Etiquette (2)


Even before Facebook, we had lots of opportunities to end up in embarrassing conversations, in front of our mom.

Of course, those opportunities are magnified now and the chance of your mom seeing the embarrassing conversation before you is definitely a twist.

Let me know what you think about this week’s question. And submit yours!

Dear Amy Embarrassing #SMEtiquette

Dear Amy:

What do you do when someone makes a really inappropriate comment on your Facebook wall – such as discussing masturbation or porn – and those aren’t topics you generally discuss there? Especially if, say, your mother is a part of the conversation?

I’m no prude, but aren’t some things just inappropriate to post on a friend’s Facebook conversation?

Flustered Facebooker

Dear Flustered:

A lot of people act on Facebook exactly as they act in person, among close friends.

However, in real life, most people act somewhat differently when they’re with close friends than they do in groups of people they don’t know. Their language might be milder. They won’t broach certain topics, not knowing the sensibilities of the people around them.

It’s not self-censorship, it’s called being polite.

Yes, there are some things that are just inappropriate to post on a friend’s Facebook conversation, even if you would post them on your own Facebook conversation.

See, there’s the difference right there: Your Facebook wall is yours (well, and Facebook’s, but that’s another issue entirely). You can set the tone of conversation there. But if you want your friends to stay your friends, you should be respectful of the tone they set in their Facebook conversations.

So what do you do when someone is not respectful of the tone you set?

Say something. If this person is a friend, contact him backchannel and ask him to consider taking the comment down, if that’s what you want. If this person is truly a friend, he’ll understand and probably even apologize.

If this person is unwilling to back down, there are probably larger issues at play. If you are truly uncomfortable with what this person said, delete the comment yourself. You have full control over anything posted on your Facebook profile, in that you can delete anything (not that you should, usually, but that’s also another issue).

I don’t generally advocate deleting comments on Facebook, but when it is your profile and you are uncomfortable with the content of it, it is your right. Especially when mom’s part of the conversation and your friend steps over the line.

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