I use Facebook everyday, sometimes multiple times a day. It may be for my internships, the club accounts I manage or for my personal life. I’m not quite the social media junkie yet, but do understand the basic principles of Facebook’s ability to socially engage and connect friends to our personal lives. We use it to share funny photos, chat with old & new friends, update statuses about life happenings or as a means of procrastination.
The majority of us use Facebook at least once a day on our computers or fancy phones, while waiting in line or even during class. It’s in our lives, but some of us forget about the not-so-common courtesies that come with Facebook so I’ve decided to name a few.
1. Don’t add people you’ve never met before – unless they’re Megan Fox or Brad Pitt.
Celebrities, public figures and your heroes are the exception to this rule. Don’t add complete strangers, especially those that you share absolutely no mutual friends with – it’s just a bit strange.
2. Don’t check people in to locations without asking before hand. (Ex: First date with James Smith at Denny’s!) Plenty of us have experienced this, where you’ve been tagged in a status at the movie theater when you’ve told another friend you couldn’t make it to that party since you’ve “been so swamped with homework.” This can be a lesson of honesty by telling that friend you had already made plans, but for reasons of consideration, ask before checking people in!
3. Avoid passively aggressively targeted status updates.
Yes, this refers to subtle comments about the things you hate about your ex and also includes spiteful quotes that relate to the person you may dislike. Just stop, we all know who you’re referring to anyway.
4. Try to make an effort to acknowledge birthday wishes from friends.
Facebook takes pride in reminding others of your big day so the least you can do is be thankful for all the birthday wishes. This can be done with one status update thanking everyone at the end of the day or post-birthday. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can acknowledge each birthday wish with a “like” or a comment.
5. Don’t “join” an event you were invited to if you know you’re not attending.
For the ones you do decide to acknowledge, try to keep the person who invited you in mind. Maybe food is involved and a true headcount is needed. Be especially honest with birthday-related functions because no one wants insincere support. If you’re truly unsure, just click “maybe.”
6. Avoid using your Facebook as your Instagram.
We get it, Instagram makes your photos pretty and gives lets you take multiple poses in front of your camera and edit with pre-set color filters. But it can become a bit excessive when you have a new photo on Facebook posted every other hour. One or maybe two (you’re pushing it) shared Instagram shots per day is on the more acceptable end.
7. Avoid using your Facebook as your Twitter.
We get it, Twitter is a means to tweet your thoughts and to retweet from others. But once again, it can become a bit excessive when you have a new status update every other hour about what color top you think you should wear, how hungry you are, or how awfully boring your class may currently be.
8. Ask your partner before changing your relationship status.
They may not be ready to publicize the relationship you have together. Be especially aware of new relationships – don’t change your relationship status after only a week into dating that person unless you want to be single again soon.
9. Don’t spam your newsfeed (i.e. chain status updates, irrelevant ads). Chain status updates are so middle school. We’re all guilty of passing along the “Post this within 10 minutes and your wish will come true!” messages but we’ve grown up a little more by now, so lets post more relevant statuses.
10. Stop poking – it’s annoying.
11. Don’t over request a friend.
Not only may it look creepy since the person clearly doesn’t want to confirm you as a friend, but it begins to look obsessive after the third try. One request is fine, a second one is fine, but by the third one, just stop.
12. Avoid posting work-related and/or school-related requests on friends’ walls. (Ex: “Hey Jane, what did I miss in Smith’s class? Send me over your notes?”)
For most people, Facebook is used for personal reasons so no one wants to be pestered with work or homework requests on their wall. Maybe a polite email, text message or phone call at the appropriate time of day would be a better idea.
Share with us your Facebook etiquette tips or suggestions on our Facebook page here!