Author Topic: Facebook status discussions that become a back-and-forth between two people  (Read 2828 times)

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MommyPenguin

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Okay, so here's something I've been wondering.  Sometimes I post something and get several responses, and respond to them, and a particular friend responds back, and then I say something, and she says something, and it continues with just the two of us talking (sometimes with the conversation meandering a bit from the original post).  This has also happened with somebody else's status, where several of us respond, she says something, I respond, and pretty soon it's just the two of us talking.

Especially since other people have "liked" or responded to the original post, some of them may be getting notifications for our continued conversation, plus the conversation ends up being very public.  It's never a private conversation that it's a problem to have publicly.

My question is, is this rude?  Does this drive other people crazy?  I know they can turn off notifications for a thread, but is that annoying to have to do?

At what point should the conversation be moved to PM?  As soon as two people have gone back and forth a couple of times and it's clear nobody else is still in the conversation?

I guess my main concern is that one particular friend that I seem to end up doing this with the most often is somebody who never seems to talk on PM/answer PMs, and she's an old friend that I've drifted apart from a bit and enjoy the contact that we maintain on FB.  If it weren't for that, I'd just decide, hey, I should just switch to PM as soon as it happens.

MrTango

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It's not rude to comment back and forth on your status.  It's your page, and you get to use it however you wish within Facebook's TOS.

If someone doesn't want to keep getting notifications, there's an option to "unfollow post."

TootsNYC

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If someone were to say that this was rude of you, I would say that my "excuse me for living" warning light is going off.

It's just one of the downsides of Facebook. Not every notification you get is for something you actually care about.

menley

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If it's on your own status, or the other person's own status, I wouldn't think anything of it - if others who liked or commented are sick of the notifications, it's easy enough to turn them off for that specific post.

However, if you and someone else are talking back and forth on a third person's status, I think that's rude, and the conversation should be moved elsewhere.

TootsNYC

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Unless the conversation is -about- the status in question.

I've had lots of fun conversations with the friends of my friends. And I've often enjoyed watching the conversation of others.

Yvaine

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If it's on your own status, or the other person's own status, I wouldn't think anything of it - if others who liked or commented are sick of the notifications, it's easy enough to turn them off for that specific post.

However, if you and someone else are talking back and forth on a third person's status, I think that's rude, and the conversation should be moved elsewhere.

This. I turn off notifications all the time. And I agree, just don't threadjack a third party and you're good.

Lynn2000

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I think as long as it's a status belonging to one of the conversationalists (so, you or your friend), it's fine and no third party has the right to complain. However, you should just keep in mind the public nature of the conversation, in case you want to say something you don't want broadcast to everyone (like a more delicate personal matter, mention of a private party, etc.).

Maybe you could say to your friend in the discussion, "Hey, I'm going to PM you to continue this! :)" and then immediately send her a PM. Maybe she would notice and respond to that better?
~Lynn2000

darling

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Not rude on your own status.

However, I think it is rude when it happens on the status of a completely separate person. It bugs me to no end to have a status hijacked by other people. Take it to private messages if you really need to know if Stacy can go out to dinner, and oh, maybe we should go shopping after, especially when the person on whose post you are commenting isn't invited, and is not involved in the discussion.

There's a reason why you can send messages in Facebook, and I really wish more people would do that instead of filling up the comments on my post on, say, my niece being born, with their discussion on where to have dinner on Friday night.

I also have a friend who will comment on a post and completely hijack it with something totally unrelated nearly immediately When I respond back through a message, and she will post right back in the comments, because she wants everyone to see it. In the interest of not starting a war on my facebook page, I tend to let this slide, but it bugs me that people have no consideration for others. And if you are going to discuss going out to dinner with another person on my post, invite me!  ;D

Onyx_TKD

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I agree with PPs that it is absolutely fine if the original status belongs to one of the people having the conversation. Third parties who aren't interested can opt out by either ignoring it or finding the unfollow button. The caveat being that if the discussion is public, other people shouldn't be deliberately excluded. If a discussion naturally narrows down to two people, that's fine, but anyone reading should be welcome to chime in--otherwise take it to PM or inside a private facebook group.

If two (or more) people start having a long back-and-forth on a third party's status, then it could be rude, and the conversationalists should be very careful to make sure they're not "overstaying their welcome." I think my rules for discussions on a third party's status would be:
1) The conversationalists should be alert for any indication that they're annoying the page owner. Any such indication should prompt an immediate move to PM or one of the conversationalists' pages.
2) If it gets off the original status topic, it should be moved to PM or to one of the conversationalist's pages, unless the page owner has indicated an interest, e.g., by liking the comments or commenting "lol." If in doubt, one last post of "Let's move this discussion to ___--we're hijacking [Page Owner]'s status!" would give the page owner a chance to speak up if they're enjoying the discussion.
3) The conversationalists should take extra care to keep the discussion polite and inoffensive to the page owner.

Personally, I like it when my FB friends from different circles "meet" over something in my status and have a friendly discussion. What I wouldn't like is for people to start bickering on my page, turning it into an exclusive discussion that doesn't involve me or my other FB friends (e.g., where to meet for dinner, as mentioned by a PP), or getting into potentially offensive language/subject matter that I'm not comfortable having on my page in front of my parents/more conservative friends/etc.

Yvaine

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Personally, I like it when my FB friends from different circles "meet" over something in my status and have a friendly discussion. What I wouldn't like is for people to start bickering on my page, turning it into an exclusive discussion that doesn't involve me or my other FB friends (e.g., where to meet for dinner, as mentioned by a PP), or getting into potentially offensive language/subject matter that I'm not comfortable having on my page in front of my parents/more conservative friends/etc.

And for the love of chocolate, don't get in a huge political battle on my status about cute puppies.

MommyPenguin

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Personally, I like it when my FB friends from different circles "meet" over something in my status and have a friendly discussion. What I wouldn't like is for people to start bickering on my page, turning it into an exclusive discussion that doesn't involve me or my other FB friends (e.g., where to meet for dinner, as mentioned by a PP), or getting into potentially offensive language/subject matter that I'm not comfortable having on my page in front of my parents/more conservative friends/etc.

And for the love of chocolate, don't get in a huge political battle on my status about cute puppies.

lol, that's a good point!  I actually made a friend because I'd comment on a friend's posts, and another of her friends would comment, and we discovered we both liked each other's comments, so we friended each other.  :)

Thanks, everybody, that's very reassuring to know it's okay as long as it's on one of our posts.  I'm pretty sure it's always been, as I don't think we have any mutual friends, but I will keep an eye out for that.  We definitely do take it to PM if it needs to be private, but usually it isn't, we're just discussing school stuff, etc.  Sometimes somebody else will pop in to the conversation, and they're always welcome, but a lot of times it just doesn't seem to happen.

Celany

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POD with those who also feel like it isn't rude.

But I'd like to add that, to me, as long as it's civil/interesting/funny, I don't see a problem with the back-and-forth being between friends of the person who wrote the status (and not the status person themselves). Many times I've come back (often from writing a frustrated/unhappy status update) to find my friends have done something hilarious under my status to cheer me up - like a dueling lolcats photo war.

Though I'm not sure if "official etiquette" has weighed in on that? Maybe it's OK so long as the person hasn't ever expressed unhappiness about it?
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

MommyPenguin

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Maybe it's okay when it's of general interest or interest to the person whose status it is, but not so much if it's a personal conversation between two friends on their mutual friend's status?  Like, the dueling lolcats is fine, but somebody posting about the state fair and then two friends going back and forth about how the two of them will meet up at the fair is not?

TootsNYC

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lol, that's a good point!  I actually made a friend because I'd comment on a friend's posts, and another of her friends would comment, and we discovered we both liked each other's comments, so we friended each other.  :)

Ditto!

And I've learned a ton from my friend's friends as well.

I agree w/ this:

Maybe it's okay when it's of general interest or interest to the person whose status it is, but not so much if it's a personal conversation between two friends on their mutual friend's status?  Like, the dueling lolcats is fine, but somebody posting about the state fair and then two friends going back and forth about how the two of them will meet up at the fair is not?

And this:

POD with those who also feel like it isn't rude.

But I'd like to add that, to me, as long as it's civil/interesting/funny, I don't see a problem with the back-and-forth being between friends of the person who wrote the status (and not the status person themselves). Many times I've come back (often from writing a frustrated/unhappy status update) to find my friends have done something hilarious under my status to cheer me up - like a dueling lolcats photo war.

But my answer to the question Celany has posed...

Quote
Though I'm not sure if "official etiquette" has weighed in on that? Maybe it's OK so long as the person hasn't ever expressed unhappiness about it?

...is this: Etiquette has weighed in, back when conversations were in person. In a group conversation, it would be rude to switch to a topic that is restricted to only two people of the group, and it doesn't matter whether the "host" has expressed unhappiness. It's still rude.

Allyson

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I think it's completely fine on your own statuses, and I see it a lot! Just so long as you're OK if a third party jumps in at any point, ie don't forget it's totally public.

On someone else's status, I think it's OK as long as it's relevant to the topic at hand (or you know that the person will find it funny, like in Celany's story about her friends cheering her up.)