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Etiquette on Facebook

Updated on July 26, 2012

Getting egg on your face!

Some people just don't get the hint! How many times in your life have you done everything you can to let someone know something without actually coming straight out and saying it? And eventually when you have tried everything you finally just say it and to your embarrassment you were the one who wasn't getting it. That is called getting egg on your face!

An example of this would be when I first started using Facebook. I had no idea what a steep learning curve that was going to be especially when it came to etiquette. I must have done everything wrong and in my innocence probably annoyed a lot of people. I do not claim to have mastered Facebook especially when it changes so frequently but feel that I am not annoying as many people as before or as frequently.

Unsubscribe or Restrict

A recent revelation has been that not every one on my friends' list needs to be notified of ever single post I make to my wall and I only found out about that when a friend recently said she had gone on Facebook after a long break from it and was overwhelmed by the number of posts in her news feed form me. Yes, I could have have explained that if she did not wish to be overwhelmed all she needed to do was unsubscribe from my news feed but since nobody ever told me that I thought I'd let her figure that one out for herself. What I did instead was put her on a restricted list which means that she only receives updates that I label as public.

Human Interaction

Facebook is no different to any other human interaction in that we have all had to learn to get on with each other. There are times when things people do may upset us but that has nothing to do with anyone but ourselves because at the end of the day the problem we experience is to do with our reaction to what we perceive. What may seem annoying to you may not in the least be something that would annoy the other person so you have two choices, spend less time in that person's company or learn to react differently to their behaviour.

On Facebook you can see what a friend posts and how she posts as annoying and you could unsubscribe from her. She will be none the wiser and you will no longer see what she posts. The alternative is to read what she says or scroll past it unaffected or just laugh and let what she says be a reason to brighten up your day.

Deleting Recent Activity on Timeline

I recently changed over to Timeline on Facebook and decided that I was going to make sure that my settings were adjusted to ensure that I could use my Facebook account for the purpose of giving a human face to our private hypnotherapy practice here in the Isle of Man and at the same time minimise the nuisance factor and maintain an appropriate level of privacy for myself and the people I am associated with.

I did this by turning off my “Recent Activity”. By doing this people associated with me stopped receiving notifications on their “News Feed” every time I “liked” something, “shared” something, “updated” something or made “friends” with someone. This wasn't as easy as I had imagined it would be as Facebook has done everything it can to maximise what people share and so making it difficult for users to find ways to take back control over the information we are willing to share. Anyone now visiting my page will only see the posts I put on my Facebook wall and the comments they receive but none of my other activity.

Tweaking your Facebook settings makes you a better "Friend"

I also made lists for the people who joined me as “friends” so that I could ensure that what I post goes only to the people most likely to interested in the subject matter contained in the post. Before posting anything I choose my target audience from a drop down list next to the “post” button.

These are just a few things I have done to minimise conflict on Facebook and nurture friendly relationships that hopefully will result in people appreciating the effort we make make and so reflecting positively on the lengths we go to for the clients who attend our clinic.


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    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      5 years ago from Chicago

      This is a very good article on Facebook Etiquette. If I ever get to the Isle of Man, we'll have to have a cup of coffee together. You are interesting.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile imageAUTHOR

      Xavier Nathan 

      6 years ago from Isle of Man

      Thank you sholland10 I know exactly how you feel when you say " I don't want people to look at my posts and think, "Oh, there she goes again!" It is a balancing act isn't it and you are never going to pl,ease all of the people all of the time anyway but I think trying to be considerate is the best we can do.

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 

      6 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      This is helpful information. I haven't unsubscribed to anyone, but I have restricted what I get from them, like photos or videos. I enjoy it when someone occasionally shares such things, but I do find it irritating to find a full screen or more of my newsfeed filled with pictures or "forwards." I hope I am as good a "friend" as you when it comes to my posts. I don't want people to look at my posts and think, "Oh, there she goes again." LOL Great information! :-)

    • Spirit Whisperer profile imageAUTHOR

      Xavier Nathan 

      6 years ago from Isle of Man

      diogenes, thank you for the visit and I understand what you mean. I think the word "friend" is the problem but I think if Facebook had used the word "stranger" it may not have caught the public's imagination! LOL!

    • diogenes profile image


      6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Facebook has been an unrewarding experience for me. I only continue to post my articles on there.

      It may be great for kids who need more than 5 good friends. These hunreds of "friended" people are not friends in any true sense of the word anyway.

      I can't understand all you need to do on there and I will switch it off soon with great releif.


    • Spirit Whisperer profile imageAUTHOR

      Xavier Nathan 

      6 years ago from Isle of Man

      always exploring, thank you for stopping by and commenting. I can't imagine why anyone would want to hurt your feelings as you come across as the softest kindest person. Facebook is a great way to share your hubs and I would encourage you to do that. Facebook ranks third on my list of of traffic sources with HubPages and Google being first and second.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile imageAUTHOR

      Xavier Nathan 

      6 years ago from Isle of Man

      billybuc, I think perhaps I may have conveyed the wrong message here in that it was nothing anyone else did wrong but rather my lack of knowledge that was the problem. I am very thankful to that person who told me that she was receiving too many notifications from me and if she hadn't said so I would never have looked for a way to tweak my settings so as to avoid being a nuisance to others. I rarely use my Facebook for personal communication but rather to provide our local community with information about the work we do and let them see the kind of people we are and what we stand for. Thank you for the visit and taking the time to comment.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I learned from this hub that you could label updates, I was unaware of this. I have had a not so kind comment from someone on the facebook forum's. I didn't even know her. She put nurses down. I didn't respond, and i didn't return to the forums. My motto, keep your opinions private, you're not going to enlighten people who are rude. I hardly go to facebook, not that i don't like it, I do, but hubpages takes all of my time. Thank you for a a well informed hub...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is a slippery slope at times on Facebook. I finally learned to delete those people who were constantly being negative and I feel they have the same right to do so with me. I try to watch what I am writing simply for the reasons you detailed...I am never quite sure if I'll be quoted out of context or if innocent words will be misconstrued.

      In a very real sense it is the same as face-to-face interaction and in the end I am only responsible for me and my reactions to others. If it doesn't have my name on it I don't pick it up and I try to take most comments with a grain of salt.

      Great message and hub my friend!


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