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Growing up, we are taught not to take candy or rides from strangers. So, I ask this question: Why are people Facebook ‘friends’ with strangers?

Do not feel obligated to accept people’s friendship.  If you question how you might know somebody it is acceptable to inquire via Facebook message and to ask your ‘Friends in Common’. Also, I assume this goes without saying but, do not ‘friend-request’ people who you don’t know. If you don’t know somebody and you request them, you are a Facebook Creep.

If you notice that you are friends with somebody who you don’t know, do not feel guilty unfriending them.

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The birthday section on your Facebook ‘homepage’ should be something you check frequently. Facebook has made it far less acceptable to forget, or God forbid completely miss, a birthday. I suggest going to each of your good friends’ Facebook pages and writing their birthdays in your personal calendar at the beginning of every year.

There are some friends with whom you are (basically) only in contact via Facebook – those friends are people who you can get away with only ‘wall postings’. You should still send your good friends and family members cards, or see them in person (what a novel thought) to celebrate the occasion.

The Facebook ‘wall’, is open for business all year-round. It amuses me when a ‘Wall-to-Wall’ is only birthday wishes. One way to remedy this situation is to personally ‘thank-post’ people who ‘birthday-post’ you. It takes more than a minute to do this but it is worth it. People will be happy or happily surprised that you ‘posted’ them back, nobody will think to themselves, “crap, so and so ‘posted’ on my ‘wall'” if they took the time to ‘birthday-post’ on your ‘wall’.

I recently had a birthday, which got me thinking about this topic. I also came across this conversation.  For the record, I think it is okay to white lie if you only remembered a person’s birthday because of Facebook…at least you didn’t forget.

I would like to dedicate this post to my three Facebook friends with birthdays today: Laura, Craig and Lydia.

In this article some Facebook Etiquette Rules that people still forget are outlined. Please don’t forget them.

A summary of the faux pas: Pregnant cryptic private countdowns calling crazy awful colleagues instead of calling people you aren’t friends with, is application overload.

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Do not make rude ‘comments’ on Facebook. It isolates people, hurts feelings and ruins fun.

What do I mean by rude comments? Here is the scenario: If you ‘comment on a ‘photo’, a ‘note’ or an individual’s ‘post’, even if you are ‘tagged’, you relinquish your right to make negative comments. Examples include but are not limited to: “I’m sorry you (referring to others involved in the posting) had to witness this”, “You are blowing up my inbox”, “Take it to a wall”. You get the point.

At any given time one can ‘untag’, delete their ‘comment’ or ‘unlike’.  While I personally think doing any of those three things is unsportsmanlike, it is bad etiquette to make a rude comment.

I write this post knowing that I will seem hypocritical. I am going to tell you that it is crucial to keep your profile up-to-date, the irony comes into play when you look at the break between this post and my last Facebook Etiquette post. My bad blog etiquette aside, it is important to remain consistent with your Facebook presence.

I realize that not everyone visits Facebook multiple times per day, but it is important to respond to ‘wall posts, ‘messages’, and ‘invites’  in a timely fashion. If you do not respond to a ‘wall post’ with a ‘comment’ or a return ‘wall post’, it is considered rude. Often times messages do not require a response but when a message does, it is important to respond quickly. Responding to ‘event invites’ is always appreciated by the event organizers.

Updating your ‘status’ on a consistent basis is a great way of keeping your friends up-to-date on your life happenings. Today on Facebook, it is more common for one to ‘comment’ on a ‘status update’ rather than create an original ‘wall post’.

Checking Facebook often will also help you to keep up on who has a birthday coming up.

When posting items to a friend’s ‘wall’ or sending a ‘message’, proper English still applies. I understand that writing a quick note on Facebook may not always be a professional piece of writing but please, use proper letter casing.

Writing a ‘message’ in all lower-case letters gives the reader the impression that you did not put very much time, or effort, into the ‘message’.

Writing in all capital letters creates a few issues. 1. A block of all capital letters is very difficult to read. 2. Capital letters denote excitement or anger. 3. Over-emphasis on an entire message annoys the reader.

Receiving too many ‘messages’ is annoying. Receiving messages that strain your eyes is downright frustrating.

When messaging ‘groups’ you administer, the rule is quality over quantity. If you send too many messages you, and your ‘group’, will lose Facebook credibility.

Humans today are always in a rush. It is best to send clear and concise messages.

Sending too many messages can do a few things: 1. Annoy people. 2. Confuse people. 3. Tempt people to ‘leave [the] group’.

When I get an unexpected ‘message’ I go straight to my ‘inbox’. When I get three messages from the same ‘friend’ and/or ‘group’ every week, I delete the email notification, without opening it, and delete the ‘message’ from my ‘inbox’ later.

Facebook is a social networking site that was created in 2004. The original version of Facebook was very basic, one ‘friend’ could accidentally delete your entire ‘wall’ (yes, I’m still a little salty, Evelyn). Originally only college students were allowed to create a Facebook page and now anyone over the age of 13 can create a page. Facebook has evolved into a place for networking, rekindling and marketing.

Etiquette, as sited on Wikipedia, “is a code of behavior that influences expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.” It is clear that many Facebook users lack Facebook Etiquette and we need to put an end to these annoying antics.

It is my hope that after reading this blog (and referring it to your ‘friends’) your ‘wall’, ‘home page’ and ‘inbox’ will be less cluttered and you will be Facebook stress-free.

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