Twitter is the Levi Johnston of social media. You just wish it would go away.
Facebook, however, though it’s just as annoying, isn’t going anywhere. Nearly everyone in a certain age group uses Facebook to one degree or another.
There are “rules” to using Facebook, however. Apparently, you are simply supposed to know those rules. Users of Facebook who are in their twenties and thirties know the rules. These rules are passed telepathically from one to the next with apparent ease.
However, those of us in the generations that grew up without personal computers and cell phones didn’t get the telepathic memos. They seem to come through in fits and starts and pretty much require a whack upside the head to get through. In other words, we’re pretty much in the dark about Facebook protocol.
I have had a Facebook page for over a year and have since learned that I have broken every unwritten, telepathically-related rule there is. At least, I think that’s all there is. I won’t know until I inadvertently break another one, and some angry member of my family lets me know.
I was once told, “It’s like picking your nose in public. Nobody has to tell an adult not to do it.”
Well, when you put it that way… I feel kind of exposed. It’s like walking onto a nude beach with no sunscreen. Eventually, you’re going to get burned in some unlikely places. Nude or not, burning is not my favorite pastime.
I have a personal Facebook page, on which I rarely ever post. I feel a little intimidated by other people’s personal Facebook pages, where they have given play-by-plays on everything from “Having a sandwich now” to “Going to Bermuda. Be back next Tuesday.”
For the life of me, I can’t think of a single reason to inform my friends that I am having a sandwich. Just typing that sentence would be like saying, “I have no life, just shoot me.”
If I was going to Bermuda, I certainly would not announce the fact to everyone on Facebook. That would only make the list of burglary suspects that much longer. Why make the detective’s job so difficult?
“Who knew you were leaving, Mrs. Snyder?”
“Well… it might be easier if you asked who didn’t know.”
Clearly, I do have some good reasons to break with Facebook protocol.
My professional page is called “Laura On Life”. There, I post my columns, receive feedback and connect with my readers. I read an article that said I’m not supposed to use Facebook for that. Why then, do they have professional pages?
Would my readers be interested in the fact that I was, at that moment, noshing on a PB&J sandwich? Or the fact that I had just come back from the grocery store and forgot to buy ketchup? I’m thinking – no.
Another use for Facebook is to stay on top of what is happening with other people in my family. Apparently, it is a privilege to be “friended” on your adult children’s Facebook page. I didn’t know that.
To those of you who have missed the telepathic memo on this, let me enlighten you. Your adult children are allowing you access to their cyber social life. If you so much as say something “parentish” on their “Wall” page where everyone can see it, you are in danger of being immediately eradicated from their cyber life. They have an image to uphold with their real friends and your opinion on anything is not welcome if it does not agree with theirs. Got that?
However, this does not mean that your adult children can’t present their arguments on your professional page. This is perfectly okay.
Unfortunately, I did receive the memo that says that if you remove your kids’ posts from your page, they will never call you again, or e-mail, or chat, or text… and you will most likely be “de-friended.”
That’s a risk I wouldn’t want to take, because, otherwise, how would I find out when they are going to Bermuda?