In a sea of social media options, it’s safe to say our number one love, Facebook, ain’t going anywhere. In fact, in the near future, it’ll be going virtual. Earlier this year, the company announced its plan to develop a virtual app that’s sure to deepen the drama and really get our boundaries all screwed up. So, before people start walking directly inside of our house, we figured it’s only proper to do a bit of housekeeping, and revamp some relationship rules. Time for some good ole fashion Facebook boundary setting!
Just like with any long term flame, there comes a time when we find ourselves deep in the comfort zone, boundary-less, unconsciously clicking away on God knows what. But this laziness can look like craziness, and it’s better to be polite than sorry. So, here’s a list of the top 10 ways you might’ve gotten a bit too comfortable in Facebook land.
Vague-booking consists of vague, abstract, meaningless updates such as, “I can’t believe it!!!” or “Finally, it’s all going down” or “UGGHHH!!” Don’t assume the world at large is following your precious play-by-play. Fundamentally, it’s still a forum for building relationships, and the key to any great relationship is communication. So choose your words wisely. Playing hard to get only works in the real world, anyway. Save all those super mysterious, meaningless grunts for your actual partner.
2. RSVP PLEASE
Those invitations are real! There’s actually a real person on the other side of that invitation that’s organized a real event and is hoping you might really be there. Sure, they might’ve invited 1,000 of their closest friends, but in the name of social graces, let’s err on the side of being polite. Don’t assume everything is an attempt at self-promotion (even thought it probably is). Just take three seconds to read it, and one second to hit decline or accept. Let’s give those invites the benefit of the doubt.
We’ve all seen it: The cringe-worthy update. We shouldn’t know that much about you. We shouldn’t be concerned about your mental health. To avoid over-sharing, remember one little thing: This is not your diary, this is Facebook.
4. DON’T SHOW YOUR PRIVATES IN PUBLIC
No, not those privates (Facebook’s already monitoring that)! Many of us are still working hard to maintain the illusion of privacy. Do not private message people on their public wall. The wall is a public forum. It’s a pretty simple concept that some people just seem to blow right past. Just because you’re comfortable with it, doesn’t mean your “friend” is. For example, “Can’t believe we were so wasted last night!” never belongs on someone’s wall. Never! This obviously goes for incriminating pictures as well.
5. WTF IS A POKE ANYWAY?
Virtually poking people is a function that’s never really been a hit concept on Facebook. If you’re still poking, those people being poked by you, probably feel a lil’ weird about it. A good rule of thumb for all Facebook social graces, is to ask yourself if you could say it or do it in person. If you still feel like poking someone, go for it.
6. DON’T ARGUE WITH STRANGERS
When it comes to getting involved in long-winded debates in the comments section of a status update, think twice. If your inner politician or defense attorney is looking for a good intellectual spat, spat only in your friend’s direction. Don’t get into long arguments with your friend’s friend. This doesn’t only make you look crazy, it’s super embarrassing for your friend too. Boundaries people, boundaries!
7. DON’T “LIKE” IT WHEN SOMEONE DIES!
Umm… duh right?! This may seem obvious, but the level of well-intentioned “likes” placed at the most inopportune moments would surprise you. In our zombie modes, drooling, we scroll rather unconsciously through our feed, dishing out impulsive “likes” along the way. Sometimes we need to snap out of it and communicate meaningfully. A gracious note, when it matters, makes a huge difference to even a distant “friend,” and it really exemplifies the true power and potential of this forum.
8. ALL IN THE TIMING
Don’t post photos of yourself eating a sizzling steak, or sipping pina coladas on your tropical beach vacation, while the rest of the world is in the middle of an international hostage negotiation. The thing about our feeds, that we’ve all come to know, is how connected we actually are. When a large-scale news event affects our feed, we see the camaraderie; for a moment, we are one. Try not to be the one oblivious self-involved person that is not paying attention. It’s really obvious to the rest of us. Save the vacay pics and selfies for tomorrow.
9. THIS IS NOT YOUR BLOG
In the world of Foursquare, WordPress, and billions of other social media outlets, self-expression is an easy thing to harness. Status updates are just that… updates! Understand the nature of the forum. Don’t write in-depth, novel length updates and expect people to read them. They won’t. Even if you’re Hemingway, they’ll still just scroll through.
10. CONSCIOUS CONTENT
It’s tough to say that you’re being judged by what you post, but you are. Facebook is the magical land of projections. You can be anything you wanna be, so choose wisely and consciously. If you’re consistently posting Candy Crush scores and quiz results proclaiming that if you were a vegetable you’d be a broccoli, people might start to wonder about why you’ve become a Facebook junkie. Create conscious content!
What’s your biggest Facebook faux pas? Share your funny moments here.