Facebook status updates are like modern-day poems: short, deeply lonely, and severely lacking in rhyme.
Also, they're full of hidden meanings! But what are these mysterious truths? Wonder no more: we've graciously translated 15 of the most common status updates to help you pass the all-important exam of who to unfollow. Your news feed will thank us.
The call to action
Status: "It only takes one minute to reach out to your congressman and stand up for underprivileged kids' right to safe playground equipment that isn't made of toxic GMO Monsanto products."
Translation: It only takes one minute for me to find a new cause to berate others about and feel like I'm making a difference, largely because I haven't realized that everyone has unfollowed me.
The lonely traveler
Status: "New York City, I am in you! Welcoming any recommendations for places to eat/drink/be merry!"
Translation: Dear acquaintances that moved to New York City 10 years ago, I have done no research for the trip that I just began. So far I've only eaten cheap pizza because I am afraid to commit to eating at a restaurant for fear that it is not trendy enough. Also, please hang out with me while I'm here, as I have no one with whom to be merry.
The friend in need of a friend
Status: "Who's out on the Eastside tonight?!"
Translation: I don't actually have most of my friends' phone numbers, or very many friends, but will somebody please hang out with me?
The kitchen nightmare
Status: "Tonight's dinner experiment: hanger steak with red wine reduction, truffled asparagus, twice-baked potatoes, and homemade peach cobbler. Nom nom, total success!"
Translation: I cook to survive, but my real hunger is for likes. I haven't eaten hot food in three years.
The proud innovator speech
Status: "When I first came up with the idea for my tech startup, people thought I was crazy for wanting to invest hundreds of hours into creating an app that pairs up dog owners with nearby unused leashes and extra poop bags. It's been a wild year, but it's all worth it once you find that mentor who truly believes in you."
Translation: My ideas are like my children in that I think they are beautiful even when they're horrible and will never be loved by anyone. And I finally found someone who thinks they can leverage this quality for their own personal gain.
The office-chair politician
Status: "Like, share, and comment on anything you can to get [INSERT POLITICIAN NAME] elected!"
Translation: Unfollow me unless you want to see the absolute worst of me, but in the form of memes and unsubstantiated news stories.
The Rick Steves disciple
Status: "Not all who wander are lost."
Translation: I'm having trouble paying rent this month and Jack Kerouac is my new, and first, favorite poet.
The guilt-tripping attention seeker
Status: "I'm purging my friend list, so if you'd like to still stay connected, post something in the comments or send me a message."
Translation: Is anyone out there?
The emo kid
Status: “I wear black on the outside because black is how I feel on the inside.”
Translation: Hey attractive Smiths fan of the opposite sex, please read this and message me about how we should go out tonight. I don't mind if you don't have a stitch to wear. Also, I am racially tone deaf.
The medical examiner
Status: "Can anyone suggest a good primary care doctor?"
Translation: Please ask me what's wrong so I have an excuse to share this horrifying picture of the growth on my toe.
Status: "DJing at Wonder Bar for the fourth week of my month-long residency. Let's end it with a bang!"
Translation: Everyone has ignored my other posts about this and I am so excited not to have to promote this gig anymore.
The obligation romantic
Status: "So happy to be celebrating five years together with the woman that I love more than anything. Sarah, you're the love of my life and I can't imagine a day without you."
Translation: Hi Sarah's friends, here's one more piece of proof that I'm not as much of a jerk as you originally thought.
The eternal victim
Status: "I just want to put this out there that it's never okay to..."
Translation: Someone did something shitty to me, but it's not about me, it's about how people need to stop doing this to me.
The running man
Status: "Just did a five-mile run and I feel great!"
Translation: I Just did a four-mile run and my legs feel like overcooked linguine, but I'm going to post about it anyway because I want you to tell me I look great next time I see you.
The blissfully humble
Translation: #proud #obnoxious
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Dan Gentile is a staff writer at Thrillist. He's also that DJ friend of yours that you met once years ago and is still inviting you to brunch gigs. Follow him to shameless self-promotion at @Dannosphere.