I absolutely love Facebook. Facebook has made it easier for me to keep in contact with my friends who are no longer living in the same city as me. Facebook has led to a reunion of sorts between me and my long lost sister of 16 years. Facebook helps me remember birthdays! Facebook is a wonderful tool and I will never be one of those silly people who goes on full Facebook hiatuses. That all said, I do try to abide by code of ethics when using Facebook. Let me share with you my personal code of Facebook ethics.
How Not to be an Asshole on Facebook
- Don’t air dirty laundry. I’ve seen both guys and gals outing their current partners as lying cheats. I’ve seen feuding friends publicize their brawls on newsfeeds. Most of these feuds end up being resolved offline, and later I’ve found embarrassed participants remove evidence of drama. The thing is, it’s already a bit late. Airing out drama online will sear impressions of both you and the people you’ve outed to your audience and the impressions will not be good. I find it good practice not to be logged into Facebook when you’re blindingly angry.
- Respect people’s requests for photo removals. Listen, unless you’ve taken flawless photos every time and have the thickest skin, you know what it’s like to have an unflattering photo of you on the internet that you did not upload. Have empathy. If someone is insecure about a photo of him or her that you’ve uploaded, respect his or her wishes and remove the photo. Don’t just untag it.
- If you know a photo of a friend is a bad photo, don’t bother uploading it. Jumping off the previous rule, if you already know that the photo of your friend, Sensitive Susan drooling in her sleep on the road trip to Padre is a bad photo, don’t upload it! If you happen to be sitting next to her sporting the best hair day ever, don’t be a tool, use the crop tool.
- Don’t be that person who brings everyone down with incessant depressing “woe is me” statuses. Do you know the 5 to 1 rule (PDF file of academic research article)? The 5 to 1 rule is a popular rule in pop psychology right now, asserting that negative interactions have a bigger impact on us psychologically compared to good interactions. Studies show that 5 good interactions is psychologically equivalent to 1 bad interaction. Use this rule when publishing Facebook statuses. Your Facebook audience is not your group therapy session.
- Don’t upload photos with illegal happenings in your foreground or background. Here’s looking at you, recreational drug users.
- Unless you’re in the business, don’t upload photos of yourself in your underwear.
- Don’t forget that people can see your Facebook life. If I were to summarize all these rules into one neat and tidy Golden Rule, it is this: People can see you.
Question: What can you add to this list?