Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Social Networking: Facebook Etiquette

On many social networking sites it seems as if anything goes. Part of Facebook’s appeal I believe that it is a bit more mature or refined than most. Here are a few etiquette tips to help keep your friends and not to annoy them. It may also help your experience on Facebook less of a headache and keep it fun and informative like it should be.

  • Will you be my friend? Develop a criteria for accepting friends. Some like to include everyone and others are more selective. Keep in mind that the more “friends” you invite the more activity you’ll encounter on your wall. More quizzes, event invitations, updates about bathroom habits, application invitations, games, chat sessions and so on. Some are fun but they can be annoying to some. I wouldn’t friend someone just out of the blue if you don’t know them. Depending on your privacy settings you could be letting a perfect stranger view your personal information. It’s advisable to think about organizing your friends or contacts and adjusting your personal settings to what they can view about you.
  • I just dropped a big one in the ….. Most people don’t want constant updates. Especially ones from the bathroom. Updating your status every two minutes can be annoying to some and may show how little life you have. Depending on your friends will decide your level of class or taste you display. Keep in mind also your boss,parents,clergy members, or spouse may be on your list getting updates of your latest antics. Use common sense.
  • Which 2009 song are you? Quizzes are all over the place. Many applications also do this.Almost ask you to share with 10 friends or more. Be a bit choosy in who you pick for this. Sending too many can be very annoying to some. If your friends will be interested then go ahead but, try not to send every quiz to everyone on your list indiscriminately. They can also be on the NSFW( Not Safe For Work) category. Most applications or quizzes will give you an option to skip this step somewhere on the bottom of screen if you wish to opt out.
  • Facebook Chat. Just because someone shows up in your chat window means they are willing to strike up a conversation. You can adjust your settings to limit who see’s you online. Be considerate that some may be busy or away from the computer. Send a greeting or ask if they are busy first. Don’t be offended if they don’t respond.

These tips are intended to keep your experience on Facebook positive and fun. Use common sense when using Facebook and don’t annoy others. Yes there is a certain amount of fun and silly stuff that goes on but, try and keep it in moderation and consider who else is viewing your updates. Though I don’t see it as much keep the “Poking” to minimum. Your significant other may not be too pleased.

Source: Print - PC World, August 2009, Page 99

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