Proper Facebook Etiquette

#237 …shamed by some of my updates

Monday 1st March, 2010

Dear Mariann,
my nephew is on Facebook. He is shamed by some of my updates about his uncle and I. We are considered ‘old’ and ‘out of date’ and shouldn’t be on Facebook. Any tips?

(From Aunty in reply to the post Do you think school children should be using Facebook like this?)

Oh, Aunty (I don’t have an Aunt, so please excuse that emotive outburst. It’s just that I’ve always rather fancied one. Especially if she and Uncle were on Facebook. How groovy).  Surely there is something ‘wrong’ with a generation who feel that they cannot share their social outbursts with their nearest and dearest? BUT from your nephew’s p.o.v. this is not so much an ‘overreaction’, but, rather, a pertinent concern to safe-guard their (and your) modesty. So not so trivial after all.

This week there will be more mulling over risk/privacy/security and other people ‘rights’ to your information. Perhaps your nephew is right to have ‘issues’. Take for example, the case in Italy of three Google execs last week who were found ‘guilty’ for failing to safeguard the privacy and social safety of an autistic teenager after a video was posted of his abuse by other teenagers onto Youtube (the site owned by Google, hence the slapping on the wrists).

Over in the UK another case of tmi (too much information) in the wrong context. Teaching at an English school in Abu Dhabi,  24 years young Emma Jones repotedly committed suicide, because her ex boyfriend posted and tagged naked pictures of her onto Facebook. Jones’s distress was heightened when a collegue at the school found the pictures and warned she could be arrested for prostitution.

Also in the news, is the latest web craze chatroulette (as in ‘chat’ and ‘roulette’). Created by 17-year-old Russian, Andrey Ternovskiy, the site randomly puts anonymous strangers face-to-face via a web-cam. Don’t like what you see? Press next. Voyeurism in the extreme.

After cautionary tales, back to the case of the Aunt, the Uncle and the Nephew.  Once again your situation raises the question of what to do with mass information that tends to pile up and then flood over onto other people, like too amorous a mention of what you and your ‘young’ and ‘trendy’ Aunt and Uncle may be getting up to.  It is tempting to occupy all aspects of the vast digital wastelands of Facebook. And there’s no question that (at heart) I am sure that your Nephew is quite proud and charmed to have his Aunt and Uncle so interested in his happenings.  So the issue here is (and this may be a harsh blow) that he is not that interested in your occurrences. I would call his bluff.  Much of our information is word-of-mouth ‘gossip’, which makes up a fantastically compelling way of passing ‘stuff’ around about ‘things’ and the like.  It is a great way to ‘get things out’ in the open and without the interception of other authoritative sources (such as other family members cramping your style).  You and your nephew occupy two sides of the same coin. The crunch is that HE is concerned with what his friends are up to (not you) and YOU are  interested in what HE is up to with the potential cringing aspect of being ‘too old’ and, thus, ‘out of touch’.

You could try more salacious updates to really cramp Nephew’s style. Add some ‘family’ portraiture to channel your social civility under his and his network’s nose.  Your social lives, may, however be much improved with less concern about being ‘too old’ in your Nephew’s eyes and much improved by the experimentation of new social situations with Uncle. Having difficulty finding inspiration, there are many clubs to recommend, and with some that are dedicated to the voyeurism of (and even from) others.

5 Responses to “#237 …shamed by some of my updates”

  1. dofus kamas says:

    Thank you for your help!

  2. dofus kamas says:

    Of course, what a great site and informative posts, I will add backlink – bookmark this site? Regards, Reader

  3. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @ Craig, I’m dealing with your enquiry at the same time as Atkin’s above (see #238)… words to come soon.

  4. Craig says:

    I want progress with my raltionship. They are all ‘its complicated’ and I want committment. I’m right to insist that they update their status? Maybe he won’t cos he’s ashamed of me?

  5. clubbed says:

    I run an exclusive club in london. Any suggestions on how we can push our marketing on Facebook? You seem to know your stuff. Free entry.

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