"If someone with more than a 1000 friends unfriends me, I get offended." -Greg Atwan, author, The Facebook Book
Last night, while on Facebook and browsing a friend of a friend's earth shattering personal note, ("My Top 7 foods that start with a K") I noticed that I had received a new friend request. Upon clicking on the request, I was completely shocked to find that my parents had requested me as their Facebook “friend”. This eye-opening experience confirmed that truly everyone and their mother now has a Facebook profile. The once cutting-edge online network, primarily consisting of university students and recent graduates, has become so ubiquitous that friend requests from bosses, religious leaders, and even (gasp) parents have become common-place. However, while most have successfully managed to jump on the Facebook bandwagon, many still seem to miss the mark on Facebook etiquette.
Fellow PR gal SD and I recently discussed our Facebook grievances and came up with some suggestions for the most annoying Facebookers out there:
•Incessant Status Updater – No one cares what you ate for breakfast, if you feel like a nap, or if you hate Mondays. PR’s advice: If you don’t have something witty to say, don’t say anything at all.
•Heartbreak Hotel – Quit dragging us through the messiest break-up EVER with the In a Relationship/Single/It’s Complicated and then back again ping pong game. Stop the madness and think before you go updating that relationship status. PR’s advice: He’s just not that into you.
•Picture Posting Overload – We all love seeing picture updates, but some photos are better left under lock and key. Drunken vomits, accidental see-through shirts and right-after-birth baby pictures are not appropriate for mass distribution. PR’s advice: When in doubt, don’t post it.
•Hypochondriac Hell – Every sniffle, every sneeze, every queasy moment – yes you tell us about it all, nearly every single day. The beauty of an online network is that you can’t get us sick – thus, we really don’t care. PR’s advice: Get off Facebook, take some medicine and go to bed.
•Political Preaching – We believe in freedom of speech and of course you should freely post your beliefs – but your daily rants are starting to resemble a “sermon-of-the-day”. Plus, your self-righteous tone has us wondering if you judge those who don’t agree with you. PR’s advice: Passionate views are great, but daily brow-beatings may cause you to lose a few friends.
•Insecure Untagger – Not the best angle, your hair’s a bit frizzy, your biceps aren’t flexed – who cares? You are so afraid of not presenting the perfect picture to the world, that you untag yourself on every picture ever posted. PR’s advice: Chill out. You look great and your friend’s effort in tagging you means that you are important to them. Unless a weird angle has you looking like you gained 50 pounds, or you have something dangling from your nose, let the tag remain.
If you think your Facebook habits may resemble some of the behavior listed above, consider our advice carefully. The recent New York Times article “Friends, Until I Delete You” explored the social nuances of “unfriending” a Facebook contact, and as it turns out, many are readily willing to thin their friend’s list. The fact that you can remove a profile from your friend’s list without any notification to them reduces the potential awkwardness of having to address an unfriending directly. Last month, Burger King ran an ad campaign that promised a free Whopper to anyone willing to cut 10 friends off of their friend’s list, successfully ending 234,000 friendships and proving that even the most minor of incentive was enough to give people the axe. Our advice is simple – mind your Facebook manners, otherwise you may be the first one cut for the next free burger.
image source: webaddict.co.za, advertising.microsoft.com