Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rules.

Rules.

We all have 'em. Some we like, some we hate. Some we mind, some we break.

To quote Thoreau {but not agree with him}:
"Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."

And, to break any and every rule my journalism professors ever taught me by stating my position up front (the writing portion of the TAKS test would be jumping for joy at what I'm about to do):

We're going to talk today about Facebook etiquette.


Remember when Facebook was just for college kids? That was fun. I remember getting my "invitation" (because in 2005, you had to get an invitation to join) from Stephanie on my now-bulky Dell laptop. It was college kids posting about college things: parties, what dorm you lived in and what classes you were going to take. There were no photo albums, you only had one picture and "Facebook me!" was the new "Call me!" "Facebooking" became a verb.

And then, non-college networks could join. And then parents joined, followed by grandparents. Followed by creeps. And so, after much thought, here are my rules for Facebooking, which are completely unassociated with Facebook and not designed to hurt anyone's feelings.

1. If you don't know a person, don't add them on Facebook. That's weird, and it wastes my time figuring out why I have 3,000 (or 0) friends in common with you. And then it makes me waste even more time by checking my privacy settings again. I have an "ignore" button and I'm not afraid to use it.

2. If you're 12, I'm not going to be your friend. I don't care that you're my brother's ex-girlfriend. If I don't know you, I'm not going to be your friend. See above. 

3. Don't post passive-agressive statuses. If you're mad at someone, call them. Don't start fights via Facebook because of your Maya Angelou quote. "Lamebook" exists for a reason.

4. I promise that it will be okay if you didn't post 17 statuses a day. Get Twitter if you want to do that. I got Twitter and it changed my life. On that note, please don't link your Twitter to your Facebook. That's annoying.

5. On that note, I really don't want to know your daily schedule via your numerous check-ins. It's dangerous. You might as well put a status (in all caps) that says: "I AM NOT HOME! COME ROB MY HOUSE!"

6. Don't give everyone ridiculously detailed details of your pregnancy or child's birth. If I wanted to know that information, I'd watch One Born Every Minute 24 hours a day. I really don't want to hear about your water breaking, or how many stiches you got (ew) or how long you were in labor. I want to see pictures of your newborn AFTER IT HAS BEEN CLEANED UP with a cute little hat on its head and the child swaddled in a blanket. You want to talk about weight gain, swollen ankles or the baby moving? Fine. But don't start that status with anything related to bodily fluids.

7. If you even have to question, "Should I put this on Facebook?" The answer is 'no.'

8. If you can call and/or text someone with what you're posting on Facebook (e.g.: the size of clothes your children wear), just call or text. I promise that we don't all need to know that your child is a 2-T. Send a Facebook message!

9. Facebook doesn't have spell check (unless you're on a Mac). So, let me give you non-Mac users some helpful hints: you're and your are two different words. You're means "you are;" your means it belongs to you. To, two and too are also different. So are they're, there and their. I know you think, "Oh, it's my Facebook, it doesn't matter." I get that; just trying to help a sister (or brother) out. It's hard for me to understand you when you don't use the correct word.

10. And lastly, don't stalk your ex-girlfriend (or boyfriend) on Facebook by sending them creepy messages, posting creepy things on their wall and getting their e-mail address from Facebook to e-mail them. (Yes, this happened to me! Gotta love the privacy settings.) There's a block feature on purpose, and like the "ignore" button, I'm not afraid to use it. Just enjoy looking at their photos, (hell, even do what I do and laugh at their photos and think, "Wow. I am SO glad I didn't marry you!") be happy for them and yourself and move on. Life's too short.

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