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How to Be a Good Facebook Friend: 4 Essential Facebook Etiquette Tips

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how-to-be-a-good-facebook-friend-4-essential-facebook-etiquette-tips

Once upon a time, good friendship etiquette meant returning phone calls and showing up for coffee dates punctually. Enter the internet—and social media—and suddenly things got a lot more complicated.

Today, most of us stay in touch with existing friends and make new connections via Facebook, a platform with numerous features (messaging, groups, a timeline, etc.) aimed at enhancing the social experience. As entertaining and enriching as these features are, however, they make maintaining proper friendship etiquette more challenging. A few tips on how to hone your Facebook manners are therefore a must before you begin using this platform in earnest:

1. Use the messaging feature when you need to discuss something private with one of your friends. Posting a message that’s intended for a specific friend—even if it’s something relatively “casual” and harmless—on your wall is considered a bit tactless. Think of it this way: If you were hanging out with a group of friends “IRL” and turned your back on them to start a private conversation with just one person in the group, that would seem pretty rude, right? It’s no different when you’re interacting on social media. If you want to talk to a specific individual about something that only concerns you and them, use the messaging feature instead of posting on your public wall.

2. Be mindful of the kind of content you post. Most people who use Facebook end up accruing a large and diverse pool of friends, some of whom they know well, some of whom they barely know at all. It’s probable that your political, religious, or cultural views are going to differ substantially from some of your more distant Facebook acquaintances, who may come from a very different background than your own. You should therefore try to avoid posting anything that might be read as offensive by people with different political, religious, or cultural views than your own.

3. Reply to every comment you get on your posts. Acknowledging comments is a fundamental part of Facebook etiquette. Even if you just say “thank you” in response to a comment you’ve received, you’re letting the poster know you appreciate the fact that they took time out of their day to talk to you. You wouldn’t just ignore something a friend said to you in real life, so you shouldn’t ignore their digital remarks—it’s that simple.

4. Ask permission before posting photos of people you know. Not everyone likes to have their photos posted on Facebook by their friends, especially if those photos are silly or unflattering. Take a moment to call or text your friends and ask for permission before you upload pictures of them to your account. (Note that this rule applies to other personal information too, like friend’s phone numbers, addresses, etc.)

With the above tips in mind, you should be able to avoid the worst Facebook faux pas. Remember, however, that no matter how adept you become at using Facebook, it isn’t a substitute for “real time” communication. Make sure to still call, text, and visit your local friends regularly, even if you also keep in contact via Facebook.



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  1. KeithConnor

    To adults who remember times before social media and the internet, lists like this seem a little bit trivial. But if you were raising a kid right now, it WOULD be important to include common sense tips about interacting with people in a virtual space in a way that keeps them healthy and safe (and helps them not drain other people).


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