Opinion

Facebook etiquette

Just the other day I heard about a young woman who learned from Facebook that her brother had been killed in an accident.

It seems in our high speed world, sometimes very important messages reach us via Facebook before a family member can call.

Even though this woman’s friends probably meant well, it’s a shame that they didn’t stop to think about whether the family had been notified prior to posting their condolences.

But that’s just the world we live in today. It doesn’t mean, however, that we have to give up all of the manners our mother’s taught us.

For example, before posting a death on Facebook, call someone close to the family and find out if the family members have been notified.

And speaking of posting on Facebook, don’t forget that just about everyone is there including your mother, your grandmother and your employer.

For a guide, I like to use what I was told when email first came out: “If you wouldn’t want to see it on a billboard, don’t put it in an email.”

Apply this to Facebook as well. If you need to tell someone something private, call them, or at best, send them a private message. And before you get on Facebook, make sure you understand the system.

I’ve had a number of friends think they’re sending me a private note, only to find it right there on my wall for everyone to read.

Comments are always welcome on any stories that we post to our websites. Commenting requires a Facebook page and using your real identity.

That requirement was added because it is our belief that if you have an opinion worth sharing, you shouldn’t mind putting your name to it.

In general, there’s nothing wrong with having a civil conversation about our differences. And there’s nothing wrong with remembering your manners.

In the past year, we’ve only had to remove two comments from our sites. Most commenters are courteous and play fair.

But the temptation is there and it’s just so easy to respond with what’s on the tip of your tongue.

Try thinking first, or count to 100. Remember we’re all human and have feelings.

Mean-spirited commenters need not apply.

 

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