…I just happened to be messing around on Facebook while watching the evening news. They were talking about swine flu and how, despite the number of cases dropping across the country, a lot of people were still freaking out about it.

And so, for a reason I don’t even understand myself, I updated my Facebook status with this: SWINE FLU!

Let me be clear here: I didn’t say that I had swine flu; I just e-screamed it in all caps, and polished it off with an exclamation mark.

The Facebook feedback was both immediate and insane. Friends and family messaged me within minutes, trying to verify that I had tested positive for H1N1.

My next status update: I DON’T HAVE SWINE FLU!

A few days later, my friend Sue suggested I do the something similar, but step it up a notch this time.

My next status update: PREGNANT!

That was it. One word, one exclamation point. And it came on the heels of an admitted lie of illness!

Still, the compliments came flooding in.

My friend Josh: “Really? Congratulations, man! You’ll make a bad-ass dad!”

My friend Jason: “Congrats! Now you can use all those phrases you’ve been saving up, like, ‘Go to your room and don’t come out until you’re not ugly!'”

My cousin Annie: “Say what now?”

Almost immediately, while stuck at work and completely unaware of the Facebook madness that was going on, my girlfriend Kathy started getting instant messages from friends back home looking to verify her pregnancy.

A few hours later, after admitting on Facebook that Kathy was not pregnant, Kathy received the following voicemail from her friend Ericka in Houston: “Tell your boyfriend he is not funny. And just to be clear, finding out that you’re pregnant on Facebook is not acceptable; neither is finding out that you’re engaged.”

Within seconds, my Facebook status: ENGAGED!

You would think by now that my friends and family wouldn’t believe a goddamn thing on my Facebook profile. You’d be wrong.

Within minutes of posting, I received congratulations from high school and college friends, a “wow” from an old family friend, and an “ohmygosh” from my cousin Erica.

And so, dear friends, I want to take this moment to be entirely clear: If I ever get a serious disease, am about to become a father, or propose to Kathy, I promise I will not announce it on Facebook.

Unless, of course, it’s something less serious, like “SEX CHANGE!” or “PRISON!” or “DEAD!” Those types of posts are 100% accurate.

Amazed that people believe anything on Facebook,

-Shady