As a company, Facebook has given us some legal terms that outline what the company will do, what we should do, what they expect us to do if we don’t like what they’re doing, and what they will do if we do something that we shouldn’t do.
That’s not what this post is about. This post is a personal Facebook user policy. It’s a bit of etiquette, a dab of protocol, and pretty much the reasons I post what I do and abstain from posting what I don’t.
Concerning Statuses (statai):
I generally veer away from the standard prompts given by the content people at Facebook. The “What’s on your mind” and “What’s your New Year’s resolution” stuff is usually ignored by me.
I hate statuses that are pointless. By pointless, I mean something you would not normally inform others of; it’s not funny and it has no importance in any other sphere of life. For example: “Just dusted the hearth.” is not a vital piece of information. It’s not funny (unless you like the word hearth), and I really don’t care whether your house is clean or not (unless I’m coming over).
Overly personal statuses are not bad in and of themselves, but if you are sharing them publicly, or with people with whom you would not normally share such information, then be prepared for feedback that may not be ideal. Please don’t get mad when someone faults you or comments in a negative manner on your post. You put it out for the world to see, and you should expect the world to not be very nice.
Self deprecating statuses should not be used to garner support; these can easily backfire. Private information should not be posted if you don’t want it public (just use common sense). Try to spell stuff correctly.
The Posting of Photos/Videos:
Once again, common sense should be used liberally. In fact, I recommend using as much as you have available. Once a photo or video is published, it could go any of a number of places. Once others have access to it, there is no guarantee of permanent deletion, so don’t upload things that you’ll regret! Don’t upload a picture of yourself proclaiming how ugly you are and expect people to deny your claims. You might want to talk to a counselor if you’re constantly trying to find affirmation through Facebook.
Those “chain-mail” photos, don’t share them. Sorry for yelling, but seriously, a creeper won’t show up at your house if you refuse to “like” that image, you won’t die tonight because you didn’t share that post, and Jesus will still love you if you ignore that picture of him in your news feed. Sharing or liking an image on Facebook is not going to feed starving kids in Africa; if you want to help the needy, then I suggest getting off the computer and into the world.
Don’t be that person. You know, the one who leaves really awkward comments that are really hard to respond to (and try not to embarrass others by saying something publicly that you intended only for them.)
If you send someone a message, don’t leave them hanging. That’s just not polite.
Person 1: Hey, guess what!
Person 2: Hey!
Person 2: What?
Person 2: Hello?
Person 2: R u there?
…five years later…
Person 1: Hey!
The Little Stuff
Link spamming is annoying; don’t do it. If you’ve shared something once, there’s no need to share it five more times. Game invites: please don’t (protip: set the privacy option of “who can see posts from this app” as “only me,” that way the app won’t be automatically spamming others without your consent). Don’t tag people in product images, that’s just rude. Don’t add all of your friends to a group that’s going to spam their news feeds with stuff they don’t like, again, rude.
That should get you started, anyway. What annoys you? Do you have any tips for the general populace of Facebook? Let me know in the comments!
Welcome to part one of How to Talk to People– an ICBGM general initiative. The purpose of this series is to teach and inform on the general concepts of real-life interaction between digitally-minded people.
For those of you who don’t commonly frequent Internet forums, let me quickly explain the concept. Forums are digital “huddles” on the Internet in which people gather, post questions, project opinions, and respond to others’ posts. Forums attract all sorts of people: nice people, angry people, helpful people, loud people, and the list goes on. Bronies, don’t even get me started on Bronies. Why did you even bring them up?
I’m going to focus on that last–and probably most annoying–group of people in the list: the loud ones. Inclusive of shouters and ranters, the members of this troll-like group of creatures love to cause ruckus. These people love their own opinions. In fact, they love them so much, they feel they must share their golden pieces of integral knowledge with everyone they meet. Like talking to regular people about singers in bands. For hours. It’s just not cool.
So the real question, and the whole point of this post, is this: are you a forum ranter in real life? Let’s go through the list below to see if you fit the description.
- Loud – I suppose this is something one wouldn’t admit, but this is also a very common characteristic of a ranter. The common ranter is often very vocal, loud, and persistent—often about pointless things. Like televised golf. Televised golf is pointless.
- Prolific Conversationalist – Similar to the Internet’s bane, the over-frequent poster, this person strikes up conversations with everyone. This wouldn’t be too terrible, except for the fact that the conversations are all about the same things, and they usually are self-glorifying. Dude, I have the entire list of Kellogg’s cereals memorized! Wanna hear them?
- Conversationjacking – Like hijacking a car, but with a conversation. Have you ever been talking with a friend when a random person comes up and butts in? The new person takes over the conversation, steers it in whatever direction he wishes, and eventually drives it into the terrible Swamp of Boredom—completely oblivious to the other conversationalists that he drowned in the process.
- Inability to Understand Others – ie: Regard for other people. This is helpful in the general role of human interaction.
So, are you one of these people? If so, I have a piece of advice for you. Stop it! Don’t even question why; the fact that these actions are all conducive to loneliness, solitude, and excess Internet usage should be enough to convince you to drop them from your everyday activities.
Paid for by the Internet Committee for the Betterment of General Mankind. Tune in next time for advice on how to talk with enthusiasts about their areas of expertise.