best friend.
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