Decoding The Gratitude Posts

1385804_646492132039328_467233133_nI used to like the month of November. It was a low pressure month. Sure, there’s the whole cooking a gargantuan meal that will take you two days to prepare and be consumed in under 15 minutes because a football game is starting but besides that your only really “must do” is help your kid’s clean out their Halloween candy baskets.

Now November has been ruined. It’s become the show off month. 30 days of “look at me, look at me” where the boastful pummel social media with a flurry of blustery prose disguised as gratitude posts. In an attempt to decipher what all this “gratitude” really means I’ve done extensive research analyzing these posts and have been able to discern through a complex matrix of psychological and environmental evaluations a code to help you translate what the gratitude poster is really saying.

The “I am thankful for such a loving and supportive spouse”: The spouse post usually kicks off the gratitude season and you can expect to see at least five spousal related posts in November – each one getting mushier and/or making the reader feel more uncomfortable as the month progresses. The serial “I love my spouse” poster is usually motivated by one of three emotions or a combination there of 1) He/She is having conflicted feelings about the old ball and chain and hopes that the act of proclaiming how much they love their spouse just might make it so. 2) He/She feels guilty about something related to the marriage and uses the gratitude posts as a way to minimize their shame. In the scientific community we call this the “eraser effect” and find the more heinous the spousal guilt the more lovey dovey the posts as if the person is attempting to expunge their marital malfeasance by an inordinate amount of Facebook/Twitter hugs and kisses. 3) He/She is married to a self-esteemed challenged individual and to keep crying jags and pharmaceutical usage to a minimum must constantly be cooing and wooing their lesser half on the social media stage.

The Hallelujah poster:  The repeat “I love Jesus” gratituder is trying to let us all know that they not only attend church, but are leaders of at least two bible studies, co-teachers of Sunday morning worship lessons, sing in the choir, and are a guiding member of the Spiritual Formation Committee. What they don’t want you to know is that they have a “Shades of Gray” level crush on their minister, work the sanctuary like a Walmart greeter because they need to up their Arbonne sales figures and use church as a socially acceptable way to escape their family.

The “I love my family” gusher:  This continuous stream of familial praise is often a disguise for less than stellar happenings on the home front. In fact, our research shows that the more grandiose the gratitudish compliments, specifically pertaining to teenage sons and daughters, the more likely the chance that child has recently been suspended from school or has a court appearance in their near future.  Any use of a “click here if you love your son or daughter” post on Facebook increases the likely hood of an impending court date to 95%.

The Traveloguer: This poster uses November as an opportunity to share their vacation pictures (again) on social media. The gratitude posts usually go something like this: “I am so grateful for my family’s opportunity to see the world and experience different cultures.” No matter that they went to Disneyworld because there’s Epcot and that counts – right? Each day is a new thankful vacay ditty accompanied by no less than four pictures. A psychological profile of this type of poster reveals a deep-seated need to justify the cost of their vacation by forcing themselves and “friends” to re-live the “good times” every month.

The “I’m Rich in So Many Ways” list maker:  This gratitude post is really a list better suited to share with an insurance company and/or police department in case of a robbery or home invasion. The poster with methodical precision takes you on a tour of their possessions from their 7,500 square foot Mediterranean style home complete with wine cellar to their “I am so thankful for my amazing closet with a Swarovski crystal chandelier and designer handbag cubbies.” What the poster is really grateful for is that the bank has given the family one more month to get up to date on their mortgage. The poster is also honing his/her skills writing product descriptions just in case an Ebay auction of a “few non-essential personal items” is needed.

The Selfie: Beware of this gratituder. Research shows the Selfie possesses an attitude disorder called “Oversharing Dysmorphia” or in layman’s terms “I’m 45 but still hot. Here are the pictures to prove it.” This disorder is known to affect both the male and female of the species. It usually manifests itself in a series of selfies accompanied by a compliment lamely disguised as a gratitude post as in, “I am soooo thankful for my trainer because he helped me get this amazing set of 6 pack abs! oxoxoxo” Mental health care professionals advise that you delete or hide the “Selfie” during November in order to minimize your own anger management issues.

The All in One:  Slowly back away from your computer screen, tablet or smart phone if you encounter the All in One. They are armed and dangerous and have been known to inflict brutal pain and suffering to your visual cortex and are so infused with their own B.S. and deeply hidden (like core of the earth deep) self loathing they could implode at any moment. The All in One is the gratitude poster who has the gift of employing all six aforementioned poster traits in one status update as in – “I am beyond grateful for the eternal blessings of the Lord who daily smiles on me and my wonderful, handsome, triathlete husband who is such an awesome 7 figure provider for our family. Everyday I give thanks for our gated community of million dollar plus homes and my amazing twins who have attended four different private Christian high schools and now are doing mission work by enrolling in the local public alternative school. I rejoice and give glory to my maker and trainer (LOL) that at age 46 I still get mistaken for 25. If you don’t believe me here’s a vacation photo from our summer home in Hawaii. P.S. So not photoshopped. #nofilter. Is God good or what?”

Now that you’re armed with this scientific data go forth and enjoy the November cornucopia of social media and be grateful for your new found skills of deciphering the gratitude code.

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. 


39 thoughts on “Decoding The Gratitude Posts

  1. Jesus Loves Me! says:

    You are an evil troll! What’s wrong with giving thanks? Are you so jealous about what other people have like a husband or a nice home (cause I’m betting you don’t have either) that you can’t stand to hear them talk about it. Don’t worry I AM leader of my women’s bible study group and WE WILL be praying for you because it sounds like you need it.

    P.S. I’m grateful I won’t be reading anything you write anymore.

      • RuthieB says:

        I’m grateful the leaders in my church act like Christians and don’t call people names and pass judgement on an author who is writing an entertainment column.

      • ChelseaH32 says:

        Wow…that was a bit hateful. And from a proclaimed Christian. I’m thankful for you Snarky because you make me laugh and share my love of yoga pants. I think this post may have hit a little to close to home for some.

      • laurelisaak says:

        NO DOUBT!!!! That seriously makes me want to beware of Bible study. My church doesn’t have anyone that hateful though. Here is a post my SIL, who actually does spend 11 months complaining that she is actually having to take care of the kids she is so thankful for during November.

        I can’t seem to figure out why some people are so bothered by people who are thankful. They are ok with griping, whining, and complaining, but God forbid people are happy. So today I’m thankful for those cynical, negative people. They are a good reminder of what becomes of a life without thankfulness

        I’ll tell you what becomes of a life that doesn’t show gratitude on facebook, it has time to be genuinely thankful!

      • Kristen Smith says:

        Sure you do. Its the same sad little silly goat you see hiding behind her computer passing judgement on others when she’s not hot-gluing cheesey fabric flowers onto rope and calling it a craft, and calling out across WalMart, “Hey, Girl! I haven’t seen you in church in FOREVER, where have you BEEN?” Always beware the leader of a bible study. They think they get to call the shots and interpret the bible for you, with no more credentials than the fact that they have good attendance at church for the past 15 years.

    • Barb says:

      It’s really too bad you aren’t reading this anymore because now you won’t know that I am praying for you. May you receive enlightenment and develop a faith based on less superstition and more knowledge.

    • Dimples Dodds says:

      LMAO! I seriously read this comment as ironic sarcasm because, well, calling someone a troll and subsequently noting that they are the leader of a women’s bible study group completely makes the comment oxymoronic. So, there you go.

    • Amy184 says:

      Good Lord – JLM your panties are in a bunch! Relax, welcome to the real world of those of us who see right through people like you.

  2. Heather M. says:

    As I sit here in my yoga pants sipping a Diet Coke in a Snarky koozie, I am most thankful for Snarky in the Suburbs!!!

  3. H. says:

    I sooooo want to post “this month I’m grateful for my husband’s huge penis” but my mom, my son, and some co-workers are in my friends list and I’m not sure they will think that as hilarious as I do.

  4. Yeppers says:

    Ha! Right… praying for somebody else while calling them an evil troll. Hilarious. Being so fraught with anger as to call somebody an ugly name and call upon God to save them because their personal and (thankfully) snarky opinion about some social media gratitude posts appearing inauthentic, while proclaiming their status as a Bible study leader is a laugh-riot. Seriously. My sides are aching right now. Miss Jesus Love Me!, take a deep breath, read Ephesians 4:31-32, and then move on. It’s all going to be okay, really. Blessings… for reals.

  5. Meredith says:

    This line is the best part – “amazing twins who have attended four different private Christian high schools and now are doing mission work by enrolling in the local public alternative school.” HAHAHAH – this is totally how some Facebooker would explain away their kids getting kicked out of school. Love!

  6. Carly says:

    I am thankful that I chose not burden myself with 30 days of coming up with lame things to tell everyone I am thankful for!

  7. Butter Mother says:

    I’m thankful for Snarky in the Suburbs and that unlike I Love Jesus or some of the commenters on the Snarky Facebook page that I understand sarcasm.

  8. sylvia buttery says:

    torn between my love of snarky and my genuine desire to express gratitude…. but I do NOT complain the other 11 months! Guess I need only small doses of snide cynicism…:)

  9. CherylB says:

    This note was posted to my FB page on November 1st.
    “If you don’t like FB posts in November about gratitude, then please feel free NOT to read my page this month because I have a shitload to be thankful for and plan to share it here. While I’m on this rant, here are 3 things I am not grateful for: eye rolling, snarky comments and bitchy, ungrateful people.”

    • MarieP says:

      Sharing your thankfulness on Facebook and then checking it every 2 minutes in hopes that all your friends like that you’ve decided to be thankful doesn’t seem like gratitude. It’s egotistical. I think you’ve missed the point. Share your gratitude by touching other people lives with positivity versus broadcasting all your “good fortune” on social media.

      • Jeanne says:

        Thank you thank you! That is exactly how I feel. To be grateful doesn’t mean you have to share it with the world. Don’t be like the Pharisees who only do their good deeds to be noticed and recognized. Keep it private between your and your God. Honestly I look at these posts and think it’s a little pathetic to be begging for outside approval 30 times a month

      • CherylB says:

        I didn’t miss the point at all and we can agree to disagree. But do know this: I live a life of gratitude but choose to post things I am especially grateful for during the month of November. I’m the kind of woman who actually practices what she preaches. I do random acts of kindness, leave feel good notes for complete strangers and I make a sincere effort to lift others up every day of the year. FB isn’t a popularity contest. I am only FB friends with people I connect with on a regular basis, so MarieP, maybe a little less judgement might be in order.

  10. Kristen Smith says:

    Must…be…thankful….for……some…thing….Oh, yeah, my devious mind. Let’s all start BS thankful posts. The more ridiculous the better! Yeah, I’m starting mine right now. Oh, so many things to be thankful for, but mostly the fun I’m going to have one-upping all the posers! Share if you love Jesus, y’all!

  11. Kat says:

    THIS. IS. PERFECTION. Finally, someone who shares my distaste for “30 Days of Smugness Disguised as Gratitude”. For all those cute, thankful, little posters on FB (vomit), here’s a clue: when you Instagram a black and white pic of your brand new mediocre Chevy/Kia/VW, you are not #blessed. You don’t know the meaning of the word blessed.

    Blessed: adj. Made holy; consecrated. noun. Those who live with God in Heaven.

    Since your 2009 Jetta does not make you holy OR consecrated OR give you a one way ticket to paradise to chill on a cloud with angel wings… YOU ARE NOT #BLESSED. You are #spoiled #insecure #braggart.

  12. bookworm says:

    Snarky you have brilliant insight. In exasperation, I deactivated my FB about 6 months ago, largely because social media seems to bring out the worst in people. I don’t miss it. My husband kept his account active (he rarely looks at it) and he lets me know whenever someone we know has had a major life event. Whenever I look, I see that the FB activity that is pretty much exactly as you describe. Then I know that I made the right decision to step back and let the parade continue without me.

    I did let certain close friends know that I was “taking a break” from social media to focus on priorities. My elderly dad is dying of cancer, but he is not from the social media generation, and for me to post about it seems like a violation of his privacy. Having real live breathing friends is so much more important to me right now, than keeping up with a bunch of acquaintances.

  13. RachelRae says:

    Snarky, you make my day a little brighter every time. The 30 days of gratitude feels just like the 30 days of photos some of my friends do. Really not interesting to anyone except the poster, and a one-way ticket for me to select hide posts from this user. As for the thankful posters, just a thought, but wouldn’t it be more impactful to actually tell the people you appreciate, why you appreciate them face to face. Radical, I know. I am forever having to remind a large number of girlfriends who start to feel down on themselves after seeing everyone else’s updates about their “perfect life,” that people don’t post things that make them look bad. Only good things are posted, not things like the dog had explosive diarrhea on the wool rug or yet another holiday season is going by without a boyfriend, or tryptophan plus wine is the only way to survive all the family together at one time. Seriously, enough.

  14. Angela says:

    As a friend recently told me when I asked about the family reunion he had just attended, “Well, no shots were fired.” So, that’s something to be grateful for.

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