Net Worth: Manners often lacking on social networking hub

I’ve been known to go on tirades about the plummeting lack of manners and etiquette at movie theaters. I’ve even been on the aggressive end of sending a patron’s phone flying toward the exit after a cellular conversation went on too long during the climax of an adventure pic. So you texters beware ...

But today my diatribe takes aim at my favorite social networking site. Specifically, why are folks becoming such cads on Facebook?

Once solely a method to interact or reconnect with friends, Facebook is gradually being monopolized by dark forces. First, it’s becoming a “look at me” place to brag about one’s professional accomplishments. Second, it’s turning into a marketing incubator.

In hopes of keeping this network from sinking faster than NBC, I want to reveal some of the Facebook credos to which I subscribe.

1. I only “friend” people I know.

This may seem obvious, but you’ll be amazed how many individuals I don’t recognize try to friend me under the assumption I’ll write about them or hire them or something. These are the same people who in high school asked the prom queen they never once talked to if she’d sign their yearbook. (Note: I was never prom queen ... or king.)

2. If I’m your friend, I’m not your fan.

Based on Rule 1, I already think highly of you by being your friend on Facebook. So don’t ask me to become a faceless minion on your professional fan page. Why are you making your own fan page, anyway? If you’re prominent enough, some teen in Sri Lanka will create one for you already.

3. Don’t tag me in something with which I have no connection.

Recently a filmmaker acquaintance tagged me in a video, which popped up on the front of my page broadcasting to everybody that they should watch this thing in which I was supposedly featured. Turns out the video was an investigative TV package that this director had put together in his distant past. It had absolutely no connection to me whatsoever. It was basically just a cheap way for him to trumpet, “Look at this cool thing I once did.”

The problem was it was a video about Nazi skinheads. So the implication of his tagging was essentially implying to the world, “Hey look at this old Nazi footage that Niccum was in!”

I may be bald, but I ain’t no skinhead.

I couldn’t delete his name fast enough.

4. I have no interest in joining your cause.

Even if I agree that shooting Tasers at manatees is a terrible crime against nature, you’ll need to recruit me the old-fashioned way: having me hang up on you when you randomly call my house.

5. I’ll take your quiz, but I might lie.

It’s occasionally a hoot to figure out Which Marvel Superhero Are You (Cyclops) or to list the 15 Things You Don’t Know About Me (former Olympian). But I have no problem exaggerating the details for a more interesting read. I do it all the time in this column.

6. I don’t want to play Mob Wars.

I already work at The World Company. I have no desire to join another organization where I’ll constantly worry if doing the wrong thing around the wrong boss will get me whacked.


alm77 12 years, 8 months ago

Wow. I thought this was a piece on courtesy and etiquette.
1. I only friend people I actually know too, but I'm nice to those I barely remember. As a matter of fact, some of those very same people have become better friends to me because of our online interaction. Maybe you shouldn't be so pretentious, after-all we're not in high school anymore. 2.If you were a real friend, you wouldn't mind helping your ever-so-carefully-chosen friends promote their businesses, artwork and music. You'd be proud to help them put food on the table and support their efforts to live their dreams.
3. You don't always "tag" somebody because they are in something, sometimes you tag people because you want to make sure that they see it or you want their opinion on it. I doubt this guy even realized it was going to (OMG) "show up" on your page for the world to see. Don't act like you're so important that his post implied your endorsement.
4. Lastly, learn how to block applications. Yes, a million request get annoying. Nip them in the bud early and you don't have to worry about it.

This piece just shows you've spent your time writing an article regarding a social networking site that you're either not entirely sure how to use, or you're just to self-important to be bother with.

I usually don't get this brutal with my comments, but I'm banking on my being in the majority feeling this way.

Marcy McGuffie 12 years, 8 months ago

Jon - I'm curious, do these people who you don't know, come right out and ask you to do a story on them, or hire them? Are you just making assumptions about their intentions? I occasionally get complete strangers trying to "friend" me and there is usually no sort of explanation as to "why" they want to friend me. Heaven knows, it's not for my professional connections! I assume that they're either trying to get a strangers' personal info or god bless them, they like my looks. ;-) It's easy enough to deny their friendship request. Once, one of those people tried to friend me after I denied and I simply blocked them. Woosh - they're "gone!"

As for becoming a fan of someone's professional interests, or what not...unless it's a venture, you do not support, I don't see the harm in supporting them. As Alm pointed out, if you've thoroughly screened them and they met your requirements to be a friend, what's the problem? I want my friends to do well with their business and artistic ventures!

I also was baffled the first time someone tagged me in something, that was not really related to me. Then, I realized it was simply a way for that person to have me see something. I didn't necessarily want to be tagged, so after I read it - I simply untagged myself and shrugged it off.

I first signed up for Facebook when it was only for college students and I quickly friended classmates. In other words, I didn't really "know" my friends. Later on, I ended up deleting my account after one of my husband's exes became a little too friendly. I was ignorant and opened up the lines of communication, to satiate my curiosity about her. I felt bad disappearing, because she was genuinely friendly...but incredibly weird...and annoying. I had no emotional ties to Facebook and it was easy enough to leave the Facebook community. Later on, Facebook became a popular site for more and more. So, I decided to give it another go. Turns out my account was only semi-deleted, hanging out there in cyberspace, waiting for me to revive it. I blocked the hubby's ex, friended people I do know and have a connection and have had many positive experiences. The experience is what you want to make it. Something I once loathed, I have grown to love.

It's not evil. Select your friends carefully, share with care, adjust your settings to customize your experience...and voila, FB ain't so bad. If you are genuinely that disgusted with Facebook, then GET OUT! Ain't no shame.

Nope, I haven't ran into any of these cads on Facebook. Then again, I wouldn't get my panties all in a bunch because someone asked me to play a game. If I did get upset by that, FB DOES make it easy to block the apps.

shrug I just haven't ran into this lack of manners issue. If I want to get all in a tizzy over bad manners, I simply go read the comments on LJWorld articles. Nothing like nameless, faceless people hurling insults at one another, thinking that they are ALWAYS right...

Aufbrezeln Eschaton 12 years, 8 months ago

And here I was laboring under the misconception that "social networking" meant meeting new people who share my interests and helping my friends promote their artistic and business ventures to people they're not already in contact with in the hopes that they'll do the same in return. In actuality, it seems, social networking is about sharing what you had for lunch with the same people you've known for fifteen years. Consider me enlightened!

(I'm with you on the Mob Wars thing, though.)

Marcy McGuffie 12 years, 8 months ago

Who wants to be a virtual sorostitute with me on Sorority Life? ;-) Screw Mob Wars...SL is where it's at! I'll be sure to send you an invite, Misty! <---- tongue in cheek

alm77 12 years, 8 months ago

My virtual sororitute is so kiss-ass that I'm bored with it. Seriously. No body can take her down and I think I only played that game for two weeks. Tops.

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