Do You Have Bad Facebook Manners?

Do you commit any of these top 5 Facebook faux pas?

Richie Frieman
4-minute read
Episode #129

Do You Have Bad Facebook Manners?

Facebook, you wonderful little social networking site that has taken over our culture like Bieber Fever in middle schools across the country. Each morning millions wake up to see what their closest 800 friends have done since last night. Did someone get a new job? Get engaged? Join Bieber-Nation?

Do You Have Bad Facebook Manners?

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear folks -- Facebook is public. If you post your email address, expect to be emailed. If you post a photo of yourself, don’t be upset if someone comes across it. Think of Facebook as a giant party with everyone you know in attendance--and every time you post something, it’s as if you just hopped up on stage and announced it to the room.

There are only two ways this can go down. One, you say something nice and polite like, “Thanks for an amazing day with terrific friends.” Or two, you idle up on stage, tripping over your feet like a drunken groomsman, and tell the crowd what really happened at the bachelor party. To avoid becoming that drunken groomsman, here are my top 5 Facebook faux pas to avoid.

Facebook Faux Pas #1: The Open Ended Status

Ever read someone’s status and it leaves you with more questions than the final episode of The Sopranos? Here is a recent status update from a friend of mine, “Ken Harmon … Is well, you know …"

No, I don’t know? Should I know? Should I be worried? Am I supposed to guess? Are you “Well, you know… driving to Mexico at 2AM”?  Are you “Well, you know… hanging off a cliff,” and need a hand? Or are you “Well you know… trying to get rid of that 62" plasma TV”? Because if that’s the case, I am happy to take it off your hands. Fill me in!

Don’t leave a message that makes your friends scratch their heads and wonder. Doing so is an obvious cry for attention, and although Facebook has given us the opportunity to immediately communicate with all of our closest friends and family, this just isn’t the place or the method. An open ended status is a little like when you see someone staring at you with a sad face, and when you ask them what’s wrong, they say, “Oh, nothing…” Avoid it at all costs.  

Facebook Faux Pas #2: The Insensitively-Timed Update

People tend to forget that Facebook is date and time stamped (to the minute). This never works when, say, you are supposed to be watching your buddy’s concert but are instead posting a status update about your team’s overtime win. All of the good will you built showing up and complimenting said friend on his skills will be completely wiped out the next day when he sees your update came at the same time as his drum solo. It’s bad manners to go on Facebook when you should be focusing your attention elsewhere. And if you’re going to do so, at least have the courtesy to keep your rudeness a secret.

Facebook Faux Pas #3: The Rude Date Status

This next one takes the cake. Last week, my friend Rachel had a rather uneventful date. Her first mistake was forgetting that the night before she had accepted her date’s friend request. Her second was posting a status, in the cab ride home, saying “Hardly a Mr. Right--more like a Mr. Has No Chance Of A Second Date! LOL!” Nice right? Later that night this guy finds out from Facebook that not only would Rachel not be returning his call, but even worse, she topped it all off with an “LOL” at the end! The ultimate in humiliating endings to a date.

Don’t use Facebook to diss your date—or anyone else; it’s simply not good manners. And following this manners rule might save you some humiliation--you never know who in your network might be connected to the dissee.  

Facebook Faux Pas #4: Breaking Up On Facebook

The evil stepsister to #3, nothing says rude beyond words like breaking up with someone on Facebook. A Facebook break-up by far trumps texting (which I’ll touch on in a future article) for the pure public humiliation factor. Texting at least has some privacy to it. On Facebook, however, when someone changes their status from “In a Relationship” to “Single” all of their friends are notified. Ouch.

There is only one way to break up with someone--in person. Period.

Facebook Faux Pas#5: Tasteless Photo Tagging 

Maybe it was a great night out, a perfect holiday party or a perfect beach day with the family--nothing holds sweet memories like a nice photo. And nothing can completely ruin your day like seeing a photo of yourself, well, let’s just say, not in your finest moment.

We all have one Facebook “friend” who arrived seemingly out of nowhere. His friend request appeared in your inbox one fine morning and you think,Well, time has passed; they’ve matured, why not?” But next thing you know, you’re tagged in a photo from spring break 15 years ago. Okay, okay, yes at the time singing Come On Eileen four margaritas deep at Senor Frogs, seemed hilarious. But now, when you are trying to establish yourself as a responsible executive, reliving that moment—in public—is not quite so hilarious. The answer – kindly untag…and then unfriend. No matter how funny it may seem, never tag—or post—an unflattering photo of someone else. When in doubt, ask first. 

Have another Facebook faux pas to share? Post them on my Modern Manners Guy Facebook page. Have another manners question? I’m looking forward to hearing from you so as always drop me a line at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. And of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips.

Thanks for listening to Modern Manners Guy’s quick and dirty tips for a more polite life.

 Man and Woman with Computer images from Shutterstock