We all know her. Or him. The Facebook over-poster. The bragger. The angry political commentator. The sharer of nauseatingly insignificant observations. The one who believes a photograph of her ingrown toenail or half-eaten plate of chicken wings is actually appreciated by her 500 Facebook "friends." Don't know anyone like her? Uh oh. Brace yourself. You may be HER. Please don't be her. Here's how not to be her on Facebook:
1. Do remember who your Facebook audience actually is. It's not only your 10 closest friends who know and love you. It's everyone you've ever "friended" (an objectionable term as this group likely includes folks you barely know, haven't seen in 25 years, and likely wouldn't recognize if they passed you on the street.) ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION: "If I gathered all 500 of my Facebook friends in a room - in person - would I honestly feel comfortable grabbing a microphone and announcing to them that my overly spicy Mexican dinner is wreaking havoc on my digestive system?" I don't think so. "Would I pull off my sock and show them the scar from my bunion surgery?" Dear God, I hope not. Remember this: When in doubt, leave it out. Your "friends" will thank you.
2. Do be mindful of "what" you post. Go ahead and share your thoughts, but try to remember that your friends may have different backgrounds, religions, ethnicity, beliefs and personalities. For example, be careful using the word "redneck" in a negative way. Here in the South, some of your friends may consider that title a badge of honor.
3. Do extend your Southern hospitality to Facebook. Just as you would send a thank you note for a gift, remember to use your manners online as well. Try to always "comment" or "like" any responses your friends make to your posts. Everyone likes encouragement. No one likes talking to an unresponsive wall. Especially a Facebook wall.
4. Do use proper spelling and grammar at ALL TIMES. We can not overstate the importance of this to your credibility on social media. People are judgmental and make all kinds of assumptions about folks who cannot construct a proper sentence. Southern women know that proper grammar is a sign of there intelligence. (Oh! See what we did there? Awful, isn't it?)
1. Don't make friend requests to strangers. You need to have some previous or current connection or an introduction from a mutual friend. Trying to friend strangers makes you a weirdo. Don't be a weirdo.
2. Don't tag your friends in unflattering photos. Doing so is the quickest way to irritate your female friends. You wouldn't like it. Neither do they. The solution: Set your "Settings" so that you must approve any post you are tagged in before it can appear on your timeline. Tell your friends to do the same.
3. Don't over-share. We believe this is the #1 reason you are likely to be unfriended, unfollowed or blocked on Facebook. This means don't (1) share too often...no one likes a blabber mouth, and (2) share too much detail, i.e. descriptions of physical ailments, in depth details of personal matters, etc. Save that kind of detail for your close friends. Facebook is not your personal "therapy session." Spare your non-close friends the awkwardness of such posts.
4. Don't share stupid, boring things. Example: Everyone goes to Starbucks. We all buy lattes and hold them in our hands. Don't take a photo of your hand holding a coffee and post it as "breaking news" on Facebook. It's not interesting - not even to your close friends. Sorry to break the news. Here's an example of an uninteresting vs. interesting Facebook post about your cup of coffee: (1) Photo of your hand holding a Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte with your inspired caption, "Yum." Uninteresting. (2) Photo of your hand holding a Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte in a cup on which the male barista has scribbled, "hot brunette in the pink sweater." VERY interesting. See the difference?
5. Don't brag. A southern woman must always use good taste and discernment to determine the difference between bragging and simply sharing good news. Believe us, if you are a bragger, your friends know it. Sadly, you may not. There are two types of bragging: direct and indirect. Here's an example of direct bragging: "Just chillin' at the Country Club tonight with my new Luis Vitton handbag (birthday gift from hubby)! The 3 carat sapphire ring and trip to Napa should have been enough! Life is good!" Get the picture? Here's what indirect bragging looks like (basically this is a brag which is poorly disguised as a seemingly normal comment or inquiry): "Can anyone recommend a summer camp for an extremely gifted child? My little Tommy is an over achiever with an extremely high IQ and he needs lots of stimulation to keep from getting bored. Can I get some help from my FB friends?!" This was an actual post we were sent. Another example of indirect bragging: "Looking for a second home in the north Georgia mountains in the $1.5 mil range. Please private message me if you know of anything!" This is called bad form, folks. Don't do it.
6. Don't vent about work. This is for your own benefit. Remember, people are always watching - and reading. Complaining about or disparaging your place of employment in any way will always come back to haunt you. Private message your friends if you need to get something off your chest.
7. Don't fan the flames of an online debate or argument. Typically, this never ends well. If you must get involved, state your reasoning intelligently and succinctly. Don't get bogged down in a heated back-and-forth as this often leads to anger and insults. You do not want to be the recipient of someone else's heated anger, and you certainly don't to want to head down that path yourself. State your opinion if you must, maintain your dignity, and if things start to deteriorate, leave the page immediately. You'll have more fun checking out the recipes on our Southern Sisters Facebook page anyway!