Facebook Etiquette

As you can probably guess, anytime you throw together a bunch of people from diverse backgrounds, ages, experiences, political leanings, religions, and computer proficiency, things happen—expectations differ, assumptions are made, worlds collide. Just like interacting in the real world, interacting in the online world takes some skill and diplomacy. Sure, you may have joined Facebook just to have fun with your friends, but maybe your version of fun differs from the people you have assembled on your Friends List. So what are the social do’s and don’ts of using Facebook?

There’s no real guide to interacting other than your own common sense and intuition. As in real life, in online life, the golden rule still applies—treat others as you want to be treated. If you’re looking for a few tips anyway, here they are.

Facebook Do’s
Do be tolerant of others, particularly when you get friend requests from people you don’t immediately recognize or know. They may be looking for someone with the same name. If you don’t want to respond, just ignore the request.

Do set your privacy settings to the levels in which you feel comfortable and safe. By default, many of the privacy settings are set for everyone to see your profile information and other postings. It’s a good idea to adjust these settings to include just your friends.

Do report threatening behavior or inappropriate postings. Facebook takes this sort of thing very seriously. You can visit the Help page to find a report feature.

Do be considerate of other people’s feelings. Communicating electronically is often a challenge because people can’t see your face or hear the tone of your voice. Remember this when posting on Walls and making comments.

Do reply to Wall comments and personal messages when applicable. It’s mannerly to at least acknowledge people who attempt to communicate with you.

Do keep your Wall postings civil and free of foul or questionable language. Remember, that person’s other friends see your comments, including the possibility of that person’s mother.

Do choose an appropriate profile picture. Tacky or questionable pictures are not the way to go unless that’s really the message you want to convey to friends, family, coworkers, or your boss.

Do use your head about what information you share on Facebook and how you conduct yourself. When it comes to the issue of saying too much online, let discretion be your first instinct. It’s always better to say too little than too much.

Facebook Don’ts
Don’t think of your friends list as a competition to see who has the most. It’s not. Quality over quantity is the best approach. If you’re sending friend requests right and left to people you don’t intend to know, you’re in this for the wrong reasons.

Don’t give out your personal information unless you really know the person, and rely on private email messages, not the public forum that is the Facebook Wall. Always be cautious about sharing personal or confidential information—never give out your information to someone you don’t know.

Don’t irritate people with your postings. Keep in mind that not everyone wants to hear about your pet rabbit every single hour of every single day.

Don’t annoy people with too many “pokes” or other application actions. It’s fun the first time, but over and over again all day is too much.

Don’t use Facebook as a tool for revenge, bullying, or threats. Such activities will get you kicked off faster than a speeding bullet.

Don’t feel obligated to befriend everyone on Facebook. If you don’t want a particular person snooping around your profile, you can deny their friend request.

Don’t share company information online—that’s a big no-no.

Don’t make your romantic break-ups and get-togethers public knowledge. Save that sort of information for private forums.

Don’t lower your guard just because you’re with “friends” on Facebook. Accounts can be hijacked, and shared links can take you to questionable places or encourage you to download files that turn out to be viruses or malware.

Source of Information : Sams Teach Yourself Facebook in 10 Minutes (2009)


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