Vaguebooking is defined as someone intentionally posting a vague status update. This often brings people flocking to them wondering what is wrong (or right, in rare circumstances). Many of us, including myself, are guilty of it. But should you really be vaguebooking? Here are some pros and cons of vaguebooking. BuzzFeed tried to defend the practice of vaguebooking, but failed miserably because of this line:

“At its heart, however, vaguebooking is a passive-aggressive enterprise.”

Essentially, it’s in the same basket as the silent treatment. It doesn’t work, it pisses everyone off, and does nothing to solve the problem.

However, finding the good in a sea of negatives is something we all must do, or we will go through life thinking everything and everyone sucks. So I tried really hard to find the positives of vaguebooking, while tempering my disdain of it.

Pro: It keeps your personal life private

If you expect privacy on the Internet, I have two words for you: good luck. Any social media platform is not private because your data will be sold to the highest bidder. But vaguebooking keeps stuff private, and people have their reasons for that. An example of vaguebooking would be to quote song lyrics or saying something really exasperating without providing any context whatsoever to it.

To be honest, vaguebooking really is the last bastion of privacy on the Internet, and not even that is safe. Add family members on your social media and you’ll never have that privacy, plus you’ll have to get a political science degree every four years because someone’s crazy conservative relative is almost always their uncle. But it does give you a sense of privacy, and for that, we can say this is a positive of vaguebooking.

Con: You’re causing drama, even if your intention is not to cause it

Not making your intentions clear is the number one cause of drama. Think of social media as a gigantic game of telephone. The message gets distorted at the very end because some people cannot either read context or misjudge your intentions based on past actions, and you’re all of a sudden the bad guy. I know this because I am very used to being the bad guy in numerous situations, even if people had not talked to me directly.

Hearing vague information is probably worse than hearing false information because not putting things into context means the following: people misread it, spread it to others, and you get a completely different version of the story once it gets back to you (as previously mentioned, the telephone dilemma). At least with false information you can prove it false; with vague information you have to provide context and all that fun stuff that comes with it.

Pro: Unpredictability is very entertaining

In my adolescence, I’ve been called unpredictable. But were they for the wrong or the right reasons? Hindsight is 20/20, and if it meant pissing most of those people off, it was worth it. I like the idea of speculation and trying to guess someone’s next move. If I’m right, then great; if I’m wrong, then I don’t know the person that well, so back to the drawing board. It can be lucrative, too, if you want to put a betting pool to guess what people are vaguebooking that day:

Vaguebooker: “Today sucks! Going to go crawl in bed!”

None of the provided reasons: 11/8

They work retail/fast food: 3/1

Flight delay (any kind of transportation delay, really): 6/1

Broke up with a significant other: 8/1

Physical altercation in public: 11/1

They got called out on being a bad person in public: 15/1

Ex sent out their nudes to randoms: 33/1

They became a meme (and got ridiculed for it): 150/1

Got arrested: 475/1

In fact, I can encourage vaguebooking for this reason alone. It encourages people to bet money on the day-to-day activities of complete strangers. All possibilities are completely random, there’s no house to compete against, and there is no possible way to cheat (as in no way to count cards) because of how vague the statuses are. The only rule would be a ban on betting if you’re a close friend, relative, or significant other.

Con: You can quickly become the boy who cried wolf

The most annoying conversation string in the world can be summed in two lines below:

Person who wants to help (replying to vaguebooker): “What’s wrong?”

Vaguebooker: “I don’t want to talk about it”/”Nothing”

Maybe I’ve gotten less cynical as I’ve gotten older, but I notice that the majority of people who reply to a vaguebooker asking if they’re okay or what’s wrong are actually good people (or at least I hope they are, we still have 12 days to go until we can all become jerks again). They are generally friends of the person in question. Maybe they will provide information in a PM, but if this is a regular occurrence, most people will be reluctant to help because of how defensive people really are.

Vaguebooking, when done in excess, can be the modern-day version of the boy who cried wolf. You can say there’s a problem but no one will believe you, and no one will really trust you if you continue to do it over and over again.

So there you have it. Should you be vaguebooking? Short answer: no. But everyone is different and might use it as some sort of coping mechanism to get through life. But excessive vaguebooking will alienate others and piss people off. Healthy amounts of vaguebooking can at least let you cope with certain situations. It’s also not good to go around saying “I HATE (insert person here) HE/SHE IS A (insert pejorative here) AND I HOPE THEY BURN IN HELL” because while it is rather bold and honest, it does spark off endless threads of discussion that enter the telephone dilemma.