Tech Etiquette: Facebook

Navigating the rigours of... social networking

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Get around this feature in a most excellent fashion:
Tech Etiquette: Guide to being a gadget Gent
Lesson the first: Style
Lesson the second: Facebook
Lesson the third: Smartphones
Lesson the fourth: Commuting
Lesson the fifth: Exercise
Lesson the sixth: Work email
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Do: Practice proper spelling and grammar

You’re not 12 and if you’re on Facebook you’re certainly not in any kind of hurry. Txt speak, under/overusing punctuation or failing to understand the difference between “your” and “you’re”, is like taking the English language round A back alley and throttling it with your own abject laziness.

Don’t: “Like” yourself
People know you think your own musings are clever – if they weren’t, you wouldn’t post them In the first place. Liking your own updates is the web equivalent of laughing maniacally at your own jokes, while tumbleweed billows past and everyone regards you with a look somewhere between quizzical and pitying.

Do: Comment and “like” sparingly
Clearly, Facebook is a community that relies on user input: if you don’t actively comment on others’ posts, they’ll be disinclined to comment on yours. There’s a fine line between being proactive and being nosey or obsessive, however. You need to tread it with the skill of a tightrope walker to have a truly rewarding Facebook experience.

Don’t: Post pictures of yourself looking too excited about new gadgets
A snap of yourself holding the iPad with the caption “Look: the iPad!!!” Will make people assume you live with your parents at the age of 32.

Do: Be careful with your relationship status
To announce you’re in a relationship before you’ve really cemented it is to open yourself to heartbreak Nnext week when you have to change it back to “single, desperate and living with my Parents at the age of 32”. That’s before you even get on to asking your ex which one of you has the right to separate your online avatars first. And remember all this will be turning up in your acquaintances’ feeds.


Don’t: Boast too much

“I can’t believe the weather in St Tropez could be so hot! Pour me another free Martini!” won’t make your devoted followers envy you. One such chap in our industry insists on doing this daily, no, hourly. Time to stop now, mate...


Do: Respond to event invitations with a “Yes” Or “No”

Can you imagine posting an RSVP to a friend’s wedding with “Maybe” scrawled on it? At least a “No” doesn’t raise False hopes…

Don’t: Describe yourself, friends or family as “crazy” or “mad” in your info
…Even if you actually are mentally ill. Actually, particularly if you actually are mentally ill – “mad” and “crazy” are very insensitive terms to use in that case.

Do: Only add people You know
Think of it this way: if someone you had never met suddenly sent you an add request, would you think they were the type of person you’d want to spend time with? Exactly…

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