Saturday, February 16, 2013

Social Norms: Facebook Etiquette

Social networking has become a very ordinary part of everyday life for a lot of people throughout Ireland and the rest of the world. Similarly to other social environments, it has developed its own social norms which are generally accepted as universal norms. It is important to keep up to date with the moving tide so as not to upset others or alienate yourself.

Below I have listed the 5 most common rules of etiquette on Facebook:

1. Be Careful What You Post About Others
It is usually frowned upon to upload inappropriate pictures of others or comment on their pages divulging any sensitive information. As in real world social norms, it is important to do to others what you would expect in return. This is especially important if you post about friends who will be determined to get you back, they could post pictures or information about you that you definitely do not want in the public domain (especially if they feel the need to one-up you). Things can get very messy very quickly.

2. Remain Positive
Think back to that advice you got as a child, "if you've nothing nice to say, then don't say anything at all". Make sure that any comments you may have about someone else's pictures or posts are positive. If comments are made in jest or satirically  make sure that is clear, because again with the instant nature of Facebook, things can get out of hand very quickly.

Video: Facebook Manners and You

3. Don't Spam Your Friends Newsfeeds
Remember every time you update your status or share a post, it appears in the news feed of your friends. It is definitely not good etiquette to fill up your friends feeds with every minute task or activity your involved in during a given day. You will often irritate or bore people which will ultimately lead to you being "unfriended" or removed from their news feed, which is counter productive in the grand scheme of Facebook. No one likes to be spammed by their Facebook friends, don't be that person!

4. Don't Stalk Your Facebook Friends
When your friends post pictures, update their status, share post and leave comments, don't feel the need to respond to every single item. It is normal for friends to comment on the various updates of their fellow Facebookers, however that does not mean you need to be involved in every single update. While you may feel this is getting involved and showing an interest, it comes across as weird and stalker-like. Everyone is guilty of a certain level of stalking when it comes to the pages of their Facebook friends, they key is to do it under the radar!

5. Do Not Add People You Don't Know in Real Life
This may seem obvious, but sometimes people treat Facebook like Twitter or LinkedIn, where you are using it as a means to make connections with strangers, whether for business of pleasure. However good the intentions may be, this will usually come across as unusual and odd behaviour. Since often people's Facebook profiles contain private information about a person, which they are happy to share with their friends, but not with strangers. You will start to make a name for yourself and may get reported to Facebook admin and ultimately have your account suspended.

Are they any other examples of Facebook etiquette that you think are important? Comment below.

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