Facebook Etiquette

“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” Proverbs 17:14 NIV 1984

Etiquette puts the desire to be inoffensive above your own wants and desires. While this is not a complete list, the following rules will help you be more civil in your facebook discussion.

1) Gossip is a sin. Since facebook is very, very public, anything you post on facebook can be viewed by anyone in the world. Simply do not post anything you don’t want the whole world to know.

2) Be kind. This sounds simple enough, and each of us believes that he/she is kind. Here are a few simple rules to help us be more kind. a) Do not make instant responses. We should always give some thought to our comments instead of just blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. b) Also, reread your comment completely before responding. Even if you make a serious error and delete your post, someone might read the mistaken post before you are able to delete it.

(A good book along this line is “Eats, shoots, and leaves: Why commas really do make a difference.” A Panda walks into a restaurant, orders food, eats it, pulls out a gun, shoots and then walks out the door. A waiter asks, “Why did you do that?” “Because I am a Panda,” and hands the waiter a wildlife brochure with an extra comma in it. http://www.amazon.com/Eats-Shoots-Leaves-Commas-Difference/dp/0399244913 )

3) Read carefully and completely the post or comment you intend to comment on before commenting. While this seems simple and basic, violation of this simple point is the major reason for quarrels on facebook. Most angry commenters obviously did not read, or at least understand, the comment they are angry about.

4) Avoid the “I am holier than thou” attitude. This is usually the result of believing that you are right, the other person is wrong, and that he/she must be corrected. This could simply be a misunderstanding, so be careful to reread what you are commenting on (see point 3). If you have reread the post or comment, you are certain that you disagree with the post or comment and you have paused long enough to allow your response to be a proper response, you should remember that your purpose is to win the person over.

5) If possible, try to leave a person you disagree with an “out.”

6) Do not mock. This is out of control on facebook. You find a picture, cartoon or statement you think is hilarious and you repost it. Someone else is enraged and open warfare ensues.

7) Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. The Golden Rule, given by Jesus Christ himself.


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