What Not To Do: Facebook Messenger Edition


Over the weekend, after reading a message that had just come through on my phone, I let out a small huff. It was the kind of huff that acts as a tiny, audible exclamation point; the kind that tells you something has been noted that doesn’t deserve the energy or attention of actual words.

Across the table from me, my friend raised an questioning eyebrow, and I turned my phone so she could see the screen.

“Why does my ex-boyfriend always show up as active on Facebook messenger?”

She leaned forward to examine my ex-boyfriend’s smiling face and shrugged.

“Hmmm. Are you still friends with him on Facebook?”

“No!” She may as well have asked if I regularly abseil down the side of my building instead of taking the stairs. The very idea was so ridiculous that it made me laugh. “Definitely not!”

“You must be,” she insisted. “Otherwise he wouldn’t show up.”

“He’s not. There’s no way,” I assured her. “He just always shows up there for no reason.”

She didn’t believe me, so together we checked my Facebook page.

Definitely not friends.

“You SEE?” I said triumphantly. “And yet, he always shows up there in the ‘active now’ list. I don’t get it. There are so many other people I’d rather see there. Why don’t they free up that slot for somebody else?”

We both stared at the screen, puzzled.

“Maybe if I block him, he’ll be replaced?”

My friend shook her head, baffled. “I don’t know. That’s very strange. I’m pretty sure people who you aren’t friends with shouldn’t show up at all…”

I took my phone back and idly scrolled and tapped, searching through Facebook messenger.

“Where’s the block button? Why is this so counterintuitive? Where- Oh, found it.”

I had reached a screen with a long list of all my active contacts and, next to their names, a little hand. For the briefest split second, I wondered at the decision to make the block button an ambiguous hand emoji. Was it a hand block, like, ‘HALT in the name of Caesar!’ or was it a ‘Bye, Felipe’? Without giving it too much thought, I pressed it with a little sigh of relief-

… Which was immediately followed by a despairing, “Ohhhh no!”

My friend, jolted by my reaction, tensed. “What?!”

I turned the phone so she could see the message that had immediately popped up on my screen:

‘You have sent *ex-boyfriend* a wave!’

There was a frozen moment as we absorbed this new information; a beat of silence as we both internalised what had just happened.

Then we locked eyes, and we burst out laughing. We laughed so hard I dropped the phone. We laughed so hard actual tears were streaming down our cheeks.

She finally managed to gasp out, “What? HOW?”

“I just … I pressed … the hand emoji!” I was laughing so hard the words squeaked out of me in bursts.

“But… but what did you think it meant?!”

“I thought it meant, like, “BYE!” or maybe “See you later!””

This sent her into fresh hysterics.

Whenever the laughter started to subside she would lift her head and give a stiff little wave of her hand, and we’d go back to giggling so hard we almost fell off our chairs.

My phone pinged to alert me of a notification, and I wiped my eyes enough to see a message from my ex-boyfriend appear on the screen.

“Hmm.” It read.

Then, immediately afterwards, “Typo?”

Still laughing, I typed a simple “Yes.” I finally located the block button (not actually an ambiguous emoji, as it turns out) and firmly pressed it. Then I folded my arms on the table, lay my head on my forearms and laughed until my sides hurt.

Once we could speak in sentences again (rather than trying to communicate in a pitch only audible to dogs), we leaned back in our chairs and wiped the tears of laughter from our cheeks.

I sighed.

“At least he recognised I would never actually have contacted him on purpose,” I said, looking for the silver lining to my cloud of idiocy.

“True, true,” said my friend, nodding sagely, “And now you know that waves are a thing. And you know how to send one. And you know how to block people. And at least now he’s actually blocked, so he won’t show up anymore! You can just pretend this never happened!”

We reached for my phone and looked at my Messenger.

An incredulous laugh bubbled out of me as I looked at the screen. Guess who was first in line in the ‘Active Now’ list?



Still showing up.

Facebook Messenger must have a sense of humour.


  1. Hahaha. This is priceless! And totally something I would do. πŸ˜€

    1. πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ

  2. laughing, and yes, there should be a manual with how to deal with exes on social media.
    *waves goodbye*

    1. πŸ™ˆ TOO SOON!

  3. πŸ‘‹πŸ»πŸ™€πŸ˜‚

    1. Too soon!! That wave emoji will haunt me…..!

      1. I actually felt your pain 😬 and heard the hysterical nervous laughing πŸ˜‚

        1. Hysterical nervous laughter is exactly the way to describe it!

  4. OH my goodness! Nooooo. Hahah what a priceless story. Thanks for making me laugh this morning πŸ™‚

    1. Haha I’m glad you got a laugh out of it!

  5. Great post what are your thoughts on the whole see a persons day feature, it’s cool but my gosh I wish there were a way to turn it off completely

    1. Yeah Cory I’m not into it at all – I totally ignore it! I wish apps would stop trying to fix things that aren’t broken!

  6. L.O.V.E THIS! Made me laugh so much!!

    1. I’m glad my dopeyness at least made you laugh!

  7. This happens with my ex!!! He too is blocked, unfriended and yet is always number 1 on active now …. Thanks for doing this so I didn’t have too !!! xx

    1. What is that about?? So bizarre….!

  8. “I almost fell off my chair” yeah.
    xD thanks for spreading this laughter and such a humorous anecdote.

    1. Haha no problem anytime! πŸ™ˆ

  9. THAT is very funny!! The moment you realized that you sent a wave must have been hysterical πŸ˜‚

    1. It was… it was a moment!

  10. This was priceless, and a fun way to start the day. Your description of the laughter reminded me of one of my daughters. I’ll see if I can find you and send you a wave.

    1. Thank you Ted! Haha and thanks for the wave…..! πŸ™ˆπŸ˜„

  11. I always really like these! πŸ˜€

    1. I wish these kind of teaching moments were fewer and further between……. πŸ™ˆπŸ˜Š

  12. How is he still on there? The people on my Active Now list are the people I talk to most often on Facebook. (Slash also the people I facebook stalk a lot; FB knows what I’m up to.)

    1. Right? Up until checking to see if we were friends I hadn’t looked him up in almost a decade so not sure where FB is getting its list from!

  13. I’m not on Facebook, nor do I have any ex-boyfriends. But I sincerely thank you for informing those of us who are not informed of the ways of Facebook Messenger, even if you had to learn the hard way.

    1. Hahaha you’re welcome!

  14. Hahahahhahaha hahahahhaha 😬

    1. πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ

  15. […] Ρ‡Π΅Ρ€Π΅Π· What Not To Do: Facebook Messenger Edition β€” When Do I Get The Manual? […]

  16. This was a negative karma transaction for poking at your phone when you should have been talking to your friend. Oops. I probably just sounded like a parent.

    1. Hahaha perhaps! She was on her phone too though! It was mutually agreed message reading time!

  17. Another white feminist with a blog and Twitter account. Well done.

    1. Flattery will get you nowhere!

  18. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ should have just let him be .

    1. I know, right? That’ll teach me!

  19. Awesome post. I laughed with you…and pretty hard. Maybe FB really does have a sense of humour. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing as so many real people don’t….

    1. Very true Anthony!! Thanks!

  20. This is hilarious, and sounds like something I’d do

    1. Luckily now you won’t because I’ve blazed the trail of muppetry before you!! Haha!

  21. I swear technology knows how to tease! I wish I could’ve seen your face when you realised what you’d done!

    1. According to my friend it was both memorable and hilarious. πŸ™„

      1. To be fair your friend has a point πŸ˜›

  22. HAHA been there!! Before the WAVE days I unintentionally ‘poked’ my ex after he sent me a random ‘Hey, how you doin” 3 years after splitting up, his new wife was not best pleased!!
    He still annoyingly still shows up on my ‘people you may know’ list grrrr!

    1. You know for all the AI out there you’d think FB would realise that certain people are not your friends on purpose!

      1. Right! Especially when my phone stalks me!!

      2. how on earth could AI infer that without some kind of exchange between you two. Thats just crazy talk.

        1. Yep, that would certainly be a few leaps forward in surveillance and technology!

  23. This is hilarious! Thank you for making me laugh early in the morning!

    1. Haha anytime! πŸ™ˆπŸ˜€

  24. Bwahahahahahahaha!
    That is so embarrassing and funny all roles into one! Thank you for the morning giggle.

    1. Haha anytime! Thanks for reading!

  25. Almost as bad as when I had an awful argument with my ex and then my phone crashed and hysterically started sending the β€œthumbs up” emoji. Needless to say we didn’t make up πŸ˜€

    1. HA!!!

  26. Very funny.

  27. Ha…ha….ha…hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!

    1. Mmmm. Yup. Yeah that was the reaction I was expecting!

      1. Glad not to have disappointed you πŸ˜‚
        The very thought of doing something like that gives me a cold panicked feeling in my stomach…

  28. If there’s one thing that is absolutely certain Quinn, with the global BOOM of social-media and the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, they get richer and richer and richer every second we users bumble thru or onto their site/app. πŸ˜‰ Their sense of humor? Making all the Privacy Settings virtually impossible to navigate and understand! Cha-ching, cha-ching — Zuckerberg’s net worth just rose by $8-billion! Hahahaha.

    Meanwhile, Avinash Kaushik (a Google analyst) sums up the internet and social-media this way:

    Social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. No one actually knows how. When finally done, there is surprise it’s not better.

    Quinn, you may want to go make an immediate appointment with your cyber-OBGYN, get fully checked out! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

    1. Hahahhahahahahaha! Very funny and very true!

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