Saturday, January 08, 2011

Facebook Etiquette

Since we are talking about Facebook, I might as well offer my suggestions for folks with whom I interact directly upon yon social network. Not rules, but like the lyric from "Keep On Truckin' Mama," "You gotta take it slow and easy if you want to get along with me ..."

Some do's and don't's:

If I open my home page and fifteen of the thirty posts are from you, and sequentially? Chances are good that I am going to click on the "hide 'em" button. No going so far as to unfriend you, but unless there is something of substance in those posts, and not just what you had for breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, and dinner -- life is too short.

Unless, of course, it was really, really good, and you include the recipe. 

I don't tweet, nor do I read tweets.

If somebody takes over your Facebook account and starts spewing major spam, I will unfriend you. It's not personal -- once you get it fixed, I'm good, drop me a note, but until then, sending out a announcement that says somebody has done this to you and I should ignore it? That doesn't fix the problem. 

If one of my friends gets married, divorced, has a baby, sells a book, or does anything that is most pleasing to them, that's worth putting up a note about. If they learned something new, got sick, got well, got laid, I'm up for hearing that.

And I enjoy hearing about your anniversary, birthdays, and how you married the second-best woman in the world -- which is as high as she can possibly be, for obvious reasons. 

If you are an artist and you put up pictures? Great. If you are a writer and you put up links to stories? Cool. If you have done a video that is funny or educational, I'm down with that. Conversely, if you put up a link to every YouTube video of every group you've ever heard sing or play? Maybe not. 

My interests include writing, martial arts, playing the guitar, reading, and good movies and TV, so anything in those arenas, I am usually up for viewing. If your vid shows a small child or dog or cat getting hurt? Not interested. A good street fight or martial arts demo gone awry? Tiger leaping onto the back of an elephant to get the rider? Lemme see it.

Happy to read ads for something you are offering for sale, from music vids to books to hand-carved briar pipes -- it's all good. 

If you live in Maine and you are going to do an open mike on Friday, that's cool, pleased to hear that, too. But save yourself inviting me and looking for a response. I won't be there; probably most of the people you invite from the west coast won't make it, either. Be realistic.

I'm not a gamer, so sending me invitations to play whatever online game you like? I'll just block those. I'm okay with checking out something you thought was interesting or amusing, vis a vis an organization or activity, as long as I don't have to join it myself to get a look at it. 

All in all, my general rule is, if what anybody has to say to me on Facebook is something I'd be happy to hear if we were having coffee (and vice-versa), then have at it. If we are at a party and chatting and either of us start looking at our watches?

Maybe we could save that conversation for our blogs ...


Jim said...

Nice guideline there for social networking...

If it's something you'd want to share or hear about chatting over coffee (or something stronger) in a public setting... post away. Otherwise, maybe it needs to either be kept to yourself, or shared privately.

I think I'm going to steal that last paragraph from you, Steve...

Pam Davis said...

I agree Steve, nicely said. I have found myself becoming more and more of a voyeur on Facebook these days and have gradually paring down to the contacts that add some enjoyment or value to my day. It is great to stay in touch with family and friends but your are right about the party analogy. Except for the clueless few "Oh my, look at that, my glass is empty..." works pretty well.

steve-vh said...

right there with ya steve. best thing for facebook? My buddy posting pics of his new baby. Priceless.

as for the needy who post "having a tough day" as in "I need you to post so I feel worthy", you need more than I can provide.

But is does provide such fantastic material for this

ashes2dds said...

Since you tease me endlessly on facebook I am guessing my etiquette is passable.

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, shrimp, you're okay. More or less.