posted 2012-04-25 22:52:48

What Not to Do on Facebook

Guide to social networking etiquette

Lara Berlyne

Contributing Writer

For many, the Internet is a place for facilitating social interactions that would otherwise be difficult to do in person. For others, it is a platform for showing off their amazing and interesting lives. Many individuals create a new voice over the Internet, and act differently online than they ever would in person. It’s often difficult to decipher the online persona from the person in your math class. If you ever wondered how to navigate the multiple Internet personalities of your peers, and how to interact on a social network in a way that reflects a suave and tech-savvy Hunter student, I have some tips.

Don’t friend request someone the day you meet them. We’ve all been there before. After spending the afternoon with someone new, although we may have enjoyed ourselves, it is not necessary to run home and request them the second you log onto Facebook. The fact of the matter is, when someone receives such a request— especially with no mutual friends—it comes across as desperate, as opposed to friendly. Take this word of advice with a grain of salt; I personally find sending friend requests in general to be a chilling experience, even with those I am actually good friends with. Having to confirm and label an online friendship to both friends and acquaintances is cringeworthy.

Be yourself. I cannot stress this rule enough. If you are quiet in person, Facebook is not the place to develop a personality. I have encountered friend requests from individuals who I never heard speak aloud, only to discover that the Internet is their platform for corny jokes and rants about the daily grind of their lives. For those who have a grand presence in the real world, it is to be expected that they would act the same online. Obtaining a level of consistency with your online and real-life selves makes for optimal Facebook use. It is the only way to keep your Facebook “friends” (glorified acquaintances and strangers) from shuddering at your postings.

Let’s be appropriate! Though I may sound like a strict grandmother, my advice rings true. While it is the offensive things that make the Internet what it is, the postings you make can have an impact on your future! It can’t be said enough. Respect yourself enough to know that a picture posted online lives on forever, despite deletion! Don’t objectify yourself to get a “like” from a horny stranger, it is simply not worth it! Actions on Facebook have real-life consequences; keep that in mind if you ever have the urge to demean yourself for some online attention.

You don’t have to document every outing! Take some much needed Facebook liberation! Be able to hang out with your friends without the pressure to gussy up for online photo albums. The more you keep your life offline, the happier you will be! The days where pictures were for treasuring precious moments are long past. The iPhone app Instagram allows users to view themselves as photographers, and show off their daily ventures with various photo treatments. More scorned than those who go out are the Facebook users who never appear to leave their bedrooms. iPhone in hand, and draped in their finest ensembles, they give the impression that it is their life’s work to take thousands of self photographs for the online world to enjoy. Philanthropy at its finest!

Think before posting! In the midst of writing this very article, I came across an angry status implying something about someone else. Do NOT use Facebook as a platform to hurt anyone, no matter how mad you are. Do not initiate fights online, and do not hide behind your computer if you have an issue with one of your peers. Always be direct and upfront in person— don’t get courageous just because you have a keyboard!

While I may seem prudish and highly reserved in my Facebook guidelines, I find that it is better to be safe than sorry on a website in which the users create the content. The Internet should only account for a fraction of your life’s time; don’t schedule outings and photo shoots around it! Instead, go out and actualize the person you want others to see you as in real life!