Social Media Etiquette

// Posted by on 03/23/2012 (6:31 PM)


After our discussion last week about our generation creating “rules” for using websites such as Facebook and Twitter I did a little research to see if there was any information about these rules that we all feel the need to abide by. However, you are not penalized for breaking these rules. For instance, your Facebook will not be deleted if you post unflattering pictures of your friends. Rather, these are essentially guidelines for “how to be cool”.

I find the rules of Facebook to be particularly interesting because it is something that we are users generated. We decided as a collective that it isn’t cool to update your statues to tell you “friends” what you are doing every hour on the hour. We made the space what we want it to be used for. No one told us how we had to use it, we decided how it would be used. Now that younger people are join will they shape the way facebook is used for them and their age group? Or will our rules be an overarching governing tool? It seems to me that the rules we have established are universal–not just among friend groups. So will these rules change as time goes on? Or will they remain relevant as years go by?

I even find it interesting that we felt the need to establish rules. Is that because our generation grew up with so many rules? Don’t run with a lollipop in your mouth, don’t leave the yard, don’t play in the mud, etc… Perhaps we’re just a generation of rules?


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Cameron said...

Allison, your post brings up some interesting points and while I agree, I think it is interesting that I have not spent much time thinking about these rules. I do find annoying the people who constantly change their status or who post several links daily on their walls. While they are free to do as they please, it is when they start dominating my newsfeed, that I start having issues. The newsfeed is supposed to be a smorgasbord of the most recent/popular updates and should not be dominated by a single individual.

I have had difficulties with some of my friends on Facebook who post (what I consider to be) way too often and have actually either defriended them or have simply unsubscribed from their updates. I also had one friend who I followed on Twitter, but her constant tweeting made it almost impossible for me to see anything other than her tweets. (I think she had over 10,000 in less than a year’s time). I stopped following her because since I was following her, I was unable to follow anyone else because all I saw was her tweets.

I find it amazing how many of us follow these rules, yet never acknowledge them. It is almost as if they are not rules, but simply a common way of thinking, a common approach to social media.

// 03/27/2012 at 5:50 pm

Tommy said...

I think Cameron makes a good point, that we follow all of these guidelines without really acknowledging them as rules. I can remember when Facebook was first available to high school students, and no longer just college students, and hearing a lot of friends’ older siblings complaining about how we would “ruin Facebook.” Now, I feel like just about everyone can have a Facebook; I’m sure there’s some kind of age limit, but kids I used to babysit are starting to friend me now so it can’t be too old (and even then, how do they enforce the age limit?). As far as how permanent these rules are, I don’t really think they’ll change too much. The only exception I can really think of us with the addition of some new features, and then I don’t think it would take too long for there so be some sort of socially-acceptable use. On a side note, earlier I tried to post a link to a graphic titled “The Rise and Fall of Online Empires,” looking at how popular various websites have been over the years, and establishing that the average “life” of a website is roughly 11 years, comparing that to 8 years facebook has already been around. I now we talked about this briefly on Thursday, but with the amount of people using Facebook now, I imagine it will still be around for more than just 3 years

// 03/27/2012 at 8:43 pm

Bridget said...

I think Allison’s point about the possibility that our generation makes so many Internet “rules” is because we are so used to rules being enforced since we were born. Upon reconsideration, I realize that the Facebook community seems governed by a general set of rules. I’m sure most people have often been told by older siblings or parents, “Be careful about your pictures, employers can see that” – or other warnings of the like. However, exploring 4chan, it is obvious that type of anonymous community is not concerned with many, if any, rules. Hiding behind the nameless and faceless identity, these users feel free, and do, post whatever they like – no matter how explicit, vulgar, or harmful. The Internet is rapidly evolving, and as it does so, certain people are wary of what they post and engage in on the web, while others, like 4chan users and hackers, seem to take their “freedom of Internet speech” to the extremes.

// 03/27/2012 at 10:33 pm