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The Write Etiquette for Facebook

Phyllis Humby's picture
Tue, 04/02/2013 - 06:41 -- Phyllis Humby

I’m disillusioned with, Facebook.  It’s becoming more of a broadcast station for lost animals, missing people, and news updates on crime.  I know, I know, if it were one of my family missing I’d use any means I could ... well, it depends. 

A couple of young teens confirmed my suspicions that Facebook is more of a hobby for seniors these days.  Teenagers are tweeting and texting.  Is it because too many grandmas were monitoring their sites?  One has to wonder! 

Speaking of embarrassment, were you aware there is an Official Facebook Etiquette page.  I blushed reading it.  Oops!  Sorry I interrupted your thread.  I thought it was like having a conversation.  I didn’t mean to stop the flow by mentioning my cat’s ailment.  I mean, you were discussing cats, right?  Geesh.

Since we are indeed ‘friends’, I thought I could Like your updates and Comment on what I see.  According to Facebook Etiquette, unless you know someone personally, it is bad form to Comment or Like.  This is confusing.  If you don’t think I know you well enough to comment on your pictures, why did you send me a friend request?  Duh!  Maybe you just wanted to show off your marvellous lifestyle.  That’s great, I’m happy for you.

Though Etiquette doesn’t mention inspirational quotes or cute animal pics, let’s talk about them anyway.  It’s not that they’re annoying, but a little goes a long way.  Even the tantalizing recipes and links to extraordinary home decor don’t hold my interest.  I can buy a magazine for that.  Honestly, folks, I’d rather hear about your trip to the spa than see recipes for fattening desserts.  Give me a break. 

How about profanity?  It’s a no-no in the Etiquette rules.  Even if you were directing your comment to someone else on that thread, everyone saw it.  It goes both ways.  If our friends are rude, profane, and belligerent, the Facebook world will think we’re the same. 

Another big one is sarcastic humour.  Boy, those emoticons get a workout.  Etiquette says, don’t hesitate to use them.  Without hearing the tone of voice or seeing the grin, comments may be misconstrued. 

The Etiquette rules don’t cover how to handle updates asking for a Like to support a cause.  I understand asking for a donation but how does clicking Like help a cause?  Enlighten me. 

How about the update, ‘If I get a million likes I’ll do my homework’.  Unbelievably, there’s hundreds of thousands of Likes beneath the picture of a young boy holding up a sign.  Get off Facebook and do your homework, kid. 

A few years ago – okay, many years ago − chain letters made the rounds.  These letters were handwritten, as incredible as that now seems, put in envelopes (without a return address), and mailed.  Now we have Facebook updates that work in much the same way − Share this link or you are doomed within three days – or some similar nonsense.  As much as I’d appreciate a money fairy, don’t bother forwarding one.  I won’t ‘Like’ it or ‘Share’ it.  Sorry.

The Facebook Etiquette page does address updates and comments of a defamatory nature.  Reputations and identities can be shadowed for a lifetime with the click of a mouse.  Grow up! 

Did you give much thought to your profile picture before uploading?  According to Facebook Etiquette, that is very telling.  Your image portrays how you want the world to see you.  Bikini or family pic?  Easy choice for me.  I’ll keep you guessing.

Are your work colleagues on your personal Facebook page?  BEWARE!  According to Etiquette rules, we should beware of a number of things including posts that are in extremely poor taste.  An image of a battered toddler in a hospital bed haunts me.  Do people need to see this to know it happens?  Absolutely not!  Do people need to post a picture of a fetus in a jar to show their stand against abortion?  Come on, this is a social networking site, not a soapbox.  

ere is one last word of warning from Facebook Etiquette.  Commenting on and Liking every post someone puts online could be interpreted as stalking.  Stalking?  Really??  I guess Facebook should direct us to the Etiquette page when we sign up.

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