Facebook reported this week that they have 500 million active subscribers on their social network. This is a testament to the phenomenal success they have experienced over the last six years they have been in operation. The network has become a daily facet in the lives of people all over the globe. Many use the site to keep up with family and friends. People post everything from the intimate details of their lives to favorite song lyrics, and movie quotations.
I thought it would be proper to create a list of guidelines to follow when posting to Facebook because, let’s face it, with that many people in the Facebook world one false move could start a war of words that leaves all parties angry and hurt.
- Talking to One Versus Many: Facebook is an awesome way for you to share information quickly with others. However, it should be said that you need to be very careful how you present that information, or else someone could get upset. There are several ways for you to covey what you want to say. General questions like “Which camera brand should I get: Nikon or Canon?” are great to post to your entire fr iend list. However, posting things like “let’s get a drink at 5” might be better served by posting a private message to the person you want to have a drink with and not on the wall, unless of course you are seeking to invite everyone on your friends list.
- Private Issues Should Stay Private: Social networks like Facebook seem to have liberated many to think it is okay to spout about things that would make people blush if they were in person. Everything from people’s latest romantic entanglements to legal estrangement are posted for everyone to see these days. This disconnect makes it very easy for people to post the things they do. A good rule of thumb here is that if you wouldn’t walk up to a complete stranger and talk about it, rethink posting it online.
- Watch Your Tone: This one I have some problems with personally. If you want to give your opinion on a post just remember to keep a polite and measured tone in your response. Facebook is an extension of our lives in the real world. Keep that in mind when you are posting, and only say things you would be comfortable mentioning if you were talking in person.
- Be Careful with Tagging: I had a recent incident with this one. I put up a very cute picture of my wife sleeping with our latest addition to the family, our cat Poof. I tagged my wife in the picture. What I failed to remember however, was that she is not particularly fond of pictures taken of her when sleeping. She didn’t have a problem with picture, but didn’t really want to be directly identified like that. So make sure you have permission when you are tagging pictures of others. At the very least, be aware of their feelings when it comes to the tagging of pictures.
- Be Wary with the Unfriending: There are many reasons this happens. A lot of the time it can be as simple as just culling their friend lists because of games they don’t play anymore, or something as simple as that. However, sometimes things go badly in a conversation. Things are said, and feelings are hurt. It happens in the real world all the time, so it happens here too. The final cut off is to drop the party from your friends list. Before doing so though, give yourself 24 hours to decide whether this last action is what you want to do. Think of it as taking a break from a verbal argument to allow your mind to clear.
- Facebook Etiquette (artofmanliness.com)
- How Not to Creep Out Your Friends Using Facebook Places [Etiquette] (gawker.com)
- Facebook Etiquette for Business (compukol.com)
- The Five Annoying Things We Do To Each Other On Facebook [Etiquette] (gawker.com)