My kids recently were of “legal” age to join the popular social network we all know called Facebook. After getting them all signed up and ready to go….there were a few rules I wanted to be sure they learned from the start. It can be tricky….and there is a learning curve…but we wanted to give them a few guidelines to follow. Even social media deserves certain social graces….
Here is what we came up with….if you have some to add please join in the discussion and comment below.
1. Use proper grammar. “You” should be written You, not U. etc.….
2. If you are upset, angry, disappointed in someone…or something….there is no need to tell the world about it. These remarks are not helpful as a status update.
3. Think before you type. Appropriate status updates are useful and interesting to ALL your Facebook friends…not just a select few. Before you publish a status update think to yourself…is this appropriate for my mom & dad to see and my neighbors? Share things that are funny, genuine and interesting.
4. Spell check. Poor spelling appears lazy. If you have misspelled a word then delete it and re publish.
5. Pictures that you place on Facebook can be seen by everyone. Be mindful to share pictures that are appropriate for ALL to see.
6. Don’t overshare. Friends do not need to know that you finished your math homework or that you are feeding the dog. It is not very interesting. Also, don’t overshare family business. What is discussed at the dinner table every night does not need to be a status update.
7. Cheer on others. Facebook is a great way to be more involved in your family and friends lives. Being happy for others and “liking” a status is a way of cheering them on…and being a supportive friend.
8. If someone is not kind to you in school…they will probably not be very kind online. Don’t friend people online who bring you down.
9. More is not always better. Pay no attention to how many “friends” one person has over another. Numbers don’t mean anything when it comes to faithful friends.
10. Unplug. Don’t forget….the most joy comes from spending time with a friend in person…instead of on the screen ;)
Think of it like this….if you were walking into a coffee shop…and you spot an old friend. You chat a bit and see how they are doing…and wish them well. Facebook should be looked at as a similar exchange. You wouldn’t walk up to that person…and just start telling them how you can’t stand waiting in line for lunch…or that your dog won’t stop barking…or that this girl Jamie in school won’t stop passing notes in front of the teacher.
Make it a purposeful relationship….so when that friend remembers you…they are thinking about someone they admire and respect.
Just my 2 cents :)