Since 2004, Facebook has become a strong fixture in our lives, personally, socially and professionally. It created a new form of personal communication for an entire generation and with it, new rules of engagement and etiquette. Etiquette, in the simplest form can be defined as conventional requirements for social behavior; emphasis’s on the social.
It is my belief that the general population of Facebook users are aware and follow the most basic rules of social etiquette but there is a rather large portion of Facebook users that are unaware or just don’t care about social etiquette, that can make the Facebook experience for the rest annoying and unpleasant. My hope for this post is to provide a short and simple guideline on the basic rules of social etiquette on Facebook to enhance everyone’s overall experience.
1. Learn the Privacy settings
I know that with all the constant Facebook changes, this can be a daunting task but trust me the Privacy settings can and will be your best friend. Learning and utilizing the Privacy settings will make your life smooth sailing on Facebook. Some of the great Privacy tools Facebook has is the option to block certain people from seeing your photos, tags, and updates. So breathe easier and don’t worry about your new boss or family members friend requesting you, just limit there viewing of your profile.
2. Think before you post
Facebook is a great way to connect with all your friends and acquaintances, but when you have such a large group of people able to see what you post, you must be mindful of everything you put on our profile. Those mobile uploads from last night’s happy hour might of seem like a great idea in the moment, but come next day you and those involved might not be so amused.
3. Do know the difference between the Wall and a private message
You would think that this would be common knowledge but I am still astonished about how many times I’ve seen extremely private comments and wall posts in my news feed. Just like when you feel the need to look away when you catch someone in a private moment, I feel uncomfortable reading the post. Some things should not be publicized.
4. Friend requesting complete strangers
I personally find this weird and a bit creepy. If I have no idea who you are, why would I want you to see my profile and learn my personal information? (No, thanks)
If you are friend requesting someone please make sure they know you, even if you two only spoke for 5 minutes at that dinner party last week; its an actual connection and therefore acceptable.
5. Detail your entire day in your updates
I really don’t care if you brushed your teeth this morning (I hope you did) or that you are in the elevator going to work (yawn). It says, “What’s on your mind?” not ‘What is your daily mundane routine?’ Please have fun and be creative with your status updates and please limit the amount of update you have. I don’t want my news feed to be hogged by one single person. If you have the need update your every thought you have during the day, there is another social website for that. (Twitter anyone?)
6. Don’t put up unflattering pictures of friends
This is a sure fire way of making people mad at you. Just because you are comfortable letting everyone that you know that you are reining champ of beer pong, your friends might not be. If you have photos you know your friends want to keep private, make the album private and don’t tag them in it. You will avoid getting un-friended in the future.