Monday, November 21, 2011

Facebook Etiquette

Say you run into an old friend at Target. You used to play together when you were young, and now 12 years later, it's good to see each other again. She introduces you to her friend, and the three of you smalltalk for a bit. At the end you tell your friend, "Hey, we should keep in touch! Facebook me."

The next day, your old friend has sent you a friend request. Awesome! You accept happily.

Then...your friend's friend sends you one. You accept it...and can't help but notice you're now one of her 1,759 friends.

Which kind of person are you? Do you have facebook to stay in touch with friends and family? Or do you find it necessary to stalk every person you've ever met?

Back in the MySpace days, the number of friends we had was a huge deal. The number of profile views you had was almost bigger. I feel like facebook started a more mature way of social networking. But some people are still stuck on the popularity contest. I couldn't tell you how many friends I have right now. I've tried cutting back and limiting my list to only close friends and family. But when people see you've removed them, they get offended and think you hate them.

Because, after all, facebook is reality!

It has become an alternate reality, in a sense. Even so, there are social rules and etiquette that I believe should still be followed. In general: If you wouldn't do something in person, you probably shouldn't do it on the internet. But more specifically, here are some rules that facebook users should follow:

1. We all use facebook as the easy way to communicate. But find a balance. If you like a girl you work with but never had the nerve to go up and say hi, don't start a chat session with her and claim that you're shy. Lame-o.

2. Try to draw the line about private messages and public wall posts. Everyone does not need to see everything. 

3. Be aware of what you're saying on another person's wall. This is huge. So I'll dedicate the next few rules to this issue.

4. If you're commenting on someone's status, keep it relevant - unless they asked a question or are looking for advice.

5. If you're engaging in a comment thread, be respectful of the person whose wall it's on. Don't take it over unless you and the originator are in agreement. 

6. If a story pops up on your newsfeed of one person writing on another's wall, think before jumping in. Though it's viewable to all their friends, determine the nature of the post before budding in. (And this goes back to #2.) 

7. If you're tempted to continue a discussion with someone (most likely through comments that others can see), ask yourself whether you're writing to communicate with that person or broadcast to the world. There is a difference, and it's glaringly obvious. 

8. Don't put up pictures and caption them, "Ugh, I look gross but I liked my hair" because we all know you think you look hot in your little gym shorts, and you wouldn't have posted the picture in the first place if you thought it was that bad. 

9. Don't put up pictures of yourself with your nose Picnik'd out (although I'll admit, photo editing software is so much fun), your lips puckered, and a peace sign on the side. You are not a duck. 
10. If you don't like someone and don't want to be friends, don't be! There is no point seeing updates and pictures about someone you just don't get along with. It will only aggravate you and make you exude negativity. On the other hand, if you're not in a position to remove (there's one in every family..."two in mine") just make good use of the hide button, or put them on a restricted list. 
Be polite, be kind, but be real. 


    MB said...

    I totally agree with what you're saying. It really bothers me how it's a form of competition as to how many friends you have with some people! My little brother is like that, but I always keep my list of friends smaller (like you) than the average person because I don't see the point of having people you haven't communicated with in years, and don't plan to, as friends on Facebook.

    I find that Facebook can really annoy me sometimes, yet it is really useful for sharing things and keeping in touch. I never had myspace though, thank goodness! Sounds like a hassle!

    Well this is quite a long comment1 My goodness, I shall end it now!

    LifeAfterPiggieSmalls said...

    These are some good rules to follow! I really dislike when someone who doesn't know me tries to add me. I'm always so conflicted over Facebook! I go through phases where I post updates regularly, and then I don't post anything for awhile. Sometimes it just feels like TOO MUCH of my life is out there, do you ever feel that way? Like nothing is sacred. Then again, I want to share lots of things, which is why I'm always conflicted :) And hahahahaha I have someone who constantly posts photos of herself with her nose edited out, and her headlines for herself are always "dork" or "nerd" lol! OBVIOUSLY fishing for compliments :)