Image: Robert S Donovan via Flickr
I’m a stickler for good Facebook etiquette. The opposite drives me mad and works my nerves. Read this post to avoid these eye-watering, nerve-breaking, heart-racing mistakes!
1) USING ALL CAPS. ALL THE TIME. WITHOUT END.
This is by far the most ignorant of all things one could do. Is your caps lock key broken, or do you intentionally leave it on ALL THE TIME?
Word to the Wise: ALL CAPS LOCK = Screaming Online.
And no one likes being screamed at. Use this feature sparingly.
2) Ending Every Single Comment or Update with Your Initials.
I actually know someone that does this. Thankfully they aren’t my friend, and I don’t know them in "real life" so I don’t at all feel guilty for writing this pointer just for them.
Word to the Wise: Initialing EVERY.SINGLE.COMMENT. makes you look arrogant. Flat out.
If you post it, unless it’s given a citation, guess what? We’ll think those are your words because *gasp* they are! Imagine that.
3) Telling Someone [You Don’t Even Know] What They Should & Shouldn’t Post.
This has actually happened to me twice in the past few months. The first was some creep I gave the benefit of a doubt because we were mutual members of a writing group on Facebook. But after attempting to persuade me over to the dark, x-rated side of writing and sexuality, telling me I needed to be more open and expand my horizons, and calling me a “fascist” because of my Biblical beliefs, you better believe this non-brother was deleted and blocked so fast it’d make your head spin!
This happened again a few weeks ago, with a non-creepy, but nonetheless arrogant individual. His self-assured, not-fully-biblical, and definitely liberal worldviews mistakenly allowed him to think he could tell me what to post on Facebook. (What the Flip?!?!) Freedom of Speech? Religion? Personal and biblical conviction? I guess those were only okay if they passed his inspection. When I kindly ignored his advice, he reported a picture of mine and Facebook blocked me for 12 hours, and blocked most of my activities for another nine. Hell hath no fury like a woman banned from Facebook for dumb reasons!
Word to the Wise: It’s ARROGANT and a little bit crazy (a lotta bit?) to tell someone else what to post on THEIR profile, THEIR page, etc. And you just might be a creep.
Dear sir, I now see why you are not married.
Facebook trolls are one of two types:
Relational/Sexual Trolls: These are the creeps who need a date and either can’t find one in real life, or get off on fake Facebook relationships. This ranges from that guy/gal that keeps inboxing you, trying to get you to give them the time of day to the sexual predator (i.e. sex chatters, porn-seekers, sexters like Anthony Weiner, pedophiles, rapists, etc).
Malicious Trolls: Those people who hate your conservative/Christian comments on that progressive HuffPost article and hunt down your Facebook profile to spew haterade on your personal profile. (This actually happened.) These people don’t believe in healthy debate; they just want to unjustly slander you, tell you what to post (see Mistake #3), and tell you why your profile is the bane of Facebook and American existence overall.
This is how you deal with these people:
Harmless, Uninformed: Ignore them. Do not respond. Do not pass go. Responses will provide them with undue encouragement.
Relentless, Malevolent: “Delete” + “Block.” Period.
Word to the Wise: People be crazy yo. Use your judgement.
Dear sir, who inboxed me “Who is your new boyfriend now?” and you are likely old enough to be my father or just flat out too old for me, this item was for you.
5) Trying to Force Participation.
Do not persistently ask me to join your group or “like” your page. Share your page with me ONCE and leave it at that. And don’t bargain, “I’ll like your page if you like mine!” What if your page is prostitution? Or witchcraft? Or just something I don’t like/believe in/care about? I will like your page at my own discretion.
Do not inbox me and ask me to vote for you when I don’t even know who you are. What is this voting for anyway?
Do not inbox me or pop up on my messenger at 3am and tell me to call your Prayer Line -- countless times. I don’t know y’all! And your approach is annoying. Persist and you will be deleted, kind madame.
Word to the Wise: If they force you to join/like their stuff, they will consistently force you to participate and the cycle never ends. Do not encourage or reward this behaviour.
Facebook is for fun, choice, and whims. It’s not a website where users should hold you at figurative gunpoint, forcing you to participate in their discussions and buy into their ventures.
6) Only Messaging People to Make Them Do Something.
You don’t know me. You don’t stop by my profile/page, don’t “like” my stuff, don’t engage with me at all. So why would you think it’s okay to inbox me to sell me Mary Kay, watch that video, subscribe to your email list, or something else I could care less about? (See also Mistake #5.)
Word to the Wise: Relationships are the currency of life and business. Don’t expect to succeed in either without them.
Much as we would all LOVE for all 15,000 of our Facebook friends to be our clients/customers, they’re not. Govern yourself accordingly.
7) Impersonating Well-Known Ministers.
As a Christian who follows several well-known ministers through social media, it irks me to no end when some random person is trying to scam money from innocent people! I’ve seen countless of these profiles and reported them all. Many of these ministers have had to take to the social media, emails, TV, etc. to warn their followers against these thieves. They should not have to waste breath on this, but they love the people and don’t want anyone [else] to be taken in.
How to spot these scammers:
- They have a slight misspelling in their name/title (i.e. “pastors” instead of “pastor”). My friends’ dad is a well-known Nigerian minister, whom I’d never met. I knew he was recently remarried so I didn’t think much of the “Pastors _______ _________” title on the profile because I thought it was maybe for the couple, but it turns out it was an intentional misspelling meant to deceive people into thinking it was the real pastor. I reported the fraud after feeling them out. Other times, it could be placing a title in front of the minister’s name that the minister doesn’t usually plaster all over the media like “Apostle Snow White” instead of “Snow White.”
- It’s a personal PROFILE, not a professional PAGE. Any professional of any field knows to set up a PAGE for their ministry/business, instead of a regular PROFILE. This is a sure indicator 98.9% of the time.
- It’s a brand new profile. Unless it’s a brand new ministry/minister (in which case they wouldn’t have anyone impersonating them yet), then there’s no reason to believe a profile that has JUST been created. Established ministries have established pages.
- They asked you to be their friend. When it comes to ministry, business, etc. profiles, if you build it (and share it), they will come. NOT the other way around. Frankly these people are WAY too busy to be sitting adding people on Facebook.
- They have the EXACT.SAME.PICTURES as the real minister’s already-established Page. They’ve literally swiped all the pictures from the established Facebook Page to deceive you.
- They inbox you immediately after adding them, telling you to send them your prayer requests. Usually within the first 24 hours this will happen. Oftentimes, sooner. If these [real] people are far too busy to add people, then they are entirely too busy to inbox everyone!
- They don’t spell/type/word their messages like an American. Does it look foreign? Is it broken English? Is it odd wording? This is clear indicator, they are NOT the person they’re impersonating. Furthermore, established foreign ministers will be too professional to have messages laden with mistakes and typos.
Eventually, these people will ask you for money. I’ve never allowed any of these scammers to make it this far with me, but this is always their goal. Gain your trust (borrowed trust really) by using a ministry/minister you know and love, then swindle you out of your money to be used for God knows what.
Note: If you’re familiar with the minister, then you can recognize when the scammer emailing you doesn’t use the same verbiage, colloquialisms, wording, etc. of the minister you’re used to. Some idiot actually wrote that he wanted to give me “tender kisses.” (What the what?!?!) This was clearly someone impersonating the minister so the scammer stuck out like a sore thumb. Also, no God-loving (married) minister would so easily (and oddly) welcome personal, intimate interest from a young woman. It’s a recipe for a disaster.
How to deal with these evil people: Report them. Let the Facebook-gods ban them to Facebook-Tartarus.
Word to the Wise: In order to recognize the counterfeit, study the authentic.
If it doesn’t look right, read right, or sound right, it ain’t right. Don’t give these creeps your hard-earned money! And don’t blame the innocent ministers! I’ve encountered scammers who advertise fake jobs for real companies. These minister impersonators are no different. Same game, different method.
“Poking” people. This feature was cool for about five seconds when Facebook was brand new and just for college and high school students. Now it’s not.
Word to the Wise: If you Google the slang term “poking” you’ll also understand why this is extremely awkward.
You’re a grown man/woman. Don’t poke people. It’s just weird. I wish Facebook would ban this feature.
So tell me, have you been making or fallen prey to any of these horrendous Facebook mistakes?
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