Yes, Facebook is old news and writing about proper facebook behavior may seem antiquated. However, it seems that every time I sign on to the ‘book I am faced with blazing examples of “what not to do”. It is clear that the general public needs a refresher of some basic behavioral guidelines.
And yes, all of the examples I use in this piece are “based on true stories”…
1.Never (as in never wear a black thong with white pants kind of never) post a self loathing facebook status. This automatically includes almost all country music lyrics. If you need to whine, call your mother. The rest of us, sadly, don’t care. So you have a really bad day? Maybe you can publicly announce your angst once or twice a year. Any more than that, save it for your shrink. Use Facebook to show everyone how wonderful you are- not how sad and emotionally void your life is.
2. Tag others as you would like to be tagged. Think of the tag rule as the modern version of the golden rule. Let’s face it, we’ve all experienced the dread of receiving the “You’ve been tagged in 31 pictures” e-mail following a night out with one to many cocktails. If you don’t want a picture of you passed out drunk on the floor in Vegas, or making out with Julio the bartender, chances are neither do your BFF’s. So keep that one on the desktop and off the world wide web. And don’t think anyone is fooled by the picture you post where you look like a rock star and everyone else’s eyes are closed. If you look so good that you just have to post it- well, the crop tool was invented for a reason.
3. Keep it real. When it comes to profile pictures, be realistic. No one wants to see you all done up a-la- Glamour Shots, and no one wants to see you ten years ago. People want to see what you look like now. Absolutely no baby pictures. We are not your parents, we absolutely don’t care how adorable you were as a small child. Speaking of babies, if you have a picture holding a baby, please explain. Otherwise, we will assume it is yours.
4. Less is more. Practice some self control. Don’t be that person. You know, the one that posts on a different friend’s wall every fourteen seconds? Or the one who feels the need to have a novel-length “Info” page because they are too multi-dimensional to summarize their interests in just a couple of sentences. We all spend too much time on facebook, but do so discretely. Keep posts to an appropriate number. Likewise, although an occasional witty status update is appreciated, a play by play of your day is not. Save the “John Doe is going to the Post Office” updates for Twitter.
5. Privacy. Make your profile viewable only by your friends. Not only for your safety, but for your vanity. Don’t let people access your precious personal info without having to ask you for it. You know how annoyed you get when people’s info is blocked? Don’t give up that power!
6. Keep it Classy. This one is self explanatory. Potty mouth is even less attractive in writing than in person.
In summary: Keep angst to a minimum, facebook nice with others, and practice some discretion.Love and Candy, Lindsay