Proper Facebook Etiquette

#734 Feng Shui Book

Tuesday 5th May, 2009

I feel like Friends lives are constant on Facebook and I’m struggling to keep up! This is making my life stressful! Help!

If we were to pin down a Facebook culture, it would be this: That social lives occur as increasingly Fast and we live in the anticipation of the arrival of social information. Thus, we are constantly aware of others and made to feel guilty when we don’t.

‘What do you mean you missed my birthday?! How could you?! It’s on Facebook!’

And so to your dilemma where the cut off or distancing point (of no return) beckons temptingly, until that next invitation or social news snippet when once (again) we must connected, share, exchange and constantly notice our friends and what they are doing. This then causes us to immediately reflect upon what it is we are doing. Or as Facebook would have us reveal ‘What are you thinking’. Which nine times out of ten is probably ‘nothing’, which is then swiftly followed by a self doubt of acknowledgement,

‘I can’t be seen to be doing nothing, I’ll have to come up with something really exciting to make out I’m a better person, or at least an interesting person. Otherwise what would my friends think?!’

Annoyingly for you, for me and the rest of them, this is an endless state of affairs. Sustained – as you point out – by the ‘constant’ of lives on Facebook that mean we can ‘struggle to keep up’.

A solution. Limit the friends in your network. This means that when there are Updates they come only from those you actually care about and not ‘Erica’ you met once, five years ago and thought it would be ‘rude’ to ignore her Friend Request. Yes, Erica may be nice, but you’re not on everyday speaking terms. Or even birthday card terms. Time for a (harsh) friend cull, or a re-jigging of Facebook’s Privacy Setting’s and NewsFeeds.

Think of a Facebook Feng Shui. Everything must be ordered and thus simplified. Your (anxious) energy can then be spent on the friends that really matter to you. By doing away with Facebook’s default setting(s) to include everyone all the time in all your Feeds, life should become a little less pressured. Erica can message you if she misses you. She won’t, and you won’t miss her either.

This is not bad etiquette. This is necessary social survival.

6 Responses to “#734 Feng Shui Book”

  1. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @ Michelle,

    ooo you could have one Tweet for ‘friends’ and another for just the sheer delight of following others and having them follow you. Just don’t get them mixed up!


  2. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @ Anon,

    a sloooooow movement for SNS’s?! – think that reflects my BT broadband speed…

  3. Michelle says:

    Do I get you right and is that disconnect as well from Twitter or are two lists OK?

    Don’t want to upset anyone.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Devil watches Facebook

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cull – love the idea. Better still will/is there a move away from all this instant movement to a ‘slow’ SNS?

    If so I’m in! :)

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