Facebook Mannerisms: What to Do!
Since Facebook is exploding into existence and evolving rapidly in just a couple of years, it’s not easy for users to grasp the unspoken rules of the social interactions within. Still, there is a general agreed upon courtesy or etiquette for online communication which we can apply to the phenomenal social networking site. Nevertheless, there is no such thing as hard and fast rules for spontaneous social interactions because they are ever-changing.
The following mannerisms are therefore not something which we should all strictly abide to. Rather, I must emphasize that they are purely guidelines to enhance our social interactions and experience with Facebook. The fact is that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to social interactions. So, I encourage all of you to take these with a grain of salt and apply them as you deem fit!
Five Things We can Do:
1. Message Private Matters Instead Of Posting On Wall
As much as you may have exhibitionistic tendencies and wants everyone to know your most intimate secrets, others may not share the same inclination. Your friends might not take it too kindly when you post what they did last night at your house party, or any other stuff which are understood to be kept between your closest friends.
The fact is that most of their Facebook friends will hear about it in such a public platform. The walls indeed have ears, especially so for the Facebook Wall. Best to keep these conversations behind closed doors in Facebook Messaging.
2. Be Mindful Of What You Post
When you have hundreds of friends and acquaintances in Facebook, you have people from all kinds of backgrounds, all with different jobs, beliefs, personalities, etc. Updating your status with a general statement may seem harmless to you, but others may read it in a different light. For example, you make a remark about how advertisers con unsuspecting consumers into buying something they don’t need.
What you may not realize is that some of your friends in the advertising industry could see your status in their newsfeed. It’s a general statement, but they might think you are targeting them. Of course, it’s not going to be any fun if you’re going to consider all the possible misinterpretations before you post anything, but just be mindful of it.
3. Call Rather Than Post Personal News
This isn’t just Facebook etiquette; it’s social etiquette or even common sense. If you need to inform your friends or your family about some important and personal news (e.g. death in the family), don’t declare it out in the public domain. Facebook is a social networking site; it’s supposed to be public. This means that people can know what happened.
The other reason not to post is courtesy. It’s the same reason why you shouldn’t use SMS (or even the phone) to break up with someone. It’s rude and insincere to break important news, be it good or bad ones, without having some form of genuine communication through voice tones and body languages.
4. Reply To Comments Especially If They Are Questions
You post a status, and your friends make comments and ‘like’ it. I guess the least you can do is to acknowledge them by replying something, especially when they are questions directed to you. I’m not saying you should do it for the sake of doing it, but add on to their comments once in awhile. If you ignore them all the time, chances are that they won’t bother about your status anymore, lest they look silly talking to a wall. It’s almost karma.
5. Avoid Posting Comments On Every Post
If you’re stalking your friend, leave it at that. Don’t make it a habit to make some comment on everything your friends post or they’ll start to get suspicious. Even if you say with all honesty that you are not stalking them, it’s not going to be easy for them to believe that their status updates always appear on your newsfeed.
It’s open secret that everyone checks out their friends’ profile every now and then, but to comment on everything is to admit that you are constantly checking out on them. What is even worse is that your friend’s friends might notice as well, seeing that you are a ‘regular’ commenter. If you don’t wish to be labeled a pest, try to limit your comments somewhat.
Bonus Tip: Be Careful Of Your Tone!
As with all other online communication, communicating in Facebook is mostly textual. We can neither hear the voice tone nor see the body language when the other person ‘speaks’. In other words, it’s easy for someone to think you are being sarcastic when you are not, or misunderstand you in any other manner for that matter. To complicate things, everyone has their own typing style.
One way we can compensate for the lack of cues is to use emoticons. It’s pretty limited, but experience has taught me that a simple smiley face after a sentence can do wonders by neutralizing any potential tension. Smile and the whole world smiles with you 🙂