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Facebook has many benefits for personal use: photo albums, important moments, news. It also has the potential for a great community environment.
And that’s where the magic breaks down.
A community, online or otherwise, only works when people know how to be good neighbors.
Unfortunately, people do things on Facebook they wouldn’t usually do in their neighborhood. Maybe it’s a sense of cyber detachment. But those are real people behind each Facebook wall. Don’t make them want to delete Facebook!
It may be a good time to take a look at some of the most annoying things people do … and be sure you’re being a good Facebook neighbor.
1. I Will Destroy You
Sending game request! It seemed harmless in the beginning. People were helping each other buy virtual farm animals. They were sending virtual gifts to each other’s Facebook pets. It was fun for a season. But then it got out of control. Now it’s not just in-house Facebook games. It’s just about every game in the app store. People keep sending each other requests to join them in a game, or help them with a game. This behavior has reached epic proportions.
I have nothing against playing games. In fact, I love games. But play them with people you know. In real life. At a party. At someone’s house. If you and someone else want to play online, that’s great too. But decide that between yourselves. Don’t send a game request to people you haven’t spoken to since high school.
2. Tag You In Photos
Facebook is a great place to post and share photos. And I’ve often asked my friends to share particular photos with me – especially when we’re out and about, and one person takes a group picture. That’s great. I requested it. Or I could just go to that friend’s page and download the photos too.
But please don’t tag me without asking me. All these random photos show up on my wall and in my photo album. Among the most annoying things, sometimes I’m even mis-tagged! The person in the photo isn’t even me. I love that you want to share photos with me. But that’s my album you’re posting in. Please let me choose where to put my pictures.
3. Post All Day
In the beginning, it was amusing. People posted status updates throughout the day. It was a fun concept. But it’s gotten carried away, like so many other Facebook behaviors. I don’t need to know what everyone had for breakfast today. I can barely remember what I had for breakfast. I would like to know that your daughter graduated college. But I can’t find those posts for all the clutter.
4. Post Something Alarming and Vague
Ohmygosh, this is terrible. I’m in such shock. I just don’t know what I’m going to do.
5. Recommend That You Like Pages
Here’s where people on Facebook start to forget that real people live behind those Facebook walls. If you have found an amazing group on Facebook, and you think I really need to know about it, please just tell me. Send me a message. Better yet – tell me next time you see me. Or call me. Remember that concept? But please don’t send a blanket message to all your friends, recommending they like every page you like. That’s a personal choice. Let them find the pages they want to like.
6. Vent, With No Reprieve
I don’t mind my friends venting to me. That’s what friends are for. But when every post becomes a rant … If more of us would share positive thoughts on Facebook, maybe there would be less to vent about.
The problem with Facebook is that everybody sees your venting. Not everyone knows you that well. I might not have seen you since kindergarten. I can’t help you.
If you want to get to know me better now, and we can become friends, then you can call me and vent when you’re having a bad day. Then I can actually do something to help you. But venting on Facebook for everyone – and no one – to see … that just brings everyone down, including you.
7. Post On Your Wall (Then Fight On Your Wall)
Please don’t post things on my wall. Definitely one of the most annoying things. Let me do that. It’s my wall. If you have a cute picture you’d like me to see, message me. Or (now I’m on a rant) call me! I’m human. You’re human. Let’s talk. Don’t put cyber posts all over my wall. Especially if it’s not something I would approve of.
And then – phase two – after you’ve posted things on my wall, don’t write negative comments on those posts … on my wall. In fact, please don’t write any negative comments on my wall, at all. It’s my wall. I want to have a good day.
8. Jump Into a Conversation That Doesn’t Involve Them
This is one of the things I like least about Facebook. It’s when people jump into a conversation they know nothing about. For example, I’m talking with three of my friends about a post one of us made. Then someone who I barely knew in high school jumps in. Starts commenting. These comments can become very hurtful, very quickly. The person doesn’t know who they’re talking to, what their relationship is, or what they’re talking about. You wouldn’t do that in real life. Facebook isn’t a place for you to do your most annoying things.
9. Stalk People
This is a scary one because it can lead to real-life stalking. In fact, everyone should be really careful when you’re on the receiving end. It’s okay to block people. If it seems like stalking, it probably is. When people I barely know start commenting on every post, every photo, every comment … that’s too much. I’m going to block you. Its also a good idea to block people from Google searching you.
10. Guilt People
Those posts that begin, “If you really like me, you will …” I do like you. That’s why you’re my Facebook friend. Because I like you, I’m not going to follow the instructions in a chain post. I’m going to delete it. There aren’t enough hours in the day to forward all those things, and please don’t make me feel guilty that I didn’t. Don’t put thoughts in my heart. I do like you. Just believe it. Don’t request a chain post to prove it.
So how did you do? Did any of these behaviors look familiar? If you aren’t doing any of the most annoying things, well done. You’re a great Facebook neighbor.