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!
If you haven’t noticed by now, I really like to classify things, and people, and… yeah, pretty much everything. So, today, on this very most wonderfullest of days, it’s a Saturday, I present to you, my lovely reader, a guide for the classification of the users of the internet site known as Facebook.
- The Normal User — We’ll use this person as the baseline. This good fellow logs onto Facebook, checks to see see if any of his friends have posted anything “like-worthy,” and posts a relevant status that is of some interest to those whom he has friended. “Got my first car today! I’m so excited!” Perhaps he occasionally shares a funny video or link. Hey, have you seen that guide to Facebook users? *links*
- The Storytellers — These are your friends who have decided that their lives should be broadcast in prose form. Not content with a simple “Ouch. I stubbed my toe in the backyard,” these long-winded narrators must post a blow-by-blow replay of the events leading up to and following the event. “So… I was walking out to the barn today because I had to feed my pet antelope when I realized that I need to go back inside and get my hat. So, I headed back into the house and when I did I tripped over a rock that sitting in the way. Now my toe hurts and I had to find the medicine. Now my toe is black and blue. lol”
- The Addict — The books written by the storyteller are surpassed in volume and word count by only one other: the addict. The Facebook addict is one who has advanced in the evolutionary cycle to the point at which he no longer has a need for the “log out” button. Although he may occasionally post interesting statuses, not many events during the course of the day escape the waiting keyboard of the addict. Honestly sir, nobody cares if you just went out to get the mail; people are only slightly intrigued by the fact that you ate an entire pizza tonight, and really, how did you even post that status to let us know that your internet is down and your cell phone is dead…?
- The Obsessive Compulsive Reposters (OCRs) — Even the good people who run Facebook have been impressed by the amount of users that repost items, hence they added the “share” feature. Occasionally sharing a link or video, like an awesome blog post, is acceptable. Problems begin to arise, however, when the ratio of shares to minutes exceeds 3.2. That’s data from an actual scientific test.
- The Stalkers — Granted, if the information is posted to one’s profile, it was posted at the peril of the owner; however, it’s not cool to “like” every single photo, status, link, and action that someone posts. Stalking your friends on Facebook is perfectly acceptable, it’s just generally a good idea to be discreet. Jack: “Hey Sally, this is such a great picture of you!” Sally: “That’s my mom… and I posted that 2 years ago… and… why did you like all of my posts between 2007 and now? Stalker.”
- The Spammer Vigilante — Dissimilar from the OCRs in the area of intention, these friends like to act out the rule of justice on those who have offended them. Using many ctrl-c and subsequent ctrl-v keystrokes, these people will soon fill the victim’s/perpetrator’s feed with far too many notifications than is healthy.
- The Relational Lotteries — Fairly certain that this guy really is the one, she changes her relationship status–for the twelfth time this week. ‘nough said.
- The Grammatically Challenged — I know that many of you who read this are guilty. Don’t get mad; I don’t hate you. I just really hate your writing. Sure, everyone has his own grammatical idiosyncrasies… I really love using ellipses, but do you really not remember how to use the “shift” key, commas, or apostrophes? No, following the status up with txt speak does not alleviate the problem. “if you dont go to school to morrow your stupid. lol ♥ ♥” (Hearts added for emphasis.)
- The Txt Speakers — Closely related to the friends above, these people seem to have forgotten that English is the primary language spoken amongst English speakers. “lol im soooo brd smbdy txt me pls lol“ If you’re really that bored, do your homework; Comp 1 might not be a bad place to start.
- The Grammar Nazis — While it is exceedingly annoying for the grammatically inclined to interact with the written expressions of the grammatically declined see what I did there?, it is quite the common occurrence on Facebook. Obviously, the misused “yours” and fatally mutilated contractions cannot be allowed to roam the web forever and freely, but some restraint must be shown when correcting others. Here’s a quick test: “Whats you’re favorite colour?” If you can responded to that question with a color, you’re doing alright. If not, loosen up a bit, or only friend people that can pass an English proficiency test. It’s your choice (sic).
- The Gamers — No, not the real gamers. I’m talking about the Facebook gamers. The people that, as soon as you accepted their friend request, posted on your wall to ask for a pig. Politely declining and informing them that you do not own any of the unclean creatures, you blocked Farmville. Good move. Unfortunately, your friends also play about 97 thousand other games; hence, it becomes a competition to see who will overcome whom. Will they eventually bury your wall in under a pile of requests to pick their digital tomatoes, or will you succeed in blocking every game request that is hurled your way? “Dude, check out my farm. I mean, it’s not a real farm. It’s actually fake, but dude, I spent real money on it! And Dude! I got a pink tractor!”
This list is by no means comprehensive, and it certainly doesn’t cover all of the details of each category; indeed, it may even be subjective. Perhaps, however, it will bring entertainment to someone, and hopefuly, it will not spam too many users’ walls. Just kidding, you should totally share this with everyone you know. Just use the Facebook button below.
Happy Social Networking!