Etiquette and Facebook Part 4 – Sonalfoi is Going to Lay it Out For You

Oh dear.

There are a number of you finding this blog after putting your Facebook dilemmas into Google … and for the most part, rather than the two posts that may give you a half decent answer, you keep landing on the Jane Austen one – and we all know how that one ends …

So bubba, Sonalfoi is going to be tough on you. Don’t take it personally, but your search terms have worried me a little. You must know that you are a wonderful, beautiful person? You do not have to make everyone happy, in the world of Facebook you do not have to accept people into your world because it’s the polite thing to do. Facebook is your small bit of the cyberverse. So long as you do not intentionally hurt someone else, then you can to do with it what you want.

And yes, I’ve had a couple of incidents happen too over the last few days, so I may be projecting my irritation a little … just a bit … remember that I love you. Ok? This is for your own good.

Friend invites and ex boyfriends or girlfriends
No. No. No. No. No. Got it? Just No. Do you really need to know what your ex is up to? Really? Do you need to know about the new love of their life?

But Sonal, we ended really well, not like you and David.

Baby, I don’t care if it ended with the two of you throwing a celebration together with all of your friends and family for the sole purpose of breaking up (you are cordially invited to our break up party!). You cannot get on with your fabulous life with your ex in the background, your ex cannot get on with their fabulous life with you bugging them to be their friend. Leave them be, they don’t need to share their wall flirtations with you. The beautiful and brilliant new people in their life don’t need you to remind them of whatever in joke you crazy kids had back in the day when you used to be a couple. Yes, we should all be adult enough to cope with our lovers past loves, but we should also be adult enough to say ‘actually, I’m not okay with you knowing all about my life now’ or ‘yeah we may be in casual contact and be friendly and all to each other in real life, but that doesn’t mean we’re actually friends’.

Which reminds me, judging from the number of you clicking through to the David who left a comment on my Midsummer’s post – no, it is not Mr Lawrence … do you know how many Davids there are in this world? There were three in my theatre department at uni – it’s just a coincidence so stop freaking out.

Um, so Sonal, this stuff you’re saying about exes, what about thier families? Look fair call, that’s a tricky one. I’m friends on Facebook with both of David’s sisters, I still love them and care about them, so I’m friends with them because I genuinely want to know what’s going on in their lives still. I guess when David is in his next relationship and these things spill over onto online networks then we’ll see what happens. If it makes his new love uncomfortable then I would do the right thing and, for the sake of his relationship, pull back on communication and quietly drop off their friends list in time. That’s just me, you may feel differently.

Removing my relationship status
Go and read part 3 of this series.

Ok, enough with the negative, when can I tell people I’m in a relationship?
Whenever you want, honey bee. If you want to tell everyone on Facebook you’re in a relationship of any sort, go for it.

People keep bugging me to join this Facebook thing
Don’t want in? Delete the email. People keep telling you about how cool it is? Well, yeah I’m back in touch with friends I haven’t seen in 10 years, good friends too. It’s particularly useful when they’re all scattered around the world as the status updates are a nice way of seeing what they’re up to without actually having to interact with each other. That said, if there was a reason why you dropped out of touch with certain people or if you are already in contact with all of the people you want to be … don’t bother joining, unless you like playing Scrabble (in which case, totally join, just for the Scrabble application).

Uh, this person wants to be friends with me, but I don’t want to be friends with them
Ignore it. Yeah it’s harsh and yes, it wasn’t long ago that I was advocating being polite about these things. Last night things changed … I received a friend request from someone who was my year at high school … it was late, I accepted, turned off the ‘puter and went to bed. And regretted it. This person wasn’t my friend at school, come to think of it, she was pretty mean to me, why on earth do I want her to see the cool things going on in my life? So this morning, as she sent in the detail request, I removed her from my list.

People, it’s not a race. The number of friends you have means nothing, it’s the quality that counts.

People you went to school with: Did you actually hang out together at school? Did you hang out outside of school? If you saw each other in the street would you stop and chat, give them a hug and kiss? Hell, did you actually ever have a one on one conversation at school together? No? Then you’re not friends.

People you have or currently work with: You don’t have to be Facebook friends with someone just because you work with them and you both have Facebook profiles. Yes you can be friends … maybe if there is still a genuine friendship once you have left the organisation, then be online buds. If you want to complain about work and tell your friends about it, but you don’t want your boss to see then firstly, make sure you’re not a member of any network and for crying out loud, don’t be Facebook friends with your boss!

Industry friends: Only you know the right thing to do here. With the theatre industry you tend to open so much of your emotional self to each other through the process of creating the work that friendships form. We’re still in the game for the sheer love of it (it’s not like any of us are making anything that could be called a living), we call on each other for support that it’s natural we become true friends. We have war stories to share that people outside the industry wouldn’t understand …

I have a crush on someone and they’re on Facebook
Do you actually know this person? Have you met them? Yes? Send them a message and say hello. What have you got to lose? You’re not doing it face to face. By asking this question, you clearly want to do something about it, but please remember that the object of your affection is under no obligation to be friends with you or even keep up regular correspondence. So be a good besotted gem, be polite and don’t have any expectations.

Someone emailed me and I think they have a crush on me
Be flattered. Be polite. Don’t be mean, or joke about them to your friends – that’s not nice and you know you have been in that same situation yourself, so treat them as you have wanted to be treated. If you receive a friend request from them and you don’t want to be friends with them, then ignore the invite, you’re under no obligation. If you have already done this and have just read this blog now, months after accepting them, then remove them from your list, if it makes you feel any better, they won’t know that you’ve removed them.

I have a crush on a friend on Facebook, can they tell when I’m looking at their profile?
No. No they can’t. Don’t worry and maybe, if you’re brave enough, do something about the crush – don’t ask me what, I’m useless about such things (being a total coward myself).

Ok so I didn’t want to ignore this person but I’ve put them on my limited profile, will they know?
Only if they go to look at your profile. You can alter your settings in the privacy option tab in the top right hand corner. Get to know, love and play with your privacy options.

Someone has set me on their limited profile, how rude!
No it’s not. They have their reasons, the most likely one is that they didn’t want to hurt your feelings by ignoring you all together. If it makes you that mad, then remove them as your friend, you both win.

So how do I remove them?
Go into your friends list (choose the display all friends option). You’ll notice that along with the option to poke or message your friend, there is an option to remove them. Click on it.

Will they know that I’ve removed them?
Only if they go looking for you in their friends list. Otherwise, no.

I sent someone a friend invite and they haven’t accepted it
You have plenty of wonderful friends in your life. Don’t worry about it, don’t dwell on it. They may have their reasons why they have chosen to ignore or not get around to your request, you don’t need to know to those reasons. Shrug it off, continue on with your gorgeous self.

Sonal, I want to send a really witty friend invite, you know, cool but not too cool
Yeah, I’m not a greeting card, love. I’m sure Hallmark will have a whole line of invitation witticisms available for your coolness needs soon enough …

Facebook? Again? Whatever! Who wants to be emailed to be told you have an email?
Ok, no need to be rude, I rule Facebook, it does not rule me … and turn off your notifications (go click on the account tab on the top right hand corner, then click on notifications), fool.

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5 Responses to “Etiquette and Facebook Part 4 – Sonalfoi is Going to Lay it Out For You”

  1. One thing to note: if you have a Facebook crush which leads to Facebook stalking which leads to an IRL meeting, DO NOT mention things you have learned about your crush from his/her profile. Geez.

    On another note: This is a hilarious post. I was just talking with another female diasporic desi blogger and we figured out why Facebook wins. It has everything of all other kinds of internet social things in one: status updates are like away messages from back in the days of AIM, the Wall is like Testimonials from Friendster, you can post pictures on the site directly OR through flickr, you can make blog posts, post about articles etc, make playlists, it’s endless!

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Yeah that bit of advice was so good that I had to bold it! Tamashamashi, you are so right! Nothing says you’re a stalker more than giving stalker-like trivia … not cool …

  3. I’ve changed my rules and started using a limited profile for people who know me through Grants – partly cos I didn’t want to keep ignoring requests and partly because they tend to put up things about upcoming events that I like to see.

    I’m stalking someone on bebo at the moment – her profile is public so I didn’t need to add her as a friend, but I did anyway to see what would happen and maybe get a little attention. I re-did my whole profile first to try and make me look cooler. That’s pretty sad eh. Bebo = boredom. Facebook is where I act grown up.

  4. Not sad, just cute ๐Ÿ™‚

    Which reminds me further to Tamasha’s advice … meeting your crush in real life and spouting info that you got from their Facebook profile is not cool if you aren’t friends and just happen to be in the same network … meeting your crush in real life and spouting info from their blog is perfectly fine …

    You know … just in case … yeah, ok I know the likelyhood of someone having a crush on me is minute, but a girl can dream … when she’s not dreaming about a new laptop …

  5. Sigh. I just looked for this post again to remind me not to do something stupid.

    Thanks Sonal-didi.

    ๐Ÿ™‚

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