Monday, October 23, 2006


Okay, so my roommate and I were doing some simultaneous Facebooking tonight. One "Oh no she didn't" from the other room later and here I am. You see, now that Facebook has flung its arms wide open to anyone with internet access and spare time, adults are joining left and right. (Note: the day that my mom joins, ya'll can kiss me goodbye. There is only room for one LJ on Facebook.) Anyway, adults have a disadvantage. Since they are just now dipping their toes in the world wide web's waters, they don't know what is Facebook acceptable and what is not (poking your children's friends, for example, is NOT considered acceptable but rather a little pedophilesque).

The conversation that ensued after my roommate and I discovered yet ANOTHER profile picture of a girl in a bikini led me to feel the need to put into writing, once and for all, the Proper Rules/Etiquette of Facebook. Those new to the Facebook need educating, and those that break these cardinal rules day in and day out need reminding. (These may or may not apply to MySpace. I would not know since I am the last person on earth not on MySpace.)

Rule 1: You may get called names if your profile picture is of you in a swimsuit.

This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Would you wear a swimsuit to class? No! You will be seen by just as many people - if not more - on Facebook, so why would you elect to wear a swimsuit now? Because it's a cute picture of you and your friends? Then why did you crop them all out of the photo? Because you have a good body? News flash: we all already know that from the other 249 pictures of yourself, taken when you were at Skybar this summer wearing the proverbial shortshorts and heels, that were Tagged by Others (a.k.a. the exact same shots as in your albums, only taken 6" to the left from your best friend's camera). Oh, is it to attract boys? Lady, would you really date someone who messaged you on Facebook to tell you he likes your Facebook picture? Cause what he really wanted to write was that you have a nice rack. (Extra shame on those who do this, but are still members of the "I Got Asked Out on Facebook! Oh no he didn't!" group.) And boys - would you really want to date a girl who puts herself on display for all of Facebook and all of your friends to see? (If the answer is yes, then what you're looking for is found at a strip club, not Facebook). The bottom line: bikinis, like babies, were not made for Facebook. If you have no choice in the matter and every picture of you is in a bikini because you're a full time bikini model and never take off your bikini ever ever ever (which includes no one that I know), then at least keep it in your album. I reserve my right to have a choice as to whether I want to view what you did on "SpRiNg BrEaK 2k6" or not.

Rule 2: More than two mentions of your new spouse/fiancee is tacky.
Thanks to the new "news feed" feature, we can all see without the slightest effort that you are now betrothed. If that's not enough, Facebook even goes so far as to find a picture of just the two of you, and includes that with your day in the sun on my news feed. Let that be enough! It is not necessary to include your beloved in your profile picture, indicate your intentions under "relationship status," list your page as your website, mention his/her name, 'wedding planning' or 'being married' among your interests, AND make an album called "I'm Engaged!" or "Wedding Photos!" WE KNOW! And anyone that you are close to should have both gotten a phone call announcing your engagement AND been at your wedding. Don't get me wrong: it is fine to feature one or two of these inclusions on your profile. Exciting times are meant to be shared. And I won't even count your Wall. You are not responsible for what your friends write. But you are responsible for what you elect to share, and sharing more than twice is "in your face" overload. Consider your Facebook profile a conversation with an acquaintance. You could not mention your engagement or your new husband/wife more than twice in one single conversation without sounding ridiculous. As a rule of thumb, no one should scan your profile and read or see fiance/spouse's name more than twice.

Rule 3: Do not list your cell phone number on your profile.

Nothing good can ever come of this. Either I will see it, write it down and prank call you for being so haughty as to think someone would see your bikini picture and want your number, or someone will see your bikini picture and want your number. Do you really want to talk to anyone with that much time on his/her hands? No. Take your cell phone number off.

Rule 4: Don't advertise your age.
Originally, Facebook was created so that those of us that shared the same space, whether it was in a class room or chapter room, could stay in touch and network. Why Facebook has slutted itself out to adults and children alike is beyond me, and not going to be discussed in this particular post. However, you can do your best to blend into the crowd by not advertising how old you are on Facebook. I don't mean actual age, as in not listing your birthday. What I mean is that if you missed the Facebook bandwagon while you were in school, just don't put the year you graduated, because if it was before 2004/2005, we all know you are That Guy or That Girl who got a Facebook account post-college. This ESPECIALLY applies to all the adults that I see joining. I can turn the other cheek to the '03 and even '02 graduates, but if you graduated from college before computers were even a household item, as in the 70s or 80s, just don't list it. 'Auburn Alum' will do the trick. There's no need to advertise to all of us that you are a sad but proud member of the Class of '81 that thinks that this is another dating site like e-Harmony, or that you need to keep tabs on your unruly child. I think the general idea is that if you can't find anyone on Facebook that was born before you graduated from college, then you might not want to join.

Rule 5: Not everyone you've ever met in your life needs to be your Facebook friend.
My general rule of thumb is that if I would walk by you in a Wal-Mart and not say hi, or even go up an aisle just to avoid you (not because I don't like you but because I can't think of your name), then we really aren't meant to be Facebook friends. This includes people I haven't seen since kindergarten. It is both frightening and flattering that you want to be my friend just because we took turns on the tire swing, but if we were reunited face-to-face in our local Wal-Mart, would you be so bold then? Probably not. Additionally, people that you meet once at a tailgate, band party, swap, class, etc., don't need to be your friend after the first conversation. Wait and talk to them again so that when you Request to Add Him/Her as a Friend, he/she will know who you are and won't think you raced home from the aforementioned event to seek him out. That just looks sad.

Rule 6: Show me the paychecks you get from modeling if you're going to use your portfolio as your profile.
You are not a model - you are from Decatur. Just because you are tall with long hair does not entitle you to post photo after photo of you with wet hair or scowling or in men's T-shirts or posing with your maltese. This is especially unnacceptable if it's really obvious that you took the picture. If you absolutely have to post the outtakes from your latest magazine shoot, then title it as such: "I Am (trying to become) A Model." No one thinks you're a model or considers you a model. Rather, we all think you are out of control for trying so hard to make us believe otherwise.

Rule 7: You don't need a whole album for one weekend.
If you are able to take 60 pictures in a 48 hour span, not only do you need a life, but I suspect you also need a nap, because that kind of hardcore photography probably prohibits sleep. Congratulations that you went to the football game this weekend. I hope you enjoyed your fall formal. You attended a concert? Neat! But leave some things a mystery and don't post every single picture that you take over a 2 day span, especially the ones that are ridiculously similar. Thanks to JennJoBo for suggesting this rule.

**Just added: Rule 8: Three posts on a wall; why not just call?
Thanks to Eric for suggesting this rule (...which I have broken on multiple occasions, so yes I am preaching to the choir). Facebook is not Instant Messenger. A wall is like the dry-erase boards we used to have outside of our dorm rooms. They are made for saying "You looked great Saturday!" or "I can't wait to see you!" or "Call me after Grey's!" or "Congrats on getting engaged!" Would you run back and forth down the hallway of the dorm to make your plans for the weekend or something by writing it on a dry erase board? No. If you are able to conduct an entire conversation on someone's wall by posting three times or more in one day, then do yourself a favor and pick up the phone, or at the very least, take it to My Messages. Special exceptions to this rule are given during the workday, when some of us with jobs aren't able to call people, therefore walls are all we have; or when you have tried calling and can't get the person to answer and a wall is your last resort. But if they are unbusy enough to respond to your multiple wall postings in a single day, then they should be free enough to pick up the phone, too.

I feel like those are enough rules to start. Expect more rules to follow as I continue my efforts to clean up Facebook, one profile at a time. And feel free to add your own under comments.


  1. Thanks for adding my rule!

  2. I agree with rule #5. With all your rules what do you suggest people post on facebook?

    In theory facebook is suppose to be for your friends, not have everyone under the sun on it. I see no harm in posting what you like.

    Besides if everyone followed your rules, Facebook would be really boring and I would have a lot less laughs.


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