This is long overdue.
It all started with a little thing, like all great things do, come to think of it.
My sister and I are very close. Like best friends. We sometimes do freaky things, like we would be miles apart, but we would do the same thing at approximately the same time. And it’s not anything usual like having cereals for breakfast. We often say the same weird thing at the same time, things that only people with our code of humor would say.
Don’t let my many unanswered posts on her FB wall fool you about our bond. If you’re good friends enough like we are in reality -where things still matter, I want to believe, more than in the virtual world- it’s not that big of a deal if my stupid comments stay unanswered or ‘unliked’ on FB.
But this is where it all started. I wrote something on her wall that wasn’t really serious and then, since she left it unanswered, I kept commenting on my own posts (which, in hindsight, is pretty pathetic) until this ‘common FB friend’ we had ALSO commented on it. This is when we BOTH flipped. Who was he to butt in our very sacred conversation like this? Maybe he thought he was doing me a favor, or that he was a great friend to us, but primo, we don’t have that great of a friend yet to allow such an intrusion, segundo, neither of us considered him that great of a friend, so two versus one, I think we were in our right to flip.
That’s when I decided that with more or less half of our live on Social Network Services – in this case Facebook – it was high time we draft some set rules on our behavior on FB, something like the better known bro-code, but I guess much less cool.
1. Don’t butt in conversations that are CLEARLY personal, like two awesome sisters having fun. Although one is not apparent on the post, her answer and presence are understated, which anyone who had a hint on our special relationship would definitely know. It’s spelled ‘Social Network’, but it’s read ‘I still need my personal space/privacy’, at least for those who are smart enough to perceive the subtle difference. I think FB creators and employees do know, because they’ve started creating a bunch of ‘privacy’ tools. So if you use FB, you should be just as smart to spot the difference. Rule of thumb: in case of doubt, you’re probably not seeing the difference, so walk away. Don’t leave your stupid comments in personal conversations, which the actual people involved are too polite to get rid of.
2. FB is not a stadium or arena for you to compete on who works the hardest. Clearly, if you’re updating your FB status on the late hours you’re spending at work, maybe it’s because you’ve spent so much time on FB, especially since anyone can see on the FB feedback and thread all the comments you have updated an liked. Stop complaining about the work you haven’t done. Go do it. Okay, we all grant you one or two complaints, since people can’t restrain themselves from lamenting on their pitiful lives (knowing deep inside that even so, their lives are much better than their friends’). It’s in our genes, so there, you have two chances. Use them wisely.
3. Don’t ‘like’ all the bloody comments just for the sake of it. I personally find it quite disappointing to find out that all my notifications, which I sometimes leave until the very last moment to check, trying to control my trembling fingers as I click on the bright and shiny red number, are about someone ‘liking’ my pictures/status/comments. Okay, maybe a ‘like’ is better than no like at all. Maybe I’m being too greedy. But when you see that all the dozens of comments have been ‘liked’ as well as yours, when clearly, some lack the wit and wisdom I have tried to offer through my comments, well, that ‘Like’ button doesn’t seem so special anymore. Especially when it comes to something I posted like a gazillion years and totally forgot about it, don’t ‘like’ it because you forgot to then. If you forgot it then, it probably wasn’t worth it. I don’t need your ‘pity likes’.
Exceptions: birthday posts. Since like half of them are from people you barely see once a year, I know that posting a simple ‘Thank you’ seems useless and disrespectful. Just in those moments, a ‘like’ click does make sense and is much more respectful.
4. Don’t ‘friend’ me if you’ve seen me once, at a large party, and we didn’t share more than a few sentences. Don’t ‘friend’ me if it’s been more than 5 years we last saw/spoke to each other and the chances are, we will continue to do so in the future. AND we weren’t even that close 5 years ago, for that matter. Maybe some people like seeing 1,000 above their Friends list… I just think it shows how shallow and easy you are, opening your friendship and heart to half the world population. I refuse to be friends with you then!
5. Don’t post stupid comments or try to make a joke when I post something serious. I’m clearly trying to show you how smart I am, that I can think and speak for myself, although what I mostly post on my wall are ‘shares’ from pages like ‘Life is a bitch’ or ‘Damnyouautocorrect’. Bear with me and my awesomeness. After all, I bear with all YOUR humble brags (no, scratch that, JUST brags. Nothing humble) without being a douchebag myself.
6. In continuation with the #5, when people post how tired they are, they want your SYMPATHY (if you still know what that is). They don’t want you to tell them how lucky they are, they have it easy, they don’t want to hear how tired YOU are AS WELL. If they wanted to know, well, they would have asked, or better, they would have read your bloody last dozen posts, which are all about how tired you are and how hard working you are, but no one acknowledges you. It’s not a competition to see who is the most tired and hard working, we all are, so try to comfort the other person and he/she will do the same for you. There’s always someone saying ‘Me, only 2! And for the past 5 days!’ to the status ‘I only managed to sleep for 4 hours last night’.
The FB-code still has much to be improved, but these are my primary findings.