Proper Facebook Etiquette

#2019 how to win with confidence

Wednesday 18th January, 2012

Dear Dr Hardey,

Your site and accolade came recommended via research from friends of friends who said that I should ‘encounter’ you. I wonder if you throw some illumination on whether we should be cautious of how we field invitations on Facebook, and in doing so how quickly you can win someones confidence?…

From Professor Chappell, via the most courteous email and introductory ‘poke’ I’ve ever received.

Professor Chappell, I know of your research and likewise you have also ‘come to my attention’.  I expect your Friend Request is as imminent as your charm. I look forward, in the near future, to receiving both.

What you allude to is certainly a complex situation vis-à-vis the confidence of friends of friends. I had only yesterday a call from a journalist keen to finish ‘their story’ which ‘proved’ Facebook is the number one cause of marital (and as was implied ‘extra’ marital) upset. I refute such tenuous games and complaints of ritualised nonacceptance; to the score of, I’ve Poked her, she has Poked him blah blah blah. Incidentally, I’ve never been married but (and should such a venture ever become treated as a ‘Status Update’), then I intend to be very married. To this end, then yes we should treat with degrees of caution ‘invitations’ (in your longer email you do state that these tend to be on the more flirtatious side) favoured by either a tender lady, or resilient gentleman.

How dull then that I am neither said tendered lady nor a gentleman of resilience.  I fear that I am tripping over the language of your ‘dilemma’ where it is that you inquire as to how ‘quickly‘ you may win someone’s confidence. If the ‘end game’ is for the intention to begin the brightest chapter of your life, then a good degree of upfront honesty is a refreshing, if not absolutely charming (read necessary), way forward. A good (learned-ed, as in academic and smart) friend of mine has honesty as part of his continuous repertoire. This makes him both devilishly charming, resiliently self-contained and utterly protected against any attempts to take cr*p from those who may betray his trust.

Good for him. Especially as his highest protocol for refined behaviour makes the rest of us look bad.

I suppose that such confidences are like the most ‘artful sandwich’ (favoured by moi is the french roll; fresh parsley, egg mayonnaise, watercress and a dash of cracked pepper and sea salt), by which I mean perfectly formed as a small ritual and mixing of the most perfect of ingredients. So if you are to be encountering those who are less than artful, why would you want to even try to win their confidence in the first place.

Professor, there’s a lot of faffing about on Facebook. Not made any easier by it’s recent MySpace clone-like Profile Page update. For now we as her user’s can take this in our stride, perhaps even laugh and joke about the strange phenomenon of advertising content that appears as if tagged from ‘friends’ and friends of friends.

Because Facebook acts as a public inquiry of ‘what is going on’ (and adds a nice divergence to you day) it is difficult not to advocate any degree of caution. I mean, why not live the heady rush of life in the fast lane, wind in your hair and through some spontaneity into the mix. Otherwise it all spells out as a grim play of cat on mouse.

One Response to “#2019 how to win with confidence”

  1. Suggestion says:

    Ant chance of a app for this? I travel about and it would be fun to get some of the content on a iPhone app. Web is OK but a bit small and slow IMO.

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