General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Is there such a thing as Facebook etiquette?

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LadyL:
Recently LordL and I have been talking about how a lot of people don't really treat facebook as social media, in the sense of something interactive. Many people have posting patterns that  don't necessarily reflect their real life personalities (i.e. someone very reserved is bombastic online). In other cases, the posting pattern either reveals or highlights less than desirable personality traits (like a propensity to get into angry political debates). I'm wondering if there are any potential etiquette guidelines for this sort of thing.

The scenario prompting this is a relative of mine who uses facebook so infrequently I forgot he had one. Looking at his history, he usually posts every 2-3 months, to say things like "Merry Christmas from the Jones Family" - never any personal updates. Recently, he and his wife decided to do major renovationsto their home - building on an additional floor. Since that process started, he has posted pictures at every stage of the construction process - a pic of the permit, each stage of building, etc. - probably 3 times a week. His wife also posts most of the same stuff so it shows up twice in my feed.

It struck me that if this was about phone conversations, and normally I heard from him every 2 months just to say "hi" or "Happy <holiday>", but then suddenly he was calling 3x/week to tell me about all the minutia of his renovations, it would be inconsiderate and self involved, if not verging into rude. Same thing if it was in person, and he went from infrequent holiday visits to showing up to my house or suggesting we meet 3x/week to discuss the renovations. I'm wondering if and why this behavior is viewed differently if it's on facebook.  I know a lot of people believe you can use facebook for whatever you like, and very few rules apply (i.e. no graphic/obscene posts). But why is this? If it's supposed to be a site to share your life with others, does it matter how you do it?

Harriet Jones:
It's his FB page, he can do with it what he wants, as long as he's complying with FB's TOS.

I can see where tons of photos of <something you're not particularly interested in> can be annoying, but this is what FB's hide function is for.

WillyNilly:
Maybe your relative got a new computer, or moved his computer to a more comfortable spot, or got a tablet or smartphone. Maybe he got a bunch of requests from friends or family about the construction and decided FB was the easiest way to only have to explain things once. Maybe he was reading FB daily but just never had anything to share.

I really don't see how anything you mention has to do with etiquette, with the slight exception of maybe the political rants - as rants are generally frowned upon by etiquette.

People have lots of different personality facets and its ridiculous to think every single angle is going to be the same. I'm an outgoing talkative person,I can go on for hours and hours, in person. But on a phone? I'm short and to the point no chitchat. On Facebook, I'm somewhere in the middle. They are 3 different methods of communicating and quite frankly I'd be pretty PO'ed if I was held to use each method equally and similarly. But each method is absolutely my "real life personality"!

No one is forced to look at FB. And unless someone posts, no one knows if a person did look. So I might check everyday or once a week - no one knows but me, or if I post thus revealing myself as having been on the site. I don't see how that relates to etiquette.

Judah:

--- Quote from: LadyL on March 20, 2013, 01:50:23 PM ---It struck me that if this was about phone conversations, and normally I heard from him every 2 months just to say "hi" or "Happy <holiday>", but then suddenly he was calling 3x/week to tell me about all the minutia of his renovations, it would be inconsiderate and self involved, if not verging into rude. Same thing if it was in person, and he went from infrequent holiday visits to showing up to my house or suggesting we meet 3x/week to discuss the renovations. I'm wondering if and why this behavior is viewed differently if it's on facebook.  I know a lot of people believe you can use facebook for whatever you like, and very few rules apply (i.e. no graphic/obscene posts). But why is this? If it's supposed to be a site to share your life with others, does it matter how you do it?

--- End quote ---

The cool thing about Facebook is that it isn't like a phone conversation or an in-person conversation. With FB you have complete control over what you see. If you don't want to see your cousin's updates, hide him or unfriend him; you have the power.

It's not rude to post frequently on your own wall. Even if it's several times a day. It's not rude to send a friend request or to unfriend someone. It's not rude to express your opinions, post pictures, or quote meaningful poetry to your own wall. I think that there are a lot of things that can be rude on FB, but regular use of if in the way it is intended for use is not rude.

Moray:

--- Quote from: Judah on March 20, 2013, 02:31:07 PM ---
--- Quote from: LadyL on March 20, 2013, 01:50:23 PM ---It struck me that if this was about phone conversations, and normally I heard from him every 2 months just to say "hi" or "Happy <holiday>", but then suddenly he was calling 3x/week to tell me about all the minutia of his renovations, it would be inconsiderate and self involved, if not verging into rude. Same thing if it was in person, and he went from infrequent holiday visits to showing up to my house or suggesting we meet 3x/week to discuss the renovations. I'm wondering if and why this behavior is viewed differently if it's on facebook.  I know a lot of people believe you can use facebook for whatever you like, and very few rules apply (i.e. no graphic/obscene posts). But why is this? If it's supposed to be a site to share your life with others, does it matter how you do it?

--- End quote ---

The cool thing about Facebook is that it isn't like a phone conversation or an in-person conversation. With FB you have complete control over what you see. If you don't want to see your cousin's updates, hide him or unfriend him; you have the power.

It's not rude to post frequently on your own wall. Even if it's several times a day. It's not rude to send a friend request or to unfriend someone. It's not rude to express your opinions, post pictures, or quote meaningful poetry to your own wall. I think that there are a lot of things that can be rude on FB, but regular use of if in the way it is intended for use is not rude.

--- End quote ---

Well stated!

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