Proper Facebook Etiquette

#2044 The standard for hello

Sunday 30th September, 2012

Sharing URL http://pfbe.net/Ssx6oY

Dear Dr M.,

QQ. What is the best salutation when you’re friends with someone, but you’re not Friends with someone?…

Thanks Louis-Loose_My-tton,

What an exceptionally original name you have my dear.  I shouldn’t hazard a guess that this is not the same as the one on your birth cert/ but I am partial to a bit of handbaggery banter, so rather warranted your dilemma (such as it is) worthy of a repose.

Were you a student commencing study at University – you might be one of mine(!) – then I would encourage you to read some Civilising Society ‘stuff’ whose K-knowledge was formed by Norbett Elias.

Since your character suggests that I am lucky to get a full sentence from you, perhaps I had best break this down. ‘Hello’ is characterful enough for an informal ‘hey’. As is ‘hey’. This too forms a good basis for the equivalent in-person nod and how-de-do.  Something more akin to a handshake etc. might begin Dear Sir, or as you have done Dear Dr M. Thank you very much by the way.  By the by, I once met Prince Charles, isn’t he a hoot! for the record he shook my hand, nodded and made no utterance whatsoever. The ‘real’ world equivalent of a Facebook poke if ever there was one. Only this one was more ‘royal’ (obviously) and we parted neither friends, nor ‘pending’ Friend Requests – which was  a relief all around.

IF, as you interment, you are friends, but not Friends with another, why not by-pass the entire greeting ceremony and jump straight to something more intimate. This will have one of two possible effects; first, utter repulsion – be prepared for this one, it stings as much as it requires a swift and hasty exit; second, reciprocation – which might suddenly correspond to the aforementioned in you. But then we are complex creatures aren’t we.  In this instance, kiss, feel repelled, nay even repulsed, hasty exit and swifter unfriend action.

In this regard, you give the imprimatur to a current thought that not only regrets the demise of proper ceremonial greetings (and goodbyes), but wants to change the connections and attempts at any mediated communication we might have.

 

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