Everyone does Facebook their own way, and sometimes they try to push their way on others. I guess that’s what I’m doing here. These aren’t really rules; they’re just my thoughts on different types of interactions and how I handle them. In my vision of a social media utopia, everyone would take guidelines like these to heart.
I sometimes swear in my posts on Facebook. You have the ability to unfollow me if this concerns you. I am extremely unlikely to swear in comments on other people’s posts.
ARGUMENTS ON MY POSTS
I may post ideas or sentiments with which you disagree. You’re welcome to comment your counterpoint. We may debate. Others might join in. Try to keep it civil. If you make personal attacks, you’re losing the argument.
ARGUMENTS ON YOUR POSTS
If you post stuff with which I disagree, I’ll probably comment with a counterpoint. We may debate. Others might join in. I’ll try to keep it civil. If you make personal attacks, you’re losing the argument on your own thread in front of all your friends, and that makes you look foolish.
I try to post Happy Birthday to everyone when Facebook tells me it is your birthday. Once in a long while, I may forget to do birthdays that day, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like you. If you have multiple Facebook profiles, I’m not going to try to remember which one you use regularly; I’ll just post the same thing on each. If you don’t allow folks to post on your page, no birthday greeting for you. I generally don’t say your name in the birthday greeting unless you have an identical twin and I’m friends with both of you, in which case I’ll say your name on your twin’s page and their name on your page. If your birthday is on December 7, I will say Happy Pearlharbirthday instead of Happy Birthday.
If you post a birthday greeting on my page, I’ll comment with “Thank you!” or “Thanks!” and I might even say your name. (I’m trying to mix things up so it doesn’t seem mechanical.) I might even say “Miss you!” if we haven’t interacted in a long time. If I didn’t thank you, it’s not personal — I just got so many birthday greetings that I missed some, and you were one of the ones I missed. That’s a real bummer too, because I appreciated your birthday greeting the most.
If you are dead and Facebook reminds me it is your birthday, I’ll probably post something thoughtful the first year or two, but then I’ll probably unfriend you. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss you.
If I don’t know you and we have no mutual friends, I’ll delete your friend request. If I don’t remember meeting you but we do have mutual friends, I’ll look at your profile pictures to see if I recognize you. If I don’t, I’ll send you a message asking you to remind me how we met, and decide whether to accept based on your response. If I don’t recognize your name and all of your photos are of your kids, your pets, your favorite memes, or scenery, I am unlikely to accept your friend request.
If you are a band or business, but you created a Facebook profile instead of a Facebook page, I will ignore your request even if I like your band or business, because you’re doing it wrong and that bugs me.
If I’m sure I will attend, I’ll click Going. If I’m not sure, I’ll click Maybe and change it to Going when I’m sure. If I’m sure I’m not going, I will decline. If it’s an invite to a band’s gig that’s a long drive, I’ll probably just ignore it.
If it’s an event request that’s not really for a real actual event (like a fundraiser or a silly meme), I’ll almost certainly ignore it because you’re doing it wrong and that bugs me.
If you add me to a group and I’m not into it, I’ll leave without notice. If you add me to a group that should have been either an event request or a Facebook page, I’ll leave without notice. If you add me to a group and I’m only kinda into it, I’ll probably turn off notifications and hide it from my news feed.
If you invite me to like your page and we’re friends, I’ll probably like your page. But even if I do, I may turn off notifications and hide it from my news feed depending on how frequently you post and how relevant the posts are to my own interests.
You may tag me without asking if I’m in a picture, or if you’re posting an anecdote or memory that involves me. Please don’t tag me in pictures I’m not actually in, nor in posts or comment threads you think I might want to see. You’re doing it wrong and that bugs me.
If you post a link to an article that is misleading or provably false (other than obvious satire such as The Onion), I’m going to call you out on it. If you frequently post links to articles that are misleading or provably false, I’m probably going to unfollow you, which means I won’t see anything you post that is actually relevant to my interests. SAD!
TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING
If the vast majority of your posts are the same type of content, whether it is birb memes or political stuff (even if we agree) or links to videos of your favorite bands, I’m probably going to unfollow you, which means I won’t see anything you post that is actually relevant to my interests.
I SPAM YOU
If I’m in a band or doing sound or lights for a band, I’m going to post about gigs from time to time. You don’t have to come, and you certainly aren’t expected to comment telling me why you can’t come. (You’re going to miss a fun night, but that’s up to you. All your friends will be there, and they all agree that the excuse you posted is pretty weak. But that’s fine, I’m sure your other thing was just as fun.)
If my podcast has a new episode, I’m going to post about it. You don’t have to listen to it (but you should; it’s totally right up your alley). If I’m going to see a band I think my friends might like, I’ll probably post about that too. Also if I’m trying to help with some sort of fundraising effort.
But for all these things, I’ll try not to be overwhelming about it, because although you might have missed it when I posted about it a few days ago and so a follow-up is worthwhile, I know that posting every day about the same thing is more likely to be off-putting than it is to convince you to come to the show or donate or whatever.
YOU SPAM ME
See “TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING“, above.
I’ll probably throw the occasional courtesy likes on your baby pictures, but honestly I’m just not that into it. If all you’re posting most of the time are baby pictures, you’re drifting close to “TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING” territory. I get it; that little poop machine is your whole world right now and every little thing they do is adorable and amazing and exciting, and you want to document every last one of these little miracle moments. Awesome, have at it! I’ll try to remember to follow you on my newsfeed again in a year or two when the kid starts to get interesting.
No offense though, and congratulations on the baby.
On occasion, I may tease you about spelling or grammar in your posts. I do it less these days, but I can’t say honestly I will never do this again. On occasion, a typo or an autocorrect fail or a misfired neural synapse might result in a misspelling or grammar fail of my own, and you are welcome to call me out on it. Be proud; this is a big moment for you and you should enjoy it. Sometimes I may be doing a “bit”, typing in character for humorous or satirical purposes. (You are welcome to call out my spelling or grammar in this case too, but you’re going to look kind of silly when you do.)
As I said above, these aren’t rules. They’re just how I do Facebook. You do it however you like, but now that you know how I do it, you won’t be surprised if I don’t seem to be reacting to any of your posts all of a sudden.
See you on Facebook (unless I’ve unfollowed you)!