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8 Times People Thought the Status Box was Google

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We all know someone who has accidentally uploaded the wrong photo or set a private message as a public post on Facebook. When this happens to you it can be mortifying, but for the rest of us, it’s pretty hilarious.

Below are 8 epic Facebook fails, when people misunderstood where they were “searching” and revealed some information that probably should’ve stayed private.

1. Typing a URL as a Status

In a classic example of Facebook-Google mixup, this user typed a URL into the Facebook status bar instead of into their browser’s address bar. Although, this person may have intended this URL to be their status, since 10 minutes passed and they didn’t seem to realize what happened. Either way, one of their friends is quick to call them out on it.

2. Thinking Google Chrome is a Social Network

In this mixup, this person doesn’t reveal any embarrassing information by accident…unless you consider their lack of basic knowledge about social media and the Internet embarrassing. Maybe they meant the social networking site Google+ instead of Google Chrome? Or maybe they’ve been using Facebook as a search engine without realizing it.

3. Searching on a Fake Google Facebook Page 

In this example, the Facebook users aren’t so much to blame as the fake page they’re posting on. Someone created a false page called Google Search App, and new Facebook users confused it with the search engine, submitting their queries as posts. While some posts were harmless, others revealed private information.

Some people even took pity on the confused Facebook users and answered their questions in the comments section.

4. Not Realizing A Status is Public

Sometimes, people fail on social media not by thinking it’s Google but by not realizing their status is public. Like this example below, they intend to send a private message to someone else but mistakenly post on their timeline instead. As you can imagine, people reveal some private info by doing so.

5. Uploading the Wrong Photo

There’s nothing worse than uploading the wrong photo to a social media site. You can delete it, but once a photo is out there, people can take screenshots. You don’t want to end up like the person in this example, who tried to get some homework help and ended up uploading the wrong photo. Doh!

6. Using Facebook Against Your Friends

Some jerks use Facebook to trick their friends into mistyping, like in the below example. The original poster was able to get his friends to type their passwords as comments on his post. Remember, if you read it on Facebook, it doesn’t mean it’s true!

7. Using Facebook Instead of a Text Message or Email

Some things are better said over private text messages. The person in this example “wrote inside the wrong box” when trying to reply to someone after a date, and made her message public. As the commenters on her post point out, it’s usually better to send something only the recipient can read, like an email or text message.

8. Connecting with the Wrong Person

Some people post their messages in the right place on Facebook, but for the wrong person. Facebook is the largest social network in the world, with over 2.4 billion users—you might come across a few different people with the same name. If you want to leave a mean message for someone on Facebook, like the person in this example does, make sure you’ve confirmed it’s the right profile first. It could be pretty awkward otherwise.

The Effects of Using Social Media as Search Engines

It’s not too surprising that people post accidental status updates on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. More and more, people are using social media as search engines, and not by accident. The Nieman Lab saw an increase of social media searches during the COVID-19 pandemic, with people searching for terms such as “vaccine” on Instagram and Facebook rather than Google.

Why do people search for things on Facebook instead of Google? They might be trying to narrow their results, thinking they can find credible information without sorting through all of Google’s search results. They might think that “ordinary people” with Facebook profiles are a more trustworthy source of information for some searches as well. Or they could be trying to find information that’s pertinent to their network or location.

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that people are treating social media more like Google. It’s no surprise, then, that people mistakenly post search queries in the Facebook status bar every now and then. And the rest of their friends and followers are ready to swoop in and screenshot their humiliation for posterity.

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