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How To Use Facebook

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howtofbAs 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. 13574212720[1]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:

Here there be picture(s). 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.

Comments

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.)

Messaging

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!

~ XK

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I’m really bad about replying to people online. I’ll be moseying along, happily content within my little computer-generated world, and suddenly, I’ll get a notification! Someone acknowledged my existence! I’ll look at the message, smile, agree, or look slightly perplexed, and then I’ll forget to reply.

That’s just what I do.

It’s not that I don’t love you, it’s just… notifications are so impersonal. When people hold face-to-face conversations, a constant exchange is going on. A comment on a blog or Facebook status doesn’t inherently leave the field open for response. When we speak to each other with our mouths, our ears are engaged and our eyes are watching body movement and signals. When we leave messages online, thought by our heads, typed by our hands, and conveyed by a little block of text, they lose all of the subtleties of normal conversation. Maybe that’s why I like emoticons so much…

Now, I’m bad enough when it comes to starting normal conversation. I’m just not that talkative of a person. I don’t mind talking to people, but I usually don’t initiate spontaneous discussions, and I am positively not one of those people who needs to talk just to think. I make random noises, and sing, and hum… and stuff… but I don’t talk a lot.

But back to replying.

Someone will comment on a picture or status (or blog post) and say something like “That’s so true. I LOL’d when I read that.” I’ll read the comment, be happy that I made that person happy, and then I’ll move on with life. End of conversation. It’s rather sad, isn’t it? 

Unfortunately, I tend to do the same thing with longer comments. “I read your post and that made me think of this one time when I was with this one person and this one thing happened and my cat did something else while I was spinning a top on a table and this is a really long pointless series of run-ons design merely for the sake of giving an example of a really long and pointless comment. I like trains….” This is the point at which I am either interested or my eyes start glazing over and I get distracted by something shiny. If it’s an interesting, thought-provoking comment, I’ll need to think about my reply. So I tend to forget to reply. If it’s a witty, humorous comment, I’ll need to come up with the perfect comeback. That usually takes a few years. If it’s a drab, boring story about how the author got his or her first desk lamp, I’ll probably not even think about replying.

So, what to do? I think I’m going to make a concerted effort to be more responsive. Maybe I’ll even type a full-fledged response someday. First, though, I’d better take care of those twenty-something drafts in my WordPress “posts” folder…

~ XK