Welcome to another exciting edition of Netiquette – where we look at how we can mind our manners on the Internet. In the history of the Worldwide Web, there’s no place that seems to invite more random acts of rudeness than Facebook. In this tip, I’m going to tackle some of the behaviors that I find most annoying. If you’d never consider any of this nonsense, good on you. If you see some behaviors that get on your last nerve as well, feel free to share on Facebook. Just write something like “Interesting read.”

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1. Vaguebooking. Vague-booking is a term coined to describe it when someone posts something along the lines of “I can’t go on!” Then when folks inquire as to what the problem is, they reply. “Nothing. Everything fine.” I want to point out that I’m not calling out folks who say something like “I need prayers for a family member. I can’t get into the situation, but please keep us in mind.”  I’m talking about posts meant to incite attention.  I always try to run posts by a test I like to call the work/restaurant standard. Is it something you’d stand up and shout to people at work or a room full of strangers at a restaurant.

“Happy birthday, Fred!” meets that test.  “I can’t go on!” would bring a flurry of concerned questions from coworkers and maybe even some offers of assistance from the strangers at a restaurant. But it’s likely not something you’d share unless their was an immediate emergency. If it’s too private to talk about. It’s too private to put on Facebook.

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2. Over-sharing. The opposite of vaguebooking, this is far too specific posting. Sometimes it’s a shot of our interesting new rash, other times it’s a blow-by-blow of a fight with your spouse. Of course, other people will chime in with comments and things just start to escalate. Again, is this a spat you’d be having at work or at a restaurant? I’m also talking about disagreements with relatives and friends. Not really a lot of need to share that information with the world. As my favorite TV judge, Marilyn Milian, likes to say, “Say it, forget it. Write it, regret it.”

Do you think people say too much on social media?  Let us know in the comments.

~ Cynthia