Proper Facebook Etiquette

#571 What would be the proper thing

Thursday 1st October, 2009

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Dear Mariann, Several months ago, I broke up with my boyfriend. What would be the proper thing to do in regards to photos of the two of us in my “Photos of You” section, as posted and tagged by both of us. We are still Facebook friends and talk from time to time. Should I delete the ones from me and untag myself from the others? Will having these photos up seem weird to future potential boyfriends who are looking through my profile?
(From Anon, who shall remain Anon)

According to the strictest of authorities, after a break up, one should not continue to channel the ‘we’re a couple’ togetherness. This means a returning of CDs, borrowed shirts etc. Otherwise, why then would you have split. In ‘olden times’ (ok pre Facebook) if you shared life, loves and laughs which had their own albums of memories then it was only right that these were ‘put away’, under beds, pushed to the back of closets or re-positioned up into attic spaces.

Facebook offers no such physical transitions. It would also be unwise to build a bonfire of ‘stuff’ and try to burn these, laptops etc may get hurt. However, just because the relationship is at an end, does not mean that one should completely cut yourself off from the other, nor deny that you were ever a couple.

A simple case of ‘Profile management’ is the order of the day here. One solution is to keep as tagged the images of them and you. Any new romance should not feel threatened that ‘shock‘ you have a past and a previous relationships with an/other! Add to this that such new frivilations will only know such pictures are ‘from that era’ if you reveal said namesake of your prior Romeo or Juliet.

Such revelations should only come after you’ve established that you are both serious in pursuing a romance and then it really should not matter about the pastness of the past. IF this does weigh heavily on your mind, you can ‘hide’ tagged photos from ‘friends’, groups of friends and by individual – just check those Privacy Settings. The other option is, as you point out, to just de-tag yourself. Which seems a tad over the top and a shame to deny your – what must have been at times – a happy and much wanted relationship.

Should anyone else say anything to the contrary, it is poor form on their part to take you task over such offerings. In short, keep the pictures tagged. They are for you and your memories. I hope that clears things up.

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