There are many things about Facebook that are good. Instant connection to friends, free communication, picture sharing, inflated senses of self-importance, the ability to stalk our friends’ lives without being obvious, the list goes on.
However, as Peter Parker learned early on in his superhero career:
The Facebook experiences of many could be improved with the observation of a few simple rules. They are as follows:
1) If it’s deeply personal, emotional or disturbing, don’t post it. Please. Take your problems to someone who will actually be able to help, i.e. a trusted friend, parent, spouse or….a therapist. I’d be willing to bet that most of your 1,883 Facebook friends aren’t qualified to handle whatever it is that you’re dealing with, they’re just uncomfortable.
2) If it’s something that no one in this galaxy, (even undiscovered alien life forms) could possibly find interesting or relevant (for example: “So bored rn” ) don’t post it. No one cares that you’re bored. It’s your problem, fix it. No need to tell the rest of us.
3) No vague-booking, fishing for compliments, or pointless complaining. Only post things that are thought-provoking, relevant and important personal news (ex: “I just got into law school!”), or are legitimately funny. Nobody wants to read anything else.
3) If someone posts inane and irrelevant things, or uncomfortable personal things, they are entitled to a grace period of three posts. If they exceed this amount you may unfollow them, guilt-free. And they’ll never know. (I’m pretty sure I’ve unfollowed at least 50 of my Facebook friends.)
4) Don’t EVER post that awful “Facebook is legally blah blah blah not allowed to blah blah blah my stuff blah blah blah” thing. Just….no. Stop.
5) No mirror selfies. No. Not ever. Especially not as your profile picture.
6) Let’s say that you are uploading a bunch of photos. You notice that in one photo, one of your friend’s heads is just barely identifiable. Don’t tag them. There is absolutely no point. Unless they have an extremely amusing (and perceivable) expression, they won’t care that they are in the picture, and no one else will even notice them. You’ll just be clogging up their profile page, and then they will untag themselves and it will be awkward. Save yourself the pain.
7) Try to keep profanity out of your posts and comments. I know it seems cool now, but don’t forget that everything on Facebook stays there. I mean, let’s think about this. What if you suddenly become facebook friends with your Grandma Mildred, and she sees all this crap on your profile? Well, you can kiss all your Christmas gifts goodbye for one thing. Don’t tick off your grandma, kids.
8) Listing your friends as your parents and siblings is generally funny and cute to a point. When you suddenly have 30 brothers and sisters, 6 fathers and 3 mothers, people are going to think you’re part of a polygamist cult. I realize that you don’t want to offend anyone by subtly communicating “I love this person, she’s basically my sister, but I don’t love YOU enough to list you as my sister”, but seriously. No one has that many family members or close friends.
9) Listing yourself in your “favorite quotes” section is not a good plan. inside jokes only make sense to a limited number of people, everyone else will just be confused or skeptical and people will be inclined to assume that you are full of yourself. Quote somebody like Mother Teresa, nobody thinks she was egotistical.
10) Don’t get into Facebook arguments. It’s not worth it. If you have serious beef with someone else’s opinion, argue in a personal message. Or better yet, call them or get coffee and talk it out or something. Stay away from that awful comment spiral, it’s a slippery slope.
There are of course more things that we could say, but these are the essentials. Adhere to these rules and I guarantee your Facebook experience will improve. Everyone loves a conscientious social media user.