It’s been said that when it comes to storytelling – books, movies, and plays – there are just seven story arcs that keep getting worked and reworked again and again. In The Seven Basic Plots, Christopher Booker (who worked on the book for 34 years!) catalogues them:
- Overcoming the monster
- Rags to riches
- The quest
- Voyage and return
And when you think about it, everything from David and Goliath (overcoming the monster) to Indiana Jones (the quest) to “Animal House” (comedy) fit pretty neatly into these seven storylines.
And so it is with Facebook posts. I’ve been on the platform now for close to a decade, but I do not consider myself a skilled Facebook poster. In fact, you could say I severely misuse Facebook, posting very little about myself personally and focusing more on this blog.
That said, I do my fair share of lurking. And while my effort is nowhere near as exhaustive as Christopher Booker’s, I get a sense of déjà vu quite often while on Facebook. That’s because despite the large number of Facebook users and how often they use the platform, the same basic “storylines” seem to repeat themselves.
It turns out that each and every day, Kissmetrics reports there are 55 million status updates on Facebook.
Yet, when you take a deeper dive into what appears on Facebook status updates, research shows there are just 13 posts that we keep reading – and rereading and rereading.
Actually, I’m the “research,” but tell me I’m wrong. I’ve boiled all those status updates down to just this small number of basic themes:
1. My pet died/Isn’t my pet cute?
2. __ years ago, I married the most amazing ___ ever
3. I have a new job/Shit, I lost my job
4. I don’t usually rant about politics, but…
5. What an amazing vacation we’re having
6. Someone close to me died/We have a new arrival!
7. Look what my kid/spouse just did
8. Look what I just did
9. My team won
10. It’s #TBT
11. Here’s something clever/funny/pathetic you just have to see
12. It’s my birthday (257 likes, 36 comments)
13. This is a post to be sure you’ve really read my posts
Now you may come up with new listings here (so have at it), but it’s truly amazing how the most massive social interaction communications tool is actually the same things repeating themselves…again and again.
Perhaps this post will inspire some creativity on the part of Facebook users. After all, we programmers often hear a lot about not enough variety and too much repetition.
So to make my Facebook browsing more entertaining, please raise your status update games.
Prior to launching the company, Fred spent the majority of his time designing and managing research projects as the Director of Research for the Radio and Publishing divisions for Frank N. Magid Associates, a leading research and consulting firm. Later, Fred became Director of Radio Research for the ABC-FM Owned and Operated Radio Stations. From there, Fred gravitated to the station side, becoming program director for legendary WRIF-FM in Detroit, before forming Jacobs Media.
Along with providing the creative and intellectual direction for the company, Fred consults Jacobs Media’s major market Classic, Mainstream, and Active Rock clients, while having input in every client relationship.
Fred has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and a Master’s degree in Telecommunications from Michigan State University.
Latest posts by Fred Jacobs (see all)
- Looking For That Breakthrough Benchmark - March 15, 2016
- There Are Only 13 Facebook Status Updates - March 14, 2016
- John O’Connell: The 5 Biggest Challenges Launching a New Radio Station - March 11, 2016