Social Networking Manners: An unnoticed need

Yes, so we all know about table manners, eating habits, hygiene and so on, but do you have Facebook manners? Social networking seems to be the need of the hour at the corporate as well as personal front, with corporate starting to incorporate intra social networking in order to promote healthy relations between colleagues, it is needless to say that social networking has progressed way beyond just being a platform for casual conversation. It isn’t just advancement; it’s a way of life!

Undoubtedly being the easiest and quickest way to stay connected with friends, family, old schoolmates and colleagues, or foraying into a world of new friends and professional contacts, it becomes essential to follow basic networking etiquette.

The problem is even graver in the virtual world, where there is no scope for one to understand emotions by tonal quality or facial expressions, only words can make or break an impression. It is not uncommon of coming across requests such as “ Will you “frandship” with me”. The very sentence sounds slang and the grammatical errors guide us to hit the reject option!

All it takes to avoid something like a Facebook faux pas,  is making a few right moves. Here are a few tips on how to incorporate facebook etiquette in day to day use.

1. Accompany friend requests with personal messages : With increased work pressure and meeting hundreds of people over a period of time, it is possible that your name may not strike immediate recognition in your friend’s mind if you haven’t been in touch for ages. A short message like “Haven’t seen you since college! Let’s reconnect!” increases chances of your request being accepted. New contacts can be approached by introducing yourself and how you know the person.

2. Facebook is NOT an emotional dumping ground: Venting out emotions by certain status updates once in a while is ok, but whining and grumbling out of habit just puts off viewers. Remember, the post can be deleted once your anger vanishes, but what’s the point after its already been etched in the minds of readers?

3. Manage the friends you have : Facebook has an option called “List”. This essentially helps in allowing only certain people to have access to pictures, posts and comments. Listing friends in groups of work, school or family, helps you to manage which set of people you would like to share certain information with.

4 Do you really have to befriend all Facebook users? : Facebook isn’t a popularity contest. There is no need to add  500 friends when you won’t be in touch with even half the number! Studies show that people can usually handle about 150 relationships in their lives – personally or virtually. Not responding to an unwanted request is the best way to limit your friends to only those who you want. In fact, some people even forget all those to whom they have sent requests, so it’s likely that they may not even be waiting for your response.

5. Post with care : When you have colleagues or your boss as friends on your list, it becomes careful to think twice and read  thrice what you post.

A casual comment such as “Wish everyday was a Sunday!” can come across as very rude or seem to show your disinterest towards work. Instead something like “ After a fun-filled week of work, it’s time to party harder over the weekend” makes just the right impression.

The best way is to filter friends the way you’d like them to access your profile. When people land up having etiquette problems, it’s usually because they have not understood its importance in the virtual world. With a little smart thinking, you can master the art of handling people in less than no time.

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