I love checking the status of all my Facebook contacts. I do this whenever I’m bored or need a distraction. I can check them on my phone, so proximity to a computer isn’t a requirement. And, since categorizing things is what I do, I’ve noticed some patterns.

Types of Facebook Status

(Note: All examples are completely made up. Any similarity to any of my Facebook buddies is purely coincidental.)

  1. Cryptic – no one knows what your status means, but it shows off your creative and/or mysterious side. Ex: Rachel is indefatigable.
  2. TMI – sometimes people don’t need to know what you’re up to. Ex: Rachel is getting drunk and going home with strangers.
  3. Inside Joke – only a few people know what your status means, everyone else is saying “huh?” Ex: Rachel is missing blue boy, already.
  4. Meta – you’re breaking down the fourth wall. Ex: Rachel is checking Facebook on the train.
  5. Mood-based – describes how you’re feeling. Ex: Rachel is bored.
  6. Activity-based – describes what you’re doing. Ex: Rachel is shopping.
  7. Location-based – describes where you are. Ex: Rachel is in Washington.
  8. Health-based – describes your physical or mental state. Ex: Rachel is coughing, again.

These types are not mutually exclusive. Someone’s status can be TMI and Activity-based. But everyone’s status fits into at least one of these categories. Want to know the breakdown of the 65 status updates of my Facebook contacts?

  1. Cryptic – 12
  2. TMI – 7
  3. Inside Joke – 9
  4. Mood – 14
  5. Meta – 0 (but trust me, I’ve seen them)
  6. Activity – 12
  7. Location – 6
  8. Health – 5

For the purpose of this tally, I only counted each status once. So, if something was an Inside Joke and Location-based, I only counted it as an Inside Joke. I also think I should point out that two (!!) of my contacts attributed their mood (deliriously happy and excited) to Project Runway. I didn’t put it in my status, but I have to agree.