Proper Facebook Etiquette

#213 Stranger than life

Monday 2nd July, 2007

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How is it acceptable to contact someone I don’t yet know on Facebook?

Well this all rather depends the reasons that you want to get in touch with someone. If its just because they are ‘hot’ and you fancy some harmless flirting interchange, Facebook is not the ideal place for this. People (like you) value their privacy and no my dear this is not MySpace.

However, if you share some genuiene commonality, and are for example members of the same ‘save the world from destruction‘ group, then a friendly wall post, or message could be just the right kind of opener.

Aside from social networking with known others, Facbook is also great at putting like minded people in the same space at the same time! An opporutnity not to be missed!

So within group postings someone usually shares a comment about the groups latest issue, or wall post, discussion topic, or picture to ease the tension. In this situation if another group member contacts you first, Facebook solidarity obliges you to respond in kind.

That’s if they are not a complete freak…

5 Responses to “#213 Stranger than life”

  1. Maz Hardey says:

    Following Dave’s point on Haraway’s notion of ‘boundary conditions’, I completely agree , how SNS allow people to inter-relate with one another is certainly marred with particular etiquette (see this blog) and perception boundaries in terms of how we can ‘re’-create the self digitally and be informed about one another…

    So our digital selves may not reflect a cyborg synergy, but they do re-represent aspects of ‘real’ world identity and in-turn relate to a new formation of identity that is designed to be displayed and shared with others.

    ultimately SNS represent places of creation and disemnation, identification to be created and recreated, consumed and consumed again. In some form or other everyone is watching and composing – producing an ‘everywhere’ (see Andrew’s Keen recent polemic on ‘the Cult of the Amateur’ for a condemnation of all this)

  2. dave says:

    Just thinking but can someone with an SNS profile be a stranger (if you can see it)? I know more about people on Facebook from their profiles (without any communciation) than i do about people i have lived next door to
    for years.

    On the other point, I think Maz is right, there is a difference between this stuff and newsgroups. But this doesn’t ignore literature on internet cultures from the early stages of their development. We can think of these in historical terms i think. There is a genealogy there linking newsgroups, chatrooms, etc with the types of applications we are seeing now. At least i think there is. Higlighting changes and developments isn’t to rule out what Haraway might still have to say about the politics of these spaces or the boundary conditions they create.

  3. Maz Hardey says:

    Mark, get on Facebook and find out ! it strikes me that you are used to Newsgroups, tremendous stuff! , but SNS are different.
    1) they are intially formed around known networks of friends who you have already met.
    2) yes like Newgroups there is room for forum based discussions, but the site is more about being in touch and updated with friends activities.
    3) having a profile on Facebook is not about a ‘hidden’ identity, it is one that is ‘true’ to your real world self and available to friends.

    As for Donna Haraway, i think we may have come full circle from the cyborg scenario, this is far more about a reflection of the ‘real’ person and real friendship sociability.

  4. Mark says:

    OK but as an old style newgroupie is it any different from say a group arranged around Star Trek? W2 more about marketing than anything new – take a read of some of the books about the Net published in the 1990s – anyone read Donna Haraway? Ot are books way too W1?
    Mark (over 40)

  5. Alexia says:

    I guess this brings to rise – what is a stranger? If facebook is a portal in which we have knowledge of a person (self published) that would entice us to contact them, then are they a stranger? Earlier in one of your blogs you suggested that you can also find more about a person by checking other people’s lists of friends.

    If Facebook is a place where privacy is valued and flirting (random contact) is lower in value, then some of the precepts (excitments or fears) of a ‘stranger’ come into this question of definition.

    The balance of what we know of the person and also how we expect to interact with that person are skewed by the information provided and environment through which it is provided.

    So how do you think about who/what defines a stranger? in face to face environments the pattern seems to be gossip and referencing to friendship networks and reputation/ identity/ self presentation.

    Just a bundle of thoughts to tack on to it all.

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