Don't Poke Me, Bro

Facebook etiquette rules

Do you know someone in need of a Facebook intervention? For some, the popular social networking site is like crack, with many of its users using every spare moment to get another online fix.

Let's face it, Facebook ain't going away anytime soon, and since that's the case, there has to be some rules to the game. Here's a few suggestions:

  1. Don't Poke Me, Bro: Is anyone really sure what a "poke" is supposed to mean anyway? We're guessing it can take on any connotation you want, but when a heterosexual male pokes another heterosexual male it just feels weird. 'Nuff said.
  2. Status Updates Part I: Do not equate your status updates with actually "keeping in touch." Are we that narcissistic to think that all of our FB friends are waiting with baited breath for our next status update, and reading them religiously all day, every day? As our tech toys get more powerful, communication gets more impersonal, such as emails and text messages. Are public status updates the next communication frontier? Let's hope not.
  3. Enough Already With the Applications: Ever have a rotary phone friend or a grandparent who finally discovers email, and starts forwarding you all these really "funny" jokes and attachments? It takes time to develop the proper etiquette for any new form of communication, and applications are the joke emails of Facebook. The best thing about the new version of Facebook is that it makes it easier to avoid these. Either way, I'm still going to be an a-hole and ignore your "Nicest Person" request.
  4. Friend Requests: If you've never actually met or spoken with someone, it's proper form to include a message if you want to friend them. Just because we know 50 people in common doesn't mean we should automatically be friends. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I actually know all 50 of those people either, but hey, it's never too late to try to regain some measure of control over your profile.
  5. Status Updates Part II: Should there be a threshold for how many status updates you can post daily? How about a quality standard? Does everyone really need to know that you're eating lunch right now? In fact, let's just post this under Twitter etiquette rules as well. We can't all be consistently witty with our update status like a Robert Buscemi, but can't we at least strive for some occassional insightful insight?
  6. Don't Friend Me, Mom: Depending on whose stats you believe, adults 25-34 are the fastest-growing group of users on Facebook. But let's not forget that the young ruled Facebook first, and are quite frankly a little pissed that their parents are intruding on their territory. But there's enough room on there for everyone to play without stepping on each other's toes. Besides, if you want to spy on your daughter, you can always set up an alter-ego as the cool California surfer kid who just moved to town.

Follow these rules and we may be on track for a more efficient and orderly Facebook world. And remember: if you don't pass these rules along to 15 of your closest FB friends, you'll have 10 years of bad luck.

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