Love them or hate them, social networking sites are here to stay. Facebook and MySpace are among the most popular destinations on the web. And even though they can be extremely annoying, there is one inescapable fact: the most irritating thing about Facebook is the 100m-strong army of people who use it. When was the last thing you looked at your feed without someone posting an embarrassing picture, or someone else saying something irritating in their status update?

Here are the things you should never do on Facebook:

1. Make Friend Requests To Strangers
Some people have this idea that the number of ‘friends’ you have in Facebook is a status of your popularity in real-life. That may be true if these ‘friends’ are people whom you know offline, and not strangers whom you randomly add while browsing through the Facebook network.

The idea becomes warped when people add friends merely for the sake of boosting their ‘popularity indicator’ among their peers. That’s not cool. But if you wish to add someone for some valid reason, like to get to know this girl you have a crush on, do so with some introduction or through a mutual friend. Skipping that step only leaves a bad impression of you, which is the last thing you want.

2. Tag Your Friends In ‘Unglam’ Shots
Guys may take it lightly when they are tagged in photos that look as if they just woke up from the bed, thinking that it’s a joke pulled off by their friends. When it comes to gals though, appearing ‘unglam’ means a lot more to them. Of course, this applies to some guys as well. What you need to take from this rule is to be sensitive of who you might be tagging in photos, especially those shots which are obviously awfully taken.

3. Overshare Yourself
Checking out the updates on your newsfeed, you see the same friend updating his status over and over again. Not any insightful ones, but just posts about what he’s doing every ten minutes. How exciting. You decide to hide his posts.

Sounds familiar? Probably. It’s annoying because no one is really interested in their friends’ everyday mundane activities, yet it just keeps popping out in their updates. Spice up your status updates a little. Instead of telling your friends you’re in the can taking a leak, share something interesting about yourself.

4. Vent About Your Work
Facebook is a double-edged sword when it comes to its social networking capability. The boon is that it enables us to connect in an unprecedented manner with friends of friends of friends through the identification of mutual friendships. On the other hand, the bane is that there’s easily a way to gather information about you by passing through such layer one-by-one.

Even with your most stringent privacy settings, there’s still a risk that what you post can reach people you wouldn’t want it to reach, and your co-workers and boss are the last people you want to mess with. So, just play safe and leave your venting to somewhere private.

5. Post Chain Status Updates
Remember those chain e-mails that demand you to forward to all of your friends or you’ll die a horrible, horrible death? Well, Facebook has a similar kind of chain, but usually for a good cause. Someone first post a status update about a social cause, encouraging those who read it to post the status too, so that their friends will get to read it and post it as well. This chain thus spread the cause, raising public awareness.

The intention here is right, but sometimes too much of a good thing isn’t good. When you see your newsfeed updates filled with the same status, you get annoyed instead, and you associate your negative emotion to that social cause.

Bonus Tip: Flame Others

Everyone is entitled to state their own opinion on the free internet, so there’s no need to put anyone down just because you disagree (or worse, don’t like the person). Sometimes I even see people criticizing the comments of their friend’s friend who replied to the post, whom they don’t even know. It’s embarrassing not only to yourself, but to your friend as well.

In the spirit of good conversations, let’s keep this in mind in whatever communication we have online, in Facebook, forums, emails, etc. Don’t ruin it for everyone.

Conclusion:

At the end of the day, it’s entirely up to us to follow these mannerism rules. I guess it’s about finding the balance between the being fun and sensitive to everyone. On one hand, we shouldn’t restrict ourselves with rules and regulations that would limit our creativity and spontaneousness of our social interactions. On the other hand, we ought to be aware of the publicness of Facebook to protect our privacy and at the same time respect the fact that each one of us forms part of the Facebook experience of everyone else. Find that right balance and you’ll not only better that experience yourself, but also help others enjoy it as well!

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Love them or hate them, social networking sites are here to stay. Facebook and MySpace are among the most popular destinations on the web. And even though they can be extremely annoying, there is one inescapable fact: the most irritating thing about Facebook is the 100m-strong army of people...