Proper Facebook Etiquette

#1961 quite, quite insane

Friday 13th May, 2011

Dear Mariann,

I am old. I am insane and I want to use Facebook. So what are you going to do about it?!
From Langford in reply to post #360 with meaning

Dah-ling, no-one should be denied Facebook. Certainly not a cranky old man. So, I’m going to do ‘absolutely nothing about it’, as you so charmingly put it. When you’re young, you put up with the various aches and social strains of networking as these rise to the fore.  At this moment it is the norm for youth to sew their seeds and scatter themselves across the rich world of SNSs. That’s Social Network Sites for you ‘old folk’. A word of caution though, as there’s some protectionism that should be involved.

When you reach an age where considering whether to ‘do Facebook‘ is a days long necessary dilemma, then you should be encouraged, not knocked back with self-satisfying smug reply that’s enough to shrivel the social libido of any friendly enthusiast.

There are some things that you shall have to watch for in your newly acquired Facebook status. First there are friends that you likely to want to friend who are not friendly at all. Equally there are those who are not going to reply and they will most likely laugh behind your back and friend you only to have access to your Facebook photos.  Do not be offended, this is the Facebook equivalent of ‘checking you out‘, like a scan across the supermarket aisles, or nightclub it’s all smoke and mirrors, and rejection is inevitable.  And rejection with all the trimmings namely, anxiety, the crying out loud of ‘why‘, self-doubt and frienderama of a nostalgic self-reflection on all those school friends you thought you knew, secretly hated, wanted to friend again, and then remembered precisely why you didn’t consider going near them in the first place.

We (I) who grew up in the 1980s when thinking technology was an extension of your brain and, nay, a social obligation. Amstrad, GameGear, Sega and Nintendo were only the start point. Those who didn’t have a GameBoy or a dial-up modem were the one’s who were most weird about it. Now, they are also responsible for not friending you, going on MySpace and internet dating. So, we start to talk about friending, but it’s all a polite ‘how do you do?’ without meaningful conversation. How base.

Why don’t we open a friend protective directive. One where the protocol shall be to share responsibility for rejection and unfriending.  This way should there be a request from someone who is ‘quite insane’, the reply should also be able to contain the ‘why I said no‘ element. A right to reply if you will. Then, with a sudden jolt, any sentiment of horror and disgust can be best reciprocated in kind with a politely formulated repose. So take note, and consider with care whom you friend, and equally how you remain perfectly attentive. You might think that you want to be on Facebook, but friends and social networking, just like romance, is all in the anticipatory flair and in some parts quite, quite insane.

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