How Not to be Hated on Facebook

Written by Claire Suddath, a self-described “community for love, sex, dating and relationship advice,” has created an instructional video called “Facebook Manners and You.” Styled after one of those frighteningly cheery ’50s educational films, the video’s instructions for proper behavior on the “electric friendship generator” is funny in a hits-close-to-home way. (I mean, no it doesn’t. No one has ever posted embarrassing photos of me on the Internet!) (See the 25 best blogs of 2009.)

The video covers everything from how to dump someone (do not peak up with your partner by changing your relationship status) to the best practices for starting a hate group (don’t create an “I hate so-and-so” group. But if you already did, don’t use it to call someone a communist). Still, there are a number of Facebook etiquette rules the video does not cover. TIME would like to suggest these additional “electric friendship” guidelines:

1. Stop taking quizzes. Nobody cares what literary time period you are.

2. If you sync your Twitter account to Facebook so that you fill others’ news feeds with a constant stream of mundane updates and references to people with little @ symbols before their names, be prepared for people to de-friend you. Maybe even in real life. (Read “25 More Things I Didn’t Want to Learn About You On Facebook.”)

3. Don’t friend someone you don’t actually know

4. If you must friend someone you don’t know, include a message explaining why you are doing so. For example, “Hi, I’m your cousin’s roommate!” would suffice.

5. Actually, no. Why would your cousin’s roommate want to be your friend? That’s still weird.

6. Don’t invite people to events if they don’t live in your city. I’m glad you still live in our old college town, but guess what? I don’t. Even if I did, I still wouldn’t waste my Friday night listening to you play music at that vegan coffee shop I frequented when I was 19 because I couldn’t get into bars.

7. I’m sorry your grandfather died of emphysema, but I will not join your “cause.”

8. Make sure all your photos are rotated in the proper direction. How will people know how fun your Fourth of July barbecue was if every picture looks like you fell over?

9. If you create a group called “Lost my cell phone; need your numbers!,” I will join, but I won’t give you my number.

10. Cryptic status updates about your mental state – “Rachel is trying so hard,” “Rachel wishes things were different,” “Rachel is starting her life over” – don’t make you sound intriguing, just lonely and pathetic.

16 thoughts on “How Not to be Hated on Facebook

  1. TCape

    GOOD CALL! Every one of those describes a pet peeve of mine.

    Here’s another way to not be hated on Facebook:

    Not every time a person is on Facebook do they have time to chat or even want to chat with you. Most people don’t “hang out” on Facebook. They check their stuff and then leave. You should do the same.

  2. Ben

    Here are 2 more:
    Quit sending crap to everyone in the world; I don’t want some imaginary plant nor do I want to be overwhelmed with annoying requests about plants/pets/gifts/drinks every time I log into Facebook.

    Remember how old you actually are and act accordingly. If you’re 40 and using FB to re-connect with high-school classmates, cool. If you’re 40 and still sending the same asinine patter (“Dude, let’s party all night!”) you wrote on a scrap of paper and stuck in someones locker, that’s pathetic, stop! If you’re 40 and using FB to meet high school age people, you need help or to be locked up; stop before someone stops you permanently.

  3. facegay

    Here’s a good tip, don’t get facebook. Funny how some of the posters on here are hating on certain aspects of facebook while at the same time using it. Talk about hypocrytes. Facebook is for losers who aren’t satisfied with their real world life.

  4. Nathan

    Facebook isn’t supposed to be a substitute for “real world life”, nor is it for most people. Using Facebook to connect with people you can’t see on a daily basis doesn’t make you a loser. You can’t group everyone who uses Facebook into one category. Social networking sites, while they have their pitfalls, are one of the greatest advances in casual communication we have made thus far.

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