Facebook etiquette on personal walls.

Facebook is an extremely popular social media platform, in the 1980’s – 90’s email was the exciting new communications platform, now its social media, and the biggest and most popular beast in this field is facebook.

We (most of us) have become genetically programmed to go on Facebook every day in the same way we used to check email. We still check email however as soon as we see a message on Facebook we rush there with an adrenalin rush, once we arrive at facebook heaven, it’s hard to get away. It’s extremely seductive.

“as soon as we see a message on Facebook we rush there with an adrenalin rush, once we arrive at facebook heaven, it’s hard to get away. It’s extremely seductive”.

In the old days, we would pick up the phone and chat to share what is happening in our lives and find out what was happening in our friends lives, however, we are developing ever more sophisticated ways to communicate in written words, images and video where we do not have to physically talk to the other person using the web; amazing when you think about it!

When we sign up for a Facebook account in effect facebook gives us our own little slice of cyberspace real estate, our Facebook account and particularly our own private Facebook wall.

Technically facebook owns this space and in effect rents it to us for FREE on a lifetime basis as long as we obey the Facebook community rules.

Facebook monitors the activity of its users, and we can also be responsible for our own activity and gently police the activity of other users. Facebook creates an inbuilt reporting system and allows us to unfriend and delete offending material. In effect between facebook’s inbuilt systems and our human intervention, the community is managed reasonably well.

All Communities have rules, both written and assumed, or written and unwritten as to the conduct of behaviour of its members. We call these rules etiquette. On Wikipedia; you will find the etiquette of business quoted as follows “The etiquette of business is the set of written and unwritten rules of conduct that make social interactions run more smoothly”.

Could not have said it better myself! In other words, it’s to do with behaviour, consideration of others besides yourself, a little old-fashioned word called manners.

Sadly though for some, they seem incapable of considering other users and blatantly behave on Facebook in ways that are at best annoying to other users and at worst an extremely upsetting form of invasion of privacy.

I love my personal Facebook wall; it’s my opportunity to share and post about things I am passionate about and communicate with my friends. I am happy to allow my friends to view, share and comment on my personal wall content because they are my friends.

Inviting a friend to your personal Facebook wall is a bit like inviting a friend round for a cup of tea and a chat in your kitchen. Although you might invite a stranger into your kitchen who later becomes a friend, mostly the cosy sharing you do in your kitchen over a cuppa is intimate and reserved for family and friends.

On Facebook, there is a process to go through in inviting people to be your friend. Of course on visiting any user’s page you will see there is a button on the top right of that user page where you can invite them to become your friend. Facebook also provides a list on the top right of your personal wall or home page of people you might know or want to connect with whom are connected to other friends of yours.

It’s perfectly reasonable to click on a bunch of these a day, say 20 or more. Facebook does impose a daily limit although I am not sure how many this is.

Once you click on a link, Facebook will automatically send a message to the person letting them know that you requested friendship. If they click on the email and accept you are now technically new friends and are allowed to freely communicate with each other.

Once the connection is made some users, unfortunately, start by going in all guns blazing without contacting you privately first and instead expose themselves and their wares in full view not just of you, but also in view of all your family and other friends who share your cosy intimate space.

They do not seem to consider that the content of their post might not be suitable for you or your audience, they don’t really care, they are on a mission as serial raiders of others private Facebook space.

If you think that my description is a little too graphic, I am saying it to be a little provocative on purpose, to make an important point.

Put it another way, It’s a bit like being burgled in the middle of the night, you wake up in the morning and realise someone has been in your home uninvited. How would you feel? That’s what it’s like when you discover someone has posted their blatant home business opportunity advert on your personal wall.

I could be more graphic, one online mentor described it this way recently “It’s a bit like someone pooping in your kitchen” how would you feel about that? Well shocked, offended and you certainly would want that mess cleared away as quickly as possible, and to disinfect the space and open all the windows!

Now in the Network Marketing business opportunity world, let’s face it, the reason people often post on your wall before getting to know you (poop in your kitchen) is they are excited to see your virgin territory full of juicy new prospects (Your contacts), it’s not just about you, it never is, they deliberately want to connect not just with you but with as many of your contacts as possible too.

They may disguise their post with “Hey __ (your name) ___, so cool to meet you, thanks for requesting friendship …… and then they add … by the way, check out my New XXXXXXX  Business SWEEPING the globe and making many people RICH!”

Dumb idiots! In their desperation, they are behaving very badly, abusing your space, and deliberately blasting you, but in effect circumventing you and going directly to all your contacts with their offer irrespective of how you feel about it?

Not a very smart way to start a new friendship hey? Darn right it’s not, it’s very inconsiderate, shows their lack of respect and that they do not understand about business etiquette on Facebook or to put it bluntly are just devoid of manners.

I have to admit, as you can probably tell such behaviour is one of my pet hates, I normally will, of course, delete such posts as soon as I find them and send a personal message politely in a nice way to start to try to educate them in proper etiquette and give them another chance to be a more considerate friend.

However, if they start getting defensive and on too much of an ego trip as one opinionated big shot did with me yesterday, my reply (Although I did not say it quite this way) is so what, you are a big shot (Thanks for letting me know that), even more reason why you should learn to behave more responsibly, you dingbat!

So for the benefit of some sanity in this virtual world let me share with some of the unwritten rules of conduct (Etiquette) here on Facebook and how you can make some great friendships over time by considering others and doing things in a more respectful way.

1. When someone requests friendship of you, in response if you want to contact them and say hi then send them whatever you want to say in the first instance by PRIVATE message, this at least shows some respect to the other person and is a good way to start building your potential new friendship. This leaves the door open for them to then decide how they respond.

Even sending your pitch this way is okay, although not necessarily ideal, at least you are doing it privately which is better than blasting on their wall.

2. When you request friendship of someone else on Facebook, and they respond send them a nice personalised reply as soon as you can, again by personal message and do not post directly on their Facebook wall.

3. It is recommended in your first few messages you share nice things, or generic tools, services, inspiring quotes, anything other than your business opportunity! This shows you are interested in them as a person, have something to contribute that may help them in their life journey without ramming your business opportunity down their throat.

This is all called relationship building, it shows consideration of the other person and their personal space, it shows that you want to share with them directly and are not circumventing them, allowing them to decide how to respond to your information. It’s called being polite.

Once you start to make new friendships this way you will find people much more responsive to your business opportunity. Besides which, does it really matter if they are interested in your business or not if you make a great new friend?

Friendship is priceless; it’s worth taking the time to build new friendships.

Learn to give of yourself to help others to feel better, be happier, sure share your money-making ideas, but do so gently following correct facebook etiquette and let’s all have fun, making friends the right way inviting each other round to our virtual little cyberspace kitchens for a nice cup of tea. How civilised.

“Learn to give of yourself to help others to feel better, be happier, sure share your money-making ideas, but do so gently following correct facebook etiquette and let’s all have fun, making friends the right way inviting each other round to our virtual little cyberspace kitchens for a nice cup of tea. How civilised.”

Be blessed and enjoy the journey!

PS: This article is about personal Facebook walls, group walls have a different protocol, for which we will cover at another time.

© Bernard Taylor.
First published Jan 13, 2012.

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