Proper Facebook Etiquette

#245 enter the chicken

Monday 22nd March, 2010

Dear Mariann,

Is it OK to take emotional risk in my Facebook conversations? I feel like a nobody drowning in the somebody’s.

(From A.C.hicken via email. And a Facebook message – well done chick)

Oh, I like to think that it is I who owns the rights to holding up NewsFeeds as a propitious arse. Propitious in the same way as a prospective chicken invited to Christmas Dinner:  the chicken feels there’s a sense of excitement and flurry of feathers in the air, but unbeknown, and away from the tinsel and mince pies, it is the chicks pert little backside that is destined for the cook and cut.  Too metaphoric? you, must excuse my aside, for it is precisely two hours before my first G&T o’clock and I’m simply dealing in half measures at the moment. I shall sharpen up my understanding of the situation for you.Emotional closeness and emotive understanding is a desirable investment to engage in the social moment and enjoy exchanges with friends. So, yes its OK for you to want to abstract more meaning as a ‘nobody’ from the ‘somebody’s’ of whats going on on Facebook. However, your current situation suggests that you experience more detachment than addressing the needs of your own gratification. Let us not pretend here that Facebook is anything else than self-serving personal empowerment, social requirements and entertainment needs.  This is not a Selfless Network Site SNS after all.  How such gratifications play out is, in part, down to the role that you play.  And there are, to my mind, three compenents to the psychological and social empowerment that you can put into practice and, thus, achieve emotional competence.

The first, is self-efficacy: Where one  has the capabilities of performing in a certain manner for a best fit and to achieve certain goals. Your personal goal is for closer, more emotive and rich social engagement.  Reflect on this and ask yourself HOW would you best respond to a friends expectations or want? My suggestion here is that you (to quote a much admired and powerful figure, HeMan) ‘have the power’! What you must work at is the building up upon personal experiences.  Then put these into practice by sharing them with others.  It is likely, should they be worthy of your emotive interest that they will respond in kind. And ta-da, before you realise it you are participating in a wealth of emotive exchange.

Second up is perceived competence: This links to your follow-up actions.  In order to sustain emotive richness it is not ‘just enough’ to connect, but to nurture those connections.  Rather like a game of cat and mouse, you require both sets of players to continue with the chase, or you risk one in a mouse hole, and the other perpetually licking itself all day long.  This relies on role-mastery, which requires a skillful, and seamless, blending of one or more social actions. For instance in response to that invitation to a social gathering, be sure to committ in good time and in good measure. Do NOT, unless you want to lose social face, dilly dally or fail to show up without adequate explanation at the last moment.  Yes, we live in a ‘connected’ and ‘digital’ age but this should not be at the cost of good manners.  Especially if you expect those same standards from others in the future.
Third, and finally, we must manage our desire for control.  I Like this component the least, as it is the one that I continually fall down and (ironically) fail to relinquish control of myself.  There are two modes of engagement in the world;

  1. consideration of your personal preferences and how these will be met. In this scenario you will always have control.
  2. those occasions when you shrug your shoulders and decide; ‘All right, then, have it your way’.

I tend to flit from one to the other in a matter of moments. Or if there is enough tonic for my tonic.

Combine all three of the above compenents and you should be good to go. Or experience a series of Facebook silences, inadequate Pokes and at worse a long explanation as to why its not possible to repsond to your request/s at that desired moment. For these series of social irrelavances, there’s no room for manaouver.  So do not attempt to try again, just shut-up and consider getting some new friends. Unless you’re chicken.


3 Responses to “#245 enter the chicken”

  1. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @matt, howdy there! glad you enjoyed the Radio slot :-)

  2. Matt says:

    Heard u on radio – found you guide – great thank you for all of this

  3. Janet says:

    Is it true that Facebook encourages STDs? The press report that ‘And an NHS trust chief said Facebook and similar sites were to blame for a shocking rise in cases of potentially-lethal syphilis in the region.’ and ‘”Social networking sites are making it easier for people to meet up for casual sex. There is a rise in syphilis because people are having more sexual partners than 20 years ago and often do not use condoms.

    Read ‘more:

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