Without a guide to Facebook etiquette, that most popular of all social media platforms might as well be the Wild West. Lawlessness abounds in a virtual world of multi-level marketing fortune-seekers, selfie-obsessed women of ill repute, cuss word slingers, essential snake-oil salesmen, down-on-their-luck romance gamblers, and assorted other characters.
So to bring some law and order, decorum and dignity to the rough and tumble streets of Facebook, I offer the good citizens of social media: Every Woman’s Guide To Facebook Etiquette. Pay close attention.
Manage Your Wall
Your Facebook wall is your digital “home”. Keep it tidy. If you wouldn’t allow every one of your friends to keep a box of junk in your living room, then don’t let them post to your wall either. Friends commenting on your posts are good (mostly, more about that to come), but when friends hijack your wall and fill it with their stuff – not so good. Furthermore, your other friends aren’t interested in it unless you shared it to your own wall, thereby becoming a reflection of your tastes. So lock that post setting down to “Only Me”.
Quit Arguing (No one’s listening)
In the history of Facebook, no one has ever been persuaded to change their political, religious, or parenting convictions in a series of increasingly snarky comments. So, if you can’t make yourself keep scrolling past a friend’s provocative post, then take your ONE best shot. Make a respectful, well-reasoned, yet succinct statement and cut yourself off. Remember tip number one. Don’t puke arguments on your friend’s living room wall. If you’re passionate about the subject, take up a discussion of it on your own wall.
Keep Your Dignity
The making of an announcement along the lines of “I’m cleaning out my friends list. Let me know if you want to stay on it.” is seen by every other person on the planet as a desperate plea for attention. Make sure you see it that way too and don’t abandon your dignity. Besides, no one should have to ask to remain your friend in the real or digital world. Clean up your friends list without the dramatic announcement.
Friends Don’t Threaten Friends
Akin to tip number three is the “I’m taking names” post. If your post contains anything with the words “I’m watching to see which of my friends will copy and paste this to their wall” know that you put a psychological gun to the head of everyone who reads it. Doesn’t matter how noble the cause is; it’s an ultimatum and they won’t thank you for it. Because again, you don’t treat people like this in the real world and it doesn’t become okay on a social media platform.
Get A Filter
For the love of decency, get a filter! Don’t post rants about people. Any person. Believe me when I say, it only makes YOU look bad. Same goes for potty-mouth. No one reads that and thinks it’s classy. Also, don’t post pictures of your colonoscopy prep meds unless you want to give people an instant mental image of you on the toilet. Finally, the only one who likes your 10 duck-lipped selfies is you and the community of internet creepers. Same for cleavage shots. Take that mess over to Snapchat.
Say It, Already!
The purpose of engaging social media is to communicate. Your friends appreciate clear communication, not cryptic guess-what-I’m-thinking one-liners that plead for attention. Seen these: “Nobody understands,” “I can’t believe this is happening,” “What do I do now?” Well, here’s what you do. Get off Facebook and go talk it out with a real person who will require multiple sentences with substance. Ain’t no one on Facebook got time for that.
Ask, Don’t Add
Don’t assume your friends want to be added to the group Oregon Vegan Satanists or Nerds Gone Wild. It’s presumptuous to attach people to any group without their consent. People who add me to groups without my consent get added to the group Adult Bedwetters & Thumbsuckers. (Well, they will. I just set it up. Feel free to use it yourself, though you’ll just have to join first. And be really secure with yourself.)People who add me to groups without asking get added to the group Adult Bed Wetters & Thumb Suckers. Click To Tweet
Don’t Be Loathed En Masse
Mass tagging is universally loathed, so it’s stunning folks still do it. Why would anyone blow up the phones of “friends” with notifications of your tag list responding? There is only ONE scenario where the mass tag is acceptable: When a groom says he’s not coming to the church an hour before the wedding. Then spread the word with a mass tag to stay away from that hot-mess drama. But never for anything else. Ever.
It’s not so hard to be a good Facebook citizen. Simply follow Every Woman’s Guide To Facebook Etiquette. Or face the possible consequences…