Looking for Friends in All the Wrong Places: Facebook Rules

I am frequently astounded when people post hate-spewing diatribes against unnamed but “you know who you are” friends on Facebook. Leaving aside the issue of the right time and place for everything, Why even converse with (or spew at) people who you don’t care for?

If we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with (thank you Jim Rohn), then why on earth would you choose to surround yourself with any less than the very best of people, either online or off?  Here are a few ways that I ensure that my online life is filled with productive and positive people.

As I have mentioned before, I must have rules in my life or else I tend to get carried away and say yes to everything (including several unfortunate shopping incidents). So I have created a set of rules that guide my online interactions and make my life generally pleasant and upbeat. While these might not good rules for you, I do hope they serve to get you cogitating about how you approach your social media persona so you don’t become non grata.

Facebook Rules

I have two rules for accepting friend requests on Facebook 1) I have to know your middle name or 2) I have to know something that I could potentially blackmail you with.  WOW!  Didn’t I say we are the average…etc. and here I am discussing blackmail–how hypocritical is that?

Not at all, I simple think that we all behave a little nicer if there are things we would prefer not have made public (and that may include middle names in some cases).  The point isn’t that I ever will blackmail someone, it’s just that I know them well enough to have some “dirt” on them and most likely, conversely, they probably have some dirt on me.

As for those who spew at others?  Everyone gets one “get out of jail free card” and then they come off my friends list. Life is just too short.  But because I have been so diligent in following my home-grown rules, I can proudly say I’ve only removed two people from my list in as many years.

Next week I’ll explain my entirely different set of connective rules for LinkedIn.


Filed under Life Hacks, Social Media

4 responses to “Looking for Friends in All the Wrong Places: Facebook Rules

  1. Duane Hallock

    Great insights, Jill. I think of Facebook and other social media platforms as ways to connect with people, not to alienate others via our parochial opinions on politics, religion or other topics. While I’m a huge believer in freedom of speech, I’ve unfriended a handful of people who continued to use my Facebook wall for their forum for spewing out hateful comments.

    As your Facebook friend, I’m wondering how I fit into your rules. You don’t know my middle name, and until now I didn’t think you knew anything to blackmail me with. Now I’m getting paranoid, however. You’ve got me thinking, which is the ultimate objective a well-written blog post.

  2. Hi Jill–was wondering about that blackmail-able material you might have on me. Since my Facebook identify includes my middle initial, it’s quite possible you know my middle name.
    The fact that we both have probably seen each other with dark circles under our eyes after a tough day of media training, well, I guess that ought to do it.

    Since Facebook is being used to screen job applicants by some employers it really ought to be used with, shall I say? A sense of old fashion grace and maturity?

  3. So true, Jill! I am fascinated that people think Facebook and other social media mediums are the place to rant about those ‘you know who you are’ folks. Why give them any more energy is my first question. I’m also amazed at those who can only seem to share their viewpoint by putting down anyone who might think or see things differently. Have an opinion, share your thoughts but do you have to bash everyone who’s different? That just seems to shut down communication…even if I agree with your perspective.
    Rules are good…and I know I fit into both rules; so we’re good!

  4. Erich Von Klinkensteiner

    I have rules for my account too, and I really like yours as well because it keeps one of my rules from having to happen in the first place. One of my rules is that I delete “lurkers”. I define a lurker as a person who you have known in the past (such as a high school classmate, former co-workers, etc.) and whom you may have lost touch with and wish to reunite via Facebook. My rule is that if that person fades into obscurity again and does not involve you again in their life, then you can’t continue to be in my Facebook either. I define obscurity as “you haven’t spoke to me, posted anything or communicated with me since initially friend-ing you, or you quit for the past 6 months despite my attempt to engage you.” I am amazed by how many people who I clear out once a year and ‘de-friend’ who ask to come back. Primarily they just read my postings as if I am there for their entertainment. This is why my profile is closed and not wide open in the first place. No lurkers.

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