Facebook Etiquette in the 1950s!

Some handy tips for helping protect your friends' privacy online

1. If their Facebook posts are friends-only, do not share them with people outside of their friends list without permission!

2. If your friend’s public-facing accounts clearly only use their first name (I am an example of this), then do not publicly reference those accounts with their full name! Nobody needs to know your friend’s last name if they choose not to publicize it!

3. If your friend uses a pseudonym as their online handle on some platform (this can be either an alternate name or a made-up handle like many people have on Twitter), then only reference their presence on that platform using that pseudonym! As a general rule of thumb, just refer to the person however they refer to themselves in a given space.

4. NEVER share screencaps from a closed/secret Facebook group (as opposed to an open group, in which all posts are public) without permission. I don’t care if someone annoyed you.

5. Don’t let the ridiculous furor over “vaguebooking” keep you from guarding someone’s privacy. One person’s “vaguebooking” is another person’s “sharing personal frustrations or problems without dragging another person out for public shaming.” It’s perfectly legitimate to just post, “I saw a post that conflated being bi with being someone who cheats, and here’s what I think about that…”

6. Even if someone’s posts are public/findable, be careful about sharing them if you have a much larger online following than them, wield disproportionate influence, and/or know that you have trolls or bigots among your following. You may be The Best Person Ever but your followers might not be. Be honest with yourself about this and don’t get defensive. Help keep your friends from being deluged with online harassment and threats.

7. If you want to share screencaps, even of a public post, ask first, because there’s something about screencaps that many people find uncomfortable and a little creepy even if the original post was public.

8. If unsure, just ask. Safe is definitely better than sorry when it comes to privacy, especially for marginalized people, especially for marginalized people who are not “out” in some significant way, and especially for people who may have abusers or stalkers. We already have to deal with malicious people trying to destroy our privacy, so we should be able to count on not having our friends destroy it carelessly because they didn’t stop and think before posting.

facebook etiquette

erica and i are bitches and we were talking the do’s and don’t’s of facebook.

1. liking your own shit.
alright, loves. we know that there is a like button on your status and on your comments…but it doesn’t mean you should use them. you posted it. that should automatically mean you like it. we don’t need you to put extra emphasis on it that you like whatever it is that you posted. it just makes you look like a lame-ass.

2. stealing someone’s status.
ok. on tumblr, there’s a reblog button. on twitter, there is a retweet button. therefore, on those two sites, it’s totally fine to take something from someone else and put it on your page. but facebook. different story. if you like one of your friend’s statuses, then “like” it.

3. conversations on statuses.
that’s what walls are for. if you wanna have a conversation, then don’t start it in a status. start it with a wall post. that way, you’re not blowing up someone’s notifications by letting them know about every. single. comment. it gets really annoying really fast. so do it in chat. or on a wall post. or even in text message. anything but on someone’s status.

4. arguments on someone else’s status.
take it somewhere else, kids. because these, like conversations are annoying. but i think the arguments might be more annoying. no wants to hear about how that dumb bitch stole your boyfriend or anything like that..that’s your private business. because even though facebook might be the most dramatic of the social networking sites and some people might be interested in why that bitch stole the boyfriend, you should probably keep that in your private business. so these arguments would be better in chat or text..or even on a wall post. but don’t be impolite and fight on someone’s status.   

5. statuses like “eat. sleep. bed. etc…” be original.
these statuses are the most boring things on facebook. if you’re going to post something ordinary like “i like brushing my teeth” (which i posted earlier today) then make it somewhat comical or something. but other than that, i don’t think people want to know when you’re eating or when you’re sleeping. because if it’s around noon or 6, then you’re probably eating. and if it is any time after 11, then you could be sleeping. and people assume that. so don’t clog up people’s feeds with information that they don’t care about.

6. changing your status a bunch every day.
this kind of goes along with #5. there is no reason to update your status more than like..twice a day. if that much. since your status should be something interesting and worth reading, you should limit yourself to two a day. and if you really feel the need to post a lot of things during the day, get a twitter. because all they are are status updates. so stop clogging you friends’ feeds..and get a twitter. they’ll be much less annoyed with you.

7. significant other statuses.
i think one of the most hated things on facebook..are the facebook couples. no one (especially the single people) cares about how much you love your significant other. it’s wonderful; don’t get me wrong. but keep it in the text messages or in the chat boxes…or better yet…TELL THEM IN PERSON. because i think they’d appreciate being told in person much more than being told over facebook. because that’s just tacky.
and another don’t get me wrong moment: occasional mentions are just fine. like “i just had an amazing one year anniversary with whatever his or her name is” those are cute.. or wall posts out of the blue from the person you’re in a relationship with that are just like “you’re beautiful” those are totally fine and people will like those and think they’re cute. but not if they’re every day. so lay off because chances are, you’re annoying all of you facebook friends.

8. flipflopping between loving and hating the opposite sex.
ok sure. all women hate men at one point: after a breakup. after they get ditched. after a guy is an ass to her. and all men hate women at one point: after a breakup. after she sleeps with the best friend. after whatever happens to guys.
but if you hate the opposite sex and love them again and repeat the cycle multiple times a week, don’t out it on facebook. because then we start not to care about why johnny screwed you over for the 50th time. or why lauren wanted you back after she cheated on you. or that you’ve taken lauren back because you love her so so so much. or that you will take johnny back just to be screwed over for a 51st time because he’s the love of your life and he has changed.
if you feel the need to write out your relationship problems, get a tumblr or some other blog..or write in a private journal. because for either of those, you can share them with people. people can read them. but then they might not. so you can sort out all of your problems and loves about the opposite sex in writing…and then you can be done with it.

so. those were some guidelines about facebook etiquette. that last one was kinda crappy and i don’t think it made a lot of sense. but these are some of the things on facebook that bother erica and i. so kids, just try not to do them..and make facebook a happier place :)


I have a serious PGL question for y'all.

In this technological Internet world wherein we can communicate with people who have long left our lives and who we would otherwise never talk to, there is the person who reaches out in an unwanted way.

So, I live in Turkey.

I have an Armenian Facebook friend who was in a study abroad program with me almost four years ago. We’re just FB friends.

If you didn’t know, Turkey and Armenia have some really shitty relations. Turkey has done some pretty brutal stuff (as in geno-freaking-cide) to Armenians in the past and won’t own up to it. 

Now, how do I respond to a comment like that? 

Facebook now has this feature where, when you delete a comment, you can send a message to the person with the deleted comment attached and give them feedback as to why you chose to remove it. I think it’s a fabulous feature.

Below is how I responded. I’m curious, though. What would you have done and how do you feel about people posting unprovoked and ugly truths on your wall? Things that people definitely should know of and think about, but in a more constructive way. It’s one thing to make that your status, but is it acceptable to make a statement on someone else’s? I’m just not sure.

It says: 

Hey T, 

I deleted your comment, and I wanted to explain why–please don’t think I did it because I disagree with what you were saying or don’t think you have the right to talk about important issues like the Armenian genocide openly.
I deleted your comment because 
1. It was very incendiary. Your tone and absolute disdain for all Turks, many of whom are only now slowly beginning to realize the atrocities they let occur in the past and present, is not something I can leave up on my wall, especially when it was unprovoked and uncalled for. There are proper forums to express these kind of emotions, and if you want to talk about history and present relations in a constructive manner, then maybe you can aim for a discussion on my personal Facebook page. 
2. I was honestly looking for something to do tomorrow. If I’d left your comment there and then proceeded to ignore it and make plans around it, I would have been belittling the point you were trying to make by acting as if it were unimportant or irrelevant, which it is ABSOLUTELY not. This is a very important issue here, and though I can’t pretend to feel the way you feel about it, I do believe it’s necessary for the Turkish nation to face what has happened and is happening in this country.

I know those aren’t rock-solid reasons to delete your comment, and I recognize that it was the easy way out for me, but I want the minimal amount of political interaction I have on my facebook to be constructive and illuminating, not volatile.


(for the record, he apologized)

on birthday wish response etiquette

so it was my birthday a few days ago and as usual, I went through my annual routine of responding to people who wished me a happy bday. because when it comes down to it, i’m honestly honored at every single person who takes the time out of their day to do something like that. and then I realized that my reaction level predictably differs to each type of message.

aaand since I take this social media shit too seriously sometimes haha, my personal categories (and subsequent responses) came down to:

- Text right at midnight:
“Wah! love Friend XYZ! so grateful for his/her friendship! so lucky to have someone in my life not only remember my bday, but to keep an eye out down to the minute for it. way to make me feel special! :’)”

- Text/email/FB msg/snapchat/call/etc. at any other time (1am - 11pm) during the day:
“Wah! Love Friend XYZ! really means so much that they were thinking of me today. :)”

- Text/email/FB msg/snapchat/call/etc. with follow-up conversation:
“Aw! Love Friend XYZ! And what a genuinely good person, that he/she cares to not only wish me happy bday but to actually want to catch up on life! :)”

- Personalized FB comment:
“Aw! Thanks Friend XYZ! also am touched that he/she took some extra time for me/remembered little details about my life :)”

- General “Happy Bday!” FB comment:
“Thanks Friend XYZ!”
- General “Happy Bday!” FB comment with a few extra ’!!’s’ or a :)
“Thanks Friend XYZ!!! :) :)”

- Any form of FB comment after my bday has passed (12am+):
“lmao so yeah, you totally were reminded by my purposefully timed ‘thanks for the wishes, everyone!’ FB status or by other peoples’ wishes appearing on your feed – but that doesn’t make me appreciate you any less. thanks bro! :)”

- Any form of FB comment from an Unexpected Friend (friend I haven’t talked to in a while/a very new friend/mere acquaintance/etc.):
“Man. You are seriously the homie! Wasn’t sure on where we stood, but thanks for reaffirming our friendship level to me! going to make a mental note to wish you a HBD on yours next year, and maybe like some of your statuses or something once in a while”

- Any form of FB comment from someone I never talk to/don’t like very much:
“…this helped your case.”

- No b-day wish from an Unexpected Friend:
“ah dass coo, we aren’t close enough (or anymore) to do that whole b-day shtick – and it’s cool that the understanding is mutual!”

- No b-day wish from an Expected Friend (close-enough friend):
“Aw… well they probably weren’t on FB today or were busy all day or something. maybe it even happened with me on their bday this year. totally understandable!”

- No b-day wish from an Expected Friend and I also see said Friend leaving another friend with the same b-day as me a b-day wish on FB, indicating that they made the conscious decision to forgo me:
“So. It's like that. …alright well, good luck getting any future FB interaction from me again, nubcake. turning point, my friend! turning point! EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED.”

- No b-day wish from a Close Friend:
“… beez, prepare to get iced TFO for at least two weeks.”

What I Love About Facebook

I fell like I’m getting a bit bossy at times. I write to preach about how you’re supposed to act at Costco, how you’re supposed to park, but I can’t help it. I can’t help but call out the things that bother me, because I’m betting, they sort of bother you too.

I’m on to Facebook etiquette. Now you have to give me a break, I’m on Facebook a bit more then I’d like to admit. In my defense my day is usually spent editing something and Final Cut Pro gives me sporadic 5 minute breaks to render… So that’s my defense, take it for what it is. Let’s start with the things I love on Facebook.

Public Fighting on Facebook.

Yes! Do more of it please! It’s like a Jerry Springer showdown condensed into 420 character limit at a time. Let your high school biology teacher and your old boss from four years ago know that your scumb bag boyfriend cheated on you with a cougar they met at the Carlos Club. Yes! Bonus points if you check in to the Carlos Club the next night… we all know it’s to check up on that ho- bag cougar… Extra special bonus points if you take creepy stalker pictures of the alleged mistress. This just fills my void for when Jersey Shore is in it’s off season. 

Offensive Ranting on a Topic You Have No Idea What You’re Talking About

I love this too! It’s great because chances are you’re friends with some smarty pants who really does know about the topic you’re ranting about and you get obliterated by the public. If it were the old days, people with pitchforks would be knocking at your door, but today we’re too lazy to do any of that, so we just type extra hard on your keyboards and you use CAPS LOCK TO EXPRESS HOW ANGRY YOU ARE!!!!

Baby Pictures

Because babies are cute.

Things I Hate

I Call You Out on Something I Saw on Facebook and You Think I’m Weird

Hey! Guess what? You decided to put things on Facebook for everyone to see. You know we’re friends, you know you put up pregnant belly pictures but your relationship status is complicated, why can’t I ask you what happened to your baby daddy? Don’t give me that, “wow, you’re a stalker” look, it’s know public knowledge, visa vi, I get to ask you about it. Go ahead! Do that to me, “Hey Katie, so I saw you have a blog, did you really try and go to the Apple Store to pick up on old men?” Yes, but on accident. 

This Goes Out to My Fellow Creative People

I really hate when my fellow colleagues who’ve been intelligent and innovative enough to have figured out how to make their artistic talent into a business then complain about the amount of work they have. It’s a hard life to make a career from a creative field, it’s very hard, but you’re doing it! You’re on your way! You have work, be happy about that. That’s a hell of a lot further then 90% of people who’s tried to make this work for them. Stop complaining about how much you have to do. Go ahead! Talk about how much you have to do, but be grateful for the work you’ve made for yourself. That was just a rant, no jokes in that one, sorry.

I'm just going to leave you all with that one, there’s a lot of Facebook etiquette to be laid out, I want to open up the conversation, what do you hate that people do on Facebook? 

Daily Pet Peeve

When people make their fb profile picture of photo of themselves from 2+ years ago.  I call this the “FAID Syndrome.” Aka, Fat And In Denial. 

Baby girl, there is no need to post a pic of yourself in September in a slutty Halloween costume that you originally posted two years ago.  Not only is that not you anymore, but that is seasonally inappropriate. 

I am friends with a crush of mine of Facebook.

I can’t decide whether or not it will come off as weird to suddenly like a photo of her from 2010 that no one else has liked where she’s on a trip abroad and has adorable baby monkeys climbing in her hair.

Her curly, luxurious, probably really nice-smelling hair.

Damn, I wish I could be a baby monkey.

If you are friends with any younger people on Facebook, remember to never miss an opportunity to tell them how the world works! People only complain because they don’t know any better, and not because they want to let off steam, or commiserate with others, or because - while they know the world ‘works that way,’ they still think it shouldn’t and would like to say so. And it’s definitely not because they’re gearing up to make a larger point that’s still percolating behind irritation, anger, and/or exhaustion.

Don’t forget! Even if that person normally posts articles, pictures of books, and links to literary magazines and translated poetry, with lots of smiley faces and hearts, they shouldn’t be left to complain in ignorance, not even once. You can make the difference.