Social media needs Miss Manners

I don’t twitter, or tumbl, or insta-anything, but I do Facebook and I post reviews on Goodreads. There are some things about the particular social medium of Facebook that bug me, and a few of the responses to my book reviews are interestingly negative. I do wish for a politeness that disappeared with the anonymity of internet connections. Here are some pointers for those who miss the point. Don’t take them personally or think I’m singling out you…these are general observations of six years of Facebook watching threads get hijacked, people chiming in just because, people posting non sequitur comments …

But … if I’ve hit close to a target and that shoe happens to fit…?

That Ticker

I think that the worst thing Facebook coders did was to create that voyeuristic news ticker. Yes, I agreed to the terms and conditions for free access, and that comes with implied consent on more levels than I want to think about, but if I could find a way to opt out of appearing in that feed for stalkers, I would (and I assure you, I’ve tried).

Get rid of it. I’m serious…go to the bottom right of that side window, click options and click “Hide Ticker”. NOW! You can get your snooping kicks googling “web cams” or something. Why would you want to spy on every like, comment, post of everyone you are connected to? Just because Facebook is enabling you?

Now, I hid that thing away the first time it appeared on scene, and because of that all too obvious to me self-restraint, I find myself still surprised when someone I don’t know comments on my page, which brings me to …

Don’t troll

So, if I post something, make it “public”, and then if I get trolled, I’m asking for it, right?

Wrong! Don’t you realize that you, unknown to me, commenting on my post just because someone you know commented is exactly like going up to a complete stranger on the street and saying, “I overhead your conversation and … Obama sucks! Jade Helm is gubmint takeover! You are an idiot!”

First rule after getting rid of the voyeur feed is to ask yourself before commenting on anything not directly related to you, “Would I say what I am about to say if I had to say it face to face?” Most likely, the answer is no, so why be an anonymous asshole?

Unless of course, you are one. And I find those types are certainly not limited to Facebook. When I write an honest review that occasionally pans someone’s favorite book or a book by someone’s favorite author, I get snide comments about my character and almost never in response to what I’ve said in my review. That is unfortunately rather consistent of the negative replies. I’m embarrassed for the people who put their ignorance on display to the (very small) world (of my connections), but all it really takes is a pause, and then … don’t comment on a page of someone you don’t know.

As a matter of fact, …

Don’t comment on everything

Not everything needs an enhancement. And not every comment adds value to a conversation (hint…more seldom than one might think).

Why is there always That Guy who has to play the role of Captain Obvious? Or derail a joke? Or ruin for others a nice puzzle?

Spoilers, folks, are always unwelcome. Simply put, use restraint. And …

Be nice

So we don’t always agree. Believe it or not, I usually consider that a good thing. And if we don’t, decide whether you can debate rationally. Now, if you are sorely outgunned and feel the need to resort to childish ad hominem attacks, think hard and don’t! Just because we don’t know each other, you shouldn’t feel free to say whatever you want. Think of the random street exchange…and be embarrassed if you’re the asshole.

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