Making it my business: Facebook etiquette

8 things you definitely should not do when navigating the world of social networking

Today’s guide comes from an actual, for-real-time request from a frustrated reader (as opposed to coming from the pits of my exhausted, ranting mind like they usually do).

She writes:

Dear Valerie,

Can you please put together a Facebook etiquette guide? I think everyone needs a little help figuring out what’s ok and what’s just kind of lame.

Frustrated Friender

Of course I can! Here we goooooooooooo…

1. Don’t friend complete strangers.

If you haven’t met in person or had some sort of contact (on the Internet or IRL) at any point in your life, DON’T DO IT. This isn’t myspace, kids. It’s not about quantity here; it’s *quality.*

2. Don’t feel obligated to send messages to people you haven’t spoken to since high school just because you’re “friends” again.

To me, constant messaging with someone you haven’t talked to in 6 years is the Internet’s equivalent to the “stop and chat.” No one knows how long the conversation should go on and, really, if you haven’t spoken in that long, there might be a reason for it. If you *must* communicate after the “add” has taken place, just leave it at a wall post with a simple “Dude, what’s up?” Do not, I repeat, do not, send them a 1500-word message outlining every detail of your life since graduation. If they cared, they would have been there.

3. Don’t ever list “Whatever I can get” under your “Looking for” status.

Even if you *are* on the market for anything, I can guarantee that everyone who reads it either says “Buh, gross” or “Wow, desperate.”

4. Don’t poke. (Seriously, what the hell is that anyway?)

This concept is baffling to me. Who likes to be poked? No one. Get back to your stealth viewing of profile pictures and leave your friends alone.

5. Don’t quote anything that can be found in any edition of Chicken Soup for the ____________’s Soul OR in a Lee Ann Womack song.

If it would be appropriate under your picture in your senior yearbook, it has NO BUSINESS going on your profile.

6. Don’t spend hours each day adding applications and updating your profile.

Every time you make a change, it will show up on your friends’ news feeds. If you make changes constantly, they will see your name over and over again. And then they will hate you. They don’t want to see that you became a fan of Rock Band. They want to see that those two random people from high school finally broke up. Don’t interfere! Space it out and don’t be ridiculous.

7. Don’t post questionable pictures of yourself.

While I love pictures of drunk people as much as the next person (which, seriously, I do), employers are getting wise to this thing called the “Internet.” Googling potential hires is getting to be a common practice. Do you really want them seeing that picture of you doing an Ice Luge during your sophomore year of college? With no pants on?

8. Don’t forget to include a profile picture.

People will automatically assume you’re ugly.

Have something to add? Wanna fight about something I said? Comment away, kiddos.

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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

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