MySpace Rules & Etiquette
Top 5 MySpace Don'ts
It's no secret that social networking sites attract scores of visitors (an upwards of one million hits per day.) Sites like MySpace and Facebook are invaluable tools when it comes to connecting with like-minded individuals, meeting new people or reuniting with friends across the country. And although there is an ongoing debate about how interaction online is depersonalizing, online monikers do reflect our real-life personalities. Just like in the outside world, there are sets of rules that should be followed and tips on etiquette that should be obeyed if you want to be taken seriously online and treated as a friend rather than an annoyance.
DON'T SPAM -- Anyone can send a private message, but you have to be added as someone's friend in order to have access to leaving comments on their main page or bulletins that they will see. When you spam their page with nonsense it is an abuse of trust -- when she adds you, the user trusts that you're not going to be extremely irritating. When you turn out to be exactly that, you have abused that trust, and will quickly find yourself unfriended (which is quite possibly the worst fate in the online world.) In the same vein, DON'T LEAVE ADVERTISEMENTS in the comment section or big, glittery pictures or messages written in super large fonts. You will only be forgiven if SpyWare has infected your computer or your account has been hacked, causing you to inadvertently leave giant ads on all your friend's pages. Something like that is out of your control; big, glittery images are voluntary, so don't deny that you've been doing it, and then make it a point to stop immediately. If you are hacked, however, contact MySpace and do what you can to clear it up as soon as possible and remedy the problem.
It is also very rude to automatically assume it's okay to post nude or adult-themed images in someone's comment section. The comment section is public, and a lot of people have (younger) siblings or relatives that read their page. Seeing a naked woman pop up would be highly inappropriate. Besides, you know what they say about assuming, so I won't go into detail about it here--just don't do it.
DON'T CAUSE TEMPORARY BLINDNESS -- sometimes this can be hard depending on what size screen you have, but it can be really irritating when someone visits your MySpace and has to scroll sideways a billion times and look in twelve different directions in order to see a page that SHOULD fit on one screen. This happens when you try to cram extra large images into the 'About Me' or 'Who I'd Like to Meet' sections. You can avoid this by opening the picture in an image editing program and resizing it to 300x400 pixels. Very bold, bright text or extremely pale text on a pale background can also contribute to your visitors temporarily losing their vision, as can tYpInG iN aLtErNaTiNg CaPs.
GOOD ON THE EYES
BAD FOR THE SOUL
DON'T DISREGARD WHAT YOU READ and focus solely on the pictures. I know the pictures are the first thing you probably look at when you click on someone's page, and there is nothing wrong with that. Photographs give us an instantaneous idea of who we're communicating with. But it's nice to take the time to actually get to know the person before you request them as a friend. Also, the improper etiquette part comes in when you take the pictures at face value and completely disregard the user's sexual orientation or relationship status. For example, my orientation clearly states "lesbian", yet I constantly receive random messages from men of all ages asking for a date and/or a little something on the side. Have a little respect -- just because the internet renders you virtually anonymous does not mean social conventions such as decency and courtesy fly out the window. If a profile says the owner is "in a relationship" and is on the site for networking and friends, that usually means they are happily coupled and have no desire to receive offers for dates. If the sexual orientation states that the user is a lesbian, don't take creative license with this information, contort the facts and decide she just hasn't been with the right man. And finally, especially DON'T SEND A MESSAGE informing her of your conclusion. Nobody cares.
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