The 36 Laws of Facebook Etiquette

Think you know your Facebook do’s and don’ts? Then why are you such an assh*le on Facebook? Our group of mutual friends talk about defriending you all the time, so listen up, jerkface – researchers at Arizona State University have recently unveiled the 36 most important rules to follow on Facebook. Scientifically! Science! They used six focus groups comprised of university students with an average of 200 Facebook friends and 40 minutes a day spent on Facebook to determine the most agreed upon social networking rules that govern Facebook. The researchers then handed over those rules to 593 other students to assign to their real-life “close friends,” “casual friends,” and “acquaintances.”

What did they find? Well, smarty-pants, you should know since you claimed to know the do’s and don’ts earlier. For the rest of you, the researchers found that reciprocity was the most widely regarded ingredient to a proper Facebook friendship. Common sense, people; reply to comments and posts. Also, they found that you should say, “Happy birthday,” to your close friends instead of only posting it on their profiles, and always make sure to post, “Happy birthday,” to all your Facebook birthday boys and gals’ walls even if they’re only an acquaintance.

What else? Many of the Facebook users complained of being uncomfortable with “emo poetry” being posted in acquaintance’s feeds, so the lesson is to keep your wrist cutting stories confined to people who give two cents. Last tidbit: the closer the friend, the less likely the chance they’ll post embarrassing photos of you on Facebook. One near-universal trait found among Facebook users in the second part of the study was they we’re all aware of the consequences of posting embarrassing and damaging information on Facebook. The photos you took of your friends enjoying ping pongs and donkeys in TJ – don’t do it, people!

Drumroll, please. Here are the top 10 rules of Facebook ranked according to SCIENCE(!!!):

1. Expect an immediate response from others when you post on their profiles.

If someone posts on your profile, make sure you respond to it in a timely manner. Timely manner = 1 second. Apparently, you can’t do anything else on Facebook while you have posts waiting to be answered since your Facebook friends know you’re doing something else less important, and they’re hyper-sensitive. Also, just because you spend all your time on Facebook doesn’t mean I do too. I saw your post on my profile last week, and I’ll get to it once I’m done watching these cat videos on YouTube (says the white person. If you’re not white, substitute “cat” with whatever’s appropriate).

2. Do not say anything disrespectful about someone on Facebook.

Great. I’m left with absolutely nothing to post.

3. Don’t post anything that will hurt a friend’s relationships.

My friends have relationships outside of me? Well, possibly, but those relationships couldn’t possibly be more important.

4. If a friend deletes or untags themself from a photo or post, do not repost it.

This is the best one. It’s sort of like when you delete a friend and they send a new friend request saying, “Oh, I think you accidentally deleted me off your list.” Yes, because me clicking your name and then pressing the “Remove from Friends” button while stabbing a voodoo doll effigy of you was something I just tripped into.

5. Communicate with your good friends using other methods besides Facebook.

I’m kind of OK here because I make sure to text my friends “wassup” yearly. My lack of reply to their response is what I need to work on.

6. Always present yourself positively but honestly on Facebook.

What if you’re a sack of shit like me? Should I gussy myself as a silken sack of shit?

7. Do not let Facebook use interfere with getting your work done.

Bullshit. I write about Facebook. My 8 hours must be spent on Facebook. Science, you fail. I win.

8. Do not post information on Facebook that could be used against you.

So I shouldn’t post videos of me punching children? I thought I was supposed to portray myself honestly…

9. Use common sense in your Facebook interactions.

Wait, so in other words I definitely shouldn’t post videos of me punching children?

10. Don’t post anything that will hurt a friend’s career.

Also, remember that what you post on your own Facebook profile can hurt your career.

 

And here are the 36 rules in total, in clusterfuck order. Enjoy.

Project yourself in a manner others would want to be associated with.
Don’t post anything that will hurt a friend’s image.
Don’t post anything that will hurt a friend’s career.
Don’t post anything that will hurt a friend’s relationships.
Respond immediately when someone leaves you a Facebook message.
Expect an immediate response from others when you post on their profiles.
Use privacy settings to control each friend’s level of access to your profile
Share information with close friends before posting it on Facebook.
Delete or block anyone who posts something that compromises your image.
Apply offline social rules to your Facebook interactions.
Be aware that not everyone is honest while on Facebook.
Use common sense in your Facebook interactions.
Monitor your photos to make sure they are flattering.
Always present yourself positively but honestly on Facebook.
Know that all of your friends can potentially affect your Facebook image.
Use Facebook to maintain your relationships.
Use Facebook to communicate happy birthday with friends.
Wish your close friend happy birthday in some way other than Facebook.
Use Facebook to learn more about people you are just getting to know.
Respect your friends’ time by not posting excess information on Facebook.
Meet new people by adding your close friends’ contacts as your own friends.
Only write on a friend’s wall if you are actually friends with them offline.
Only send a friend a private message if you are actually friends with them offline.
Only comment on a friend’s photos if you are actually friends with them offline.
Only use Facebook chat with people you are actually friends with them offline.
Communicate with your good friends using other methods besides Facebook.
Don’t add someone as a Facebook friend unless you meet them offline first.
Always realize that Facebook can expose lies you have told people.
Remember information a friend posts about you can have real world consequences.
If a friend deletes or untags themself from a photo or post, do not repost it.
If you are ignoring someone’s message, do not commit other Facebook behaviors that will reveal you were on Facebook.
Do not spend time trying to guess a friend’s motives for Facebook behaviors.
Do not confront anyone using a public component of Facebook.
Do not say anything disrespectful about someone on Facebook.
Do not let Facebook use interfere with getting your work done.
Do not post information on Facebook that could be used against you.

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