Facebook Faux Pas

Maddie Holder explores the unspoken, unwritten online etiquette of Facebook.

Facebook grammar online etiquette

As students we can find ourselves spending more time on Facebook than talking to ‘real’ people or, god forbid, attending to our degrees.

This dedication has led to an unwritten online etiquette through which people can be judged before their personalities are. Such thought makes it ever more important to understand which unofficial Facebook faux pas should be avoided like a 9am seminar, and various Exeter students were duly asked to divulge their particular online annoyances.

The points below have been selected as the top five indiscretions determined to have no place in the world of Facebook, and to be left behind in the shameless depths of your hated timeline.

1. Poking:
Do you poke someone on Facebook to annoy them, get their attention, or hope they get the hint that they are your next Arena target? Who knows? Personally I have no idea how I’m supposed to react to being poked, and as Lucy Goff, a second year History student, put it ‘I’d be quite offended if someone poked me in real life’. No more poking please.

2. Grammar:
Sorry, I am one of those. The people that pick over every ‘there, they’re and theirs’. We can’t help it, and it takes all manner of self-restraint to not correct every grammatical error we come across. One particular bugbear for me is people that write a status with a Capital Letter At The Beginning Of Each Word. Someone needs to stop them.

3. #Hashtags:
One friend has an unhealthy obsession with these parasites of the English language #youknowwhoyouare. Whilst they can be amusing and opinion is definitely divided upon the subject, a second year Biology student, Mike Phillips, rightly stated ‘they are for Twitter, not Facebook’.

4. Excessive self-photos:
In a Myspace-esque style, some Facebookers take 384786595956686 photos of themselves in the same room, with the same clothes and the same people. Seeing how grotesque you can make your face is admittedly very fun but when each one is ‘a posy photo’, the point is slightly lost. I am as guilty as the next person in having more photos than I will ever have the time to look at, but I did my best to leave the cringing pout photos behind (mostly) a few years back.

5. Over-emotional status’:
This one includes song lyrics, the ‘<3’ symbol and descriptions of how you cried into your breakfast. Whilst guys picked up on this Facebook impropriety first, many girls, myself included, agreed that status’ describing how much you hate your life are not appropriate for the public eye of Facebook. A status dripping with sarcasm and satire is all good and well; and there is nothing wrong with an ‘I want to die’ hangover status on a post-Timepiece Thursday morning. In fact it is practically expected. On the other hand when people are sincerely lamenting the state of their lives you just feel incredibly awkward. The occasional ‘<3’ we can take (unless there are eight in a row), but please keep your innermost insecurities off of facebook; that is what drunk DMCs on the steps outside the Lemmy are made for.

So there we have it. We all have Facebook habits, and after all your profile is supposed to reflect your personality. However poking the girl/guy you fancy from your seminar will not make them jump you, confiding your problems should be done to a friend and not the world; grammar-Nazis like myself would honestly be very grateful for a little more attention to your ‘yours and theirs’.