Monday, October 25, 2010

Conducting Yourself on Facebook: What NOT To Do

Observations have been made about Facebook etiquette lately. Or lack of.

It can be quite cringeworthy really at times. You don't need to be a high quantity user of Facebook to notice these trends, merely a homepage/quick photo checker then out again weekly, or like me, sometimes daily, sometimes 10 times daily, sometimes once a week...ok, erratic.

Some days I vow to shut that bad boy down, others I think it's brilliant.

Here are a few reasons why Facebook is not brilliant at times, people showing their true colours, lack of diplomacy, evident rudeness/busybody nature, or fly by night approach to acquaintances via this social medium.

        On a personal level, admittedly there is the tendency to think I am super funny when browsing friends albums and make ridiculous comments that sound hilarious in my head with the tone, intended pauses etc that are clearly never going to be clear under a photo unless that person knows you so well that they know how you would articulate your comment should it be out loud.

        A day later I re-read in another person's shoes and cringe at myself.

        Telling myself that I am a dick is my usual response.

        To the (now classic, despite it being what? Five years old and the premise for a Hollywood movie. Crikey) faux pas of Facebook (NB: this list is by no means exhaustive):

        The 'one up' comment:

            When commenting on a photo of a 'friend' of yours on safari in Africa holding a baby rhino, don't one up them by briefly regaling the world with your own experience of observing a rhino calf being born and getting to swaddle it etc etc. Let your 'friend' have their day in the sun for goodness sake. You can upload photos of said swaddling experience to your own profile and get the attention then.

            Similarly, when viewing photos of Marj and Jeremy in India, judge the level of your excitement noted carefully- it is one thing to share in a mutual 'find' of another country, but don't use the photo as a platform to tell us that you too have been to all these places. We either already know because we know you, or we don't care because we don't know you.

          Pregnancy is exciting for everyone going through it, or knowing someone close to them enjoying motherhood. If the world has just welcomed baby Fiona Mary Jones, 8lb 8 at 9am this morning, please don't hastily say Congratulations! and follow it with 4 lines on how your boy Robert is now walking. Again, you have your own 354 friends to share that moment with, let the new mum have her moment.

          Weddings are about the couple in the album getting married. Yes you had a fantastic day, but the only bride that should be told how beautiful she looked is the one who features in the album on which you are commenting. Not yourself.

          Examples of the mundane conversation starter status:

          • Laura Morris is hungry.
          • Laura Morris is tired.
          • Laura Morris is bored.
          • Laura Morris is off for a run.

          All solveable problems believe it or not. Perhaps less energy on Facebook, more time carrying out said tasks and solving said hunger/fatigue/boredom issues.

          Unless of course the following are the actual meanings of your status above (in same order):

          • Laura Morris is on a diet and fishing for 'don't give in you look so great' responses, or even a 'Jane Smith Likes This' because Jane Smith swears by crash dieting and condones hunger.
          • Laura Morris was seen on the Social Pages of the Sunday Star Times or '' this morning so everyone will know she was out painting the town red last night.
          • Laura Morris hasn't had an invitation for any kind of outing and would like one please.
          • Laura Morris is fit/attempting to get fit/wanting to convey the image of being fit to cyberspace.
          Examples of 'fishing' with responses that may seem caring, but be warned! It's just nosiness. Remember, if responders have merely noted on your status as opposed to picking up the phone when your status suggests depression or a cry for help, it's not a good indication that they're going to ring, bring around a casserole, block of chocolate, wine, beer or adult video to cheer you up:

          • Laura Morris is sad :( ('oh no, what's up?'/'what's wrong'/'it will get better, you can always ring me if you need to'/'I was sad the other day')
          • Laura Morris is happier. ('what was up hun?'/'great news! what was wrong?')
          • Laura Morris is giving up on it all. ('oh no! that's no good'/I know how you feel!/oh, that's rubbish news, hope you feel better).
          Of course what I will admit is that the flipside of status/photo behaviour on Facebook can also aid the (now cliched) Tall Poppy problem. I LOVE seeing status updates that are moments of celebration and having pride in an achievement (within reason...word it well people, word it well), and honestly, if people feel more comfortable saying they've completed the Boston Marathon and either choosing or not choosing to publish a time than pick up the phone or wait until the family ramble goes out with the Christmas cards, then go for it!

          I'll monitor this closely. I'll report back. I would also love to hear your favourite Facebook whinges. When this kind of gig becomes ubiquitous in such a short period of time, it's the perfect opportunity to get some human nature observations cranking.

          Until next time!


      1 comment:

      1. I love your photo comments! Please don't stop writing them they are swell Love Ames xx


      Think this is a dram worth recommending?