Dear Barb—Anti-social Media

Dear Barb:

I am considering deleting my Facebook since I have experienced so many misunderstandings.  I’m not sure what the proper etiquette on Facebook is.  For example, I have responded to people’s posts that I didn’t agree with or had a difference of opinion about, and it resulted in longstanding tension between me and the person, even when we meet in person.  Also, I have posted pictures of people with their significant others and when the relationship ends they get mad that I didn’t delete all the pictures of the couple together.  In one case this has actually resulted in a total estrangement of a family member.  Also, I have put some pictures on my feed that I thought were funny, but the person in the picture did not agree, never told me, but just stopped talking to me.  I tend to be a person who speaks their mind in real life, so why should I have be monitored on Facebook?  I am beginning to think Facebook is not the place for me, what do you think, Barb?  Looking forward to your response.  Thanks, Miranda.

Hey Miranda:

Great topic!  Facebook can be an effective tool to stay in touch and share pictures and events with family members and friends who live at a distance.  Facebook can also be a source of pain for people, causing family and friends to become angry and distant, when that was not the intention, as is in your case.  There are certain rules of Facebook etiquette that may assist you to eliminate some of the painful results you are experiencing.

For example, do not say anything on Facebook that you would not say in person.  Don’t hide behind your computer as that will only lead to problems.  This type of behaviour has resulted in bullying, and we have all read the headlines of some of the unfortunate results of online bullying.  Before you post a picture or status update, consider all the people who could possibly read it.  Make sure it is not offensive to anyone.  Or if you choose to put the post or picture up, be prepared to live with the possible flaming results you may receive.  A picture may appear to be innocent fun to you, but the person in the picture may be embarrassed, so choose your pictures carefully and don’t tag others in pictures unless they agree.  Also, you can tighten up your own privacy settings, that way you can monitor which pictures or comments you are tagged in.  It may be possible that Facebook is not for you, or possibly with just a limited audience of people who know you, and will not take your post to mean something you didn’t intend.  Cheers Miranda.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.
%d bloggers like this: