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Have you ever been scorned by someone online through a Facebook status? Perhaps they either didn’t change their relationship to “In a Relationship” with you or gave some lame excuse not to be somewhere and then blasted that they were having fun doing something else for the same time they cancelled their plans with you for.
How insensitive, right?
I know I’ve been victim of this myself, in some form or fashion. Like when the guy I dated for an extremely extended amount of time never changed his relationship status (until I bugged him about it for a while) and never posted any photos of us together (but did with every woman he was with after me) … At the time, it drove me nuts! (Maybe it was a clue – you think?) And when someone would punk out on plans with me, then a few hours later I would see them having a grand old time someplace else? Oh man, you can bet your britches that I was irked! And I have often thought of retaliating or calling said person out in those situations… Wouldn’t you? Of course you would! It’s only natural, right?
That’s why when I saw the YourTango video on tips for Facebook relationship etiquette I just had to share! I couldn’t help but laugh at the humorous take they had on the whole thing and how many people so often break the unwritten rules of Facebook relationship etiquette, or rather what this YourTango YouTube video calls “Facebook Manners” for responsible relationships.
The original video has been posted for your viewing pleasure, YourTango’s 5 Rules of Facebook Relationship Etiquette, as well as my suggestions for how you can avoid breaking said unwritten rules.
5 Rules of Facebook Relationship Etiquette and How Not to Break Them
Rule #1: Don’t Change Your Relationship Status Without Consulting the Other Person
This seems like a given, right? But we all know that common sense isn’t so common … And some people are just cruel … Or chickens. I mean who breaks up over Facebook to avoid confrontation? Not only is it crass, but the recipient of the “break up” may never know, continue to call you and/or bug your mutual friends (if you were avoiding them after this fiasco).
The information age has made it easier to be less humane to others, and this needs to stop. Be an adult. If you’re going to be in a relationship with someone, if you decide you do not wish to be in said relationship anymore – TELL THEM! Even if it’s all tears and snot coming out of their nose when you break the news to them, it’s much better to give someone less fuel to be upset about by being personable and not leaving it to them to find out over the internet.
Seriously. If nothing else, pick up the phone and call them. DO NOT TEXT THEM! That’s almost as bad as not telling them that your relationship is over and they find out through a change in their Facebook relationship status …
Rule #2: Don’t Post Embarrassing Photographs of Other People
It’s that whole “do unto others as you would have done unto you” bit. Would you be a happy camper if one of your friends posted a really unflattering photo of you? Even if they took it down, someone somewhere most likely still has a copy …
Not only that, but if you’re not careful, you could ruin someone’s reputation or even their livelihood! Impossible you say? What if they’re employer (or possible future employer) saw your “friend” in a photo that was less than stellar, they made whatever assumption about what was going on in it (whether it was true or not) and then that person go fired or was never hired for their dream job? I don’t know about you, but I’d feel like an asshat.
It’s simple friendship etiquette, people. And when a friend asks you to take it down? Do it. Or black out their face so it’s unrecognizable. Just saying.
Rule #3: Be Discreet When Posting Messages on Another Person’s Wall
If everyone knew how to set their Facebook privacy settings properly, this MIGHT not be a big deal. However, most people allow for others to comment on their wall and it’s visible for the whole world to see.
When you post sensitive messages or call out someone on their Facebook wall, you’re basically airing their dirty laundry. I’m sure you haven’t done anything like this though since you’re momma taught you better than that right?
Keep in mind that while you may feel better about it and the post may be deleted later, it’s the internet. Somewhere the data you put on that wall of that jerk who stood you up and aired their dirty laundry? You’ll likely find references to it somewhere on Google, thanks to SEO.
And while you may be angry with them for slighting you for whatever reason – stay classy! It is uncouth and can even have a similar effect on someone’s work status or otherwise as seen in a story in this article on WIRED.
“At its worst, it’s a weapon of mass reputation destruction, capable of amplifying slander, bullying, and casual idiocy on a scale never before possible.”
Shaming someone online can even be akin to bullying, if taken too far. So why not be the bigger person and just be discreet … or in other words don’t be a dumb bunny. Address the person privately, not publicly.
And if you still feel the need to call someone out on their bullshyte, then check out this article on LifeHacker.
“Online shaming is a door that swings only one way: You may have the power to open it, but you don’t have the power to close it. And sometimes what rushes through that door can engulf you too.”
Rule #4: Don’t Steal Other People’s Friends
This Facebook relationship etiquette rule is kind of an odd one, because if you become friends with another person’s friends through mutual gatherings or excursions, you are not really “stealing other people’s friends” … You became friends with them through normal interaction.
What I believe that this rule applies to is when you go to the friends list of someone and add people you never met or barely know. That’s just creepy and weird. I personally don’t normally add anyone unless I know them or they message me and have some kind of a discussion.
Most people these days just add people willy nilly without any interaction. I don’t know if it’s because they just want a crap ton of friends on Facebook, they don’t understand how the follow button works, or what.
And for those on the receiving end of a random friend request? Sometimes you pick your brain going, “Do I know this person?” So you check mutual friends … and when you have several mutual friends, you think “Oh, I must know this person because they have 50+ of my friends, too” right? Yeah … that’s not necessarily true. They may be one of these Facebook relationship etiquette breakers!
Rule #5: Don’t Start Hate Groups
Just don’t. With all of the bullying out there, you never know when something like this might push someone over the edge.
How would you feel if someone started a group all about talking smack about you and how much you suck or how much someone disliked you? Unless you have a high degree of personal development, like most people you would probably feel really bad, right? Maybe even angry?
When someone slights you – kill them with kindness! Hate groups do nothing but cause more hate and more negativity. Don’t put that out into the universe. Forgive and let go.
Recently I came across this article on Psychology Today about being slighted. What I found really interesting about it is that there’s a section that says:
When we feel slighted, it may seem that the offence comes from the outside, but ultimately, we are the ones who allow ourselves to feel slighted. In the wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
This goes right along in line with some of the things that Tony Robbins and T Harv Eker teach … Thoughts lead to feelings, feelings lead to actions, actions lead to results! Therefore you determine how you feel in reaction to an event that happens to you, such as someone breaking Facebook relationship etiquette.
So next time you feel slighted by someone on Facebook (a.k.a. the Electric Friendship Generator as described in the video), you should just let it go. And as the end of the video says …
“Remember – have good Facebook manners and the electric friendship generator will be more fun for everyone!”
And nothing good ever comes from being easily offended.
What about you? Was there a time you ever felt slighted? Did you retaliate? I would love to hear from you in the comments section below!
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