Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Facebook Etiquette - Social Media Etiquette at it's finest

Facebook Etiquette - done to death or not done right?

I once again begin my etiquette blog with a description, facebook - what is it?

Facebook ~ A social networking service and website launched in 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook Inc. Users may create a personal profile, add other users as friends and exchange messages. Users must declare themselves over 13 years of age to register to the site, users can share photos, stories and daily updates.

So has this social media giant replaced peoples need to interact in person with one another? Has it provided a method of stalking ex lovers, friends or even the office hotty? Let's look to see if perhaps there may be some 'socially accepted' standards of facebook interaction.

Status Updates - easy one here, don't update every two seconds, this isn't twitter and no-one really cares you've had three pieces of toast today (one with Jam) - this is called over updating. Also why post cryptic messages about people on your friends list...clearly the message is aimed at them, now let's all be grown ups and talk to them face to face.

Photo Tagging - come on people, unless your friends are very liberal please do them a solid and 'cleanse' the bad ones, just because you have a hundred great photos of a night out don't post the bad ones of your friends and tag without permission. Be prepared for them to untag with no recourse from you. It's only fair, think of how you would feel if a terrible photo from the end of Friday night with make up running down your face appeared tagged on facebook.

Friendship Adding - this isn't the emmy awards where you thank every person you have ever come in contact with. Be thoughtful when adding people, you don't need a cast of thousands on your 'friends' list to have a full social life. When is a good time to add friends? Well call me old fashioned but stating the obvious is never before meeting someone in person, perhaps never before you have their mobile number. Adding your friends partner has a separate set of considerations, how long have you known your friend for, how many times have you met their partner, do you get along and can hold conversations with their partner, would you be likely to join them for an intimate dinner with your friend? If the answers are a short time and probably not then it might not be acceptable to send them a friend request. The same set of questions would be used when adding a friend of a friend for the first time.

Facebook Tone - like any other written word, it's hard to see tone. Be mindful of this when posting a statement which you may consider harmless, remembering that you have friends from all walks of life, jobs, background, political and spiritual beliefs.

Checking In - yes we get it, you are super popular and spend countless hours at the gym...ok ok so I may have personally fallen for the excitement of checkin. However I've seen the error of my ways and have had personal experience seeing the frustration of people on your friends list who are hyperactive checkers. A few things to go by, we get it, you work out, every day...good for you! Staying healthy is important, although don't you find it more exhilarating to have modesty, wouldn't it be better for the next time you see someone for them to say 'WOW you look amazing!' not, "ahh yes I see you are a member of XYZ gym". Checking others in, consider if the other person wants you to check them in, they may have members of their office as friends and whilst your lovely extended lunch with matching wines might be exciting to you (and also to your friend) it might be considerate to ask them before potentially ruining their career.

DO - enjoy your social experience, social media can be fun, interactive and of course a little cheeky. Create a group, start events and use this fantastic media to explore the limitless bounds life has to offer.

This is not to say that social media cannot be adapted for etiquette, you may decide to keep your friends list small and intimate or you may decide that more friends is right for you. Whichever you chose be happy with your choice.
Conclusion - Have fun and be considerate.

xx Stay Awesome

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