Ever since its inception in 2005 - Facebook has come a long way. A lot has changed in the interface, the applications have doubled and privacy options have been stepped up. For good reasons I bet!
When these days - we spend almost 12 hours on Facebook - perhaps more for some people (like me - judge me if you want!); our daily life etiquettes and manners should apply to our virtual avatars as well. It's only fair!
Who we are, what we say, how we behave in normal lives with other beings - face to face; the same rules should apply in the 'social network'. Just because 'virtuality' prevents physical assault - that does not mean we may incite one to think it.
So, about 11 years since its birth - we must list some Facebook etiquettes for good measure...
1. Do not tag people in random photos or tag without permission - applies to Diwali, New Year, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Friendship Day, Independence Day, Republic Day, Janamashtami, Eid photo wishes. Also applies to photos that claim to create an absurd matrix of your top friends, or the hottest girls and boys on your friend list, or who should play what role in Harry Potter or Who won the Friends' Cup (What is that anyway?)
IF you care enough to wish me - text me. Drop me a line. Just as people - in real life - don't like being photographed with anyone and everyone - it is pretty much the same on Facebook.
Don't mass tag. It is hard to isolate your name from that pile of tags and un-tag. And if I un-tag myself - you just might get offended. So save yourself and us the misery.
All photos are not meant to be put up on Facebook - now if some rather sinister person chooses to put up a rather embarrassing picture of you on Facebook that would make every cell in your being blush when sober - you should have the capacity to approve the tag or simply disapprove. By the time you can un-tag yourself - the damage is done. Your grand uncle sitting in Canada has seen it and all chances of a decent matrimonial match find have gone up in smoke!
2. If my wall is blocked for you - don't ask why.
Facebook allows us to put friends in separate groups and also allows moderation of privacy principles in each case. Am sure Zuckerberg thought about this long and hard. If someone's wall is blocked - let it be. Don't prod and poke and ask a million times as to why you cannot see the posts. It is the virtual equivalent of asking your neighbour twice a day (at least) - why he would keep his bedroom window closed. Some people like their personal lives to be 'personal' - respect that. And just because you cannot see the wall that does not mean I don't like you. If so was the case - remember the 'unfriend' and 'blocked and delete' option?
3. If your friend request turns up unacknowledged for days - get the hint. Don't ask again.
A friend request is very clearly visible when one logs in to Facebook. And therefore it is very easy to accept or hide. Those who are not regular on Facebook - may get to accepting or hiding requests once in a blue moon. At this point I must add - that if you have sent a friend request to someone his/her posts will keep appearing on your wall like in the case of all other friends - so you will know how regular he/she is on the site. So, id the person you want to 'befriend' has not accepted your request for days - and is still rather active on Facebook - clearly does not want you on their list. Get the drift...lay off. Receiving repeated requests and offline messages is very annoying. It is like begging someone over and over again to be your friend. Sounds pathetic? That is exactly the vibes repeated friendship requests give on Facebook.
4. If you share someone else's shared link/status message/photos - please inform.
Someone must have made slight efforts to chance upon an interesting link or a status message or a photo and post it - please respect that 'effort' - even if it means 5 extra Facebook seconds. A simple - "I am sharing" would work. If you share someone's link/status message/photos without permission - it is a little like plagiarising. Just a little. And the plagiarism incites the same feelings every where! Online or offline!
5. Stop with the constant Relationship Status changes.
Single. Commited. Complicated. Commited to ____. Married. Divorced. Separated.
Please. Spare. Me. The. Horror.
Your closest friends will know of your love life without you having to shout it out on your wall. It is like washing your dirty linen in public. As repulsive as it is in real life - it is worse online for everyone is simultaneously tortured by random comments on them - "Why did you break up?", "Did she cheat on you?", "Did he dump you?", "When did you guys hook up?", "When is the wedding?"
Facebook has the private message option - please resort to using that for the dirty details. Thank you.
6. Don't invite me to events that are not in my city or ones that don't exist in reality.
Facebook events ideally are meant to work like invitations - formal or informal - so as the organisers can have a rough idea as to how many people to expect. In big events - it goes a long way. So for events that are clearly beyond people's geographical reach - save yourself that extra second and don't send it to one and all. If you are taking an effort to organise an event - take an effort to invite the right people. And no one is interested in imaginary events like - The End of the World in 2013, or some such. Don't create such an event - and even if you are bored enough to do so - don't invite people who won't get the absurd thrills of an imaginary event. The time it takes to reply to the RSVP online - takes the same time to click on - Not Attending. These days -we come to learn - even one second in precious.
It is not Google+ and it is not Orkut - my posts and photos are only for my friends. Random people are requested not to add me or 'follow' me - virtual stalking is just as horrid. Am not interested in anyone waxing eloquent on my profile picture. I don't know you - I don't care.
People mind their own business in real life - please do so in your virtual life as well!
These are starters for Facebook etiquettes for the next 11 years and more. Add your pet peeves by all means!