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facebook etiquetteYou’ve read about the things that we shouldn’t post on Facebook, and you’ve even read about the things that you should post on Facebook. As a matter of fact, you might have even read about the types of people 6 Facebook Stereotypes We All Know & (May) Love 6 Facebook Stereotypes We All Know & (May) Love I've taken a look at the top Reddit commenters that drive me nuts, and I've also told you what you need to stop posting on Facebook. However, what if you smash those two topics together?... Read More that you’ll find on Facebook. Basically, there’s a lot that could be said for the social networking site, and the list of all that could be said doesn’t seem like it could ever end.

However, have you ever just sat and realized, “Whoa. Facebook doesn’t really make that much sense.” Well, I have thought this time and time again, but I keep using it anyway. Let’s take a look at a few things we do on Facebook that don’t make sense.

Starting A Conversation On Someone’s Wall

facebook etiquette

I just really don’t understand the concept of posting things such as “Hey!” or “What’s up?” on someone’s wall. It’s just a little odd because it’s as if you are inviting others to join the conversation, but at the same time, it seems private. Basically, you should probably save private conversations for private messages.

I want you to imagine being at a party. There are a lot of people there – maybe 50 – and your cousin Jimmy is drunkenly stumbling around in the corner with a lampshade over his head. Now, I want you to imagine that two people in the middle of the room start screaming out their private conversation at the top of their lungs. That’s what I think of every single time people start a private conversation on a Facebook wall.

Posting Your Phone Number When Prompted

facebook behavior


This kind of fits right into the same category as the public conversations that I mentioned above. Occasionally, someone will write on their friend’s wall, “Hey! I got a new phone lol. Wut’s ur number again, baby?”

Despite the fact I don’t understand why anyone would laugh about getting a new phone, it just seems kind of inconsiderate to ask someone to publicly post their phone number. Furthermore, it’s kind of silly to post it voluntarily anyway. Creepers exist, but if you have the number posted on your information anyway, then I guess it’s no problem.

Clicking “Like” On Stuff

facebook behavior

Like – Such a simple word, and it’s effectively narrowing the language usage of Facebook users everywhere. Are you happy that your niece received that pharmacy job that she’s been working her bum off in school for? No. You like it. Did you find a piece of music elegant, complex, and beautifully composed? Nah. You just like it.

For some reason, we have summed up everything we could say about someone else’s post on Facebook into this one word. Is it that hard to actually take the time to write something out? Perhaps something like a Reddit upvote/downvote system would be better, but I still find it peculiar that we are able to put so much into such a little word.

Tagging People In Status Updates

facebook behavior

If you want to contact someone, why don’t you just privately message or call them How To Use Find My iPhone To Get Your Stolen iPhone Back How To Use Find My iPhone To Get Your Stolen iPhone Back Long story short: my wife had her iPhone stolen when she misplaced it at work the other day. I was able to log into her iCloud account and eventually get the device back. Read More ? I want you to imagine the party scenario once again. Say, for instance, that I’m at one end of the room at this party, and my editor Mark is at the other end of the room. At this point I’m a little hyped up on caffeine, and I really want to talk to Mark. However, instead of politely going up to him and starting a conversation, I begin hollering his name across the room, trying to get his attention.

Perhaps this type of instance is quite analogous to tagging other in status updates. If you want to talk to them, why not message them? I’m not saying to stop doing it, for I do it, but I am saying when you think about it, it just doesn’t make any sense.

Updating Your Status… Period

facebook etiquette

I’m no stranger to updating my status. If something cool happens, I post about it. However, it doesn’t happen very often. With that being said, why do we even do it? Do people really care about what we are doing right now at this second? Why do we feel the need to share the moment with people who aren’t actually experiencing it with us? Wouldn’t it be better to just share it with the folks that we are actually around while it’s happening?

Crazy stuff, I tell you. I sometimes wonder what we did before Facebook. How were we able to tell anyone about our oh-so-thrilling adventures to Starbucks [Still] Get Coffee With These 2 Replacements For Jonathan's Card [Still] Get Coffee With These 2 Replacements For Jonathan's Card In my last article about Jonathan's Card, we discussed how you could grab a quick coffee fix for free, but unfortunately, the system was shut down by Starbucks when Sam Odio manipulatively gained money from... Read More to pick up venti caramel macchiatos? Last time was just a grande, so things are getting a little crazy.


I’m not complaining about Facebook! It just makes me wonder why we do what we do. The same “why” moments could be applied to everyday life. For instance, why do we call someone while we are at their door rather than just knocking? It’s just stuff like that.

What other things on Facebook don’t make sense? Do you have any good examples of the ones mentioned above? Do you disagree with any of these?

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  1. Victor Morillo
    April 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    This was a great article. I see a link saying "5 things you need to stop posting on facebook" I don't know if you covered this point there I will check it out. One thing that Irks me is the damn checking in. Ok you can check in to that great restaurant, you can check in at the pool etc. But I have seeing people checking into their bathroom, bed, call of duty. Come on! I don't need to know that. One more tip on cheking in, I never check in I check out. Whoever is watching my check ins see me arriving to places when in reality I'm leaving.
    A year ago I wrote an article for my blogspot where I talked about some of the stuff I see here is people starting arguments on facebook, people posting drinks on facebook like if they never drank before, people posting a bunch of senseless crap. check it out if you like is victormorillo83 dot blogspot
    The fact is that people are stopping living life and instead live on facebook, people post stuff just for the sake of a comment and if I were to share this on facebook I would probably get 3 likes and 2 comments. If I were to post me doing senseless stuff like having a fight with a random person in the street I get all my 200 friends commenting and liking

    • Joshua Lockhart
      April 20, 2012 at 2:36 am

      Baha. I don't think checking in should be that specific. Your bed? Come on...

      Good tip on checking out, though. However, I still don't like people knowing that I'm away from home too much. Call me paranoid... but robberies do happen.

      And it seems like more of a fusion of the offline world and the online world. In theory, it could be cool. There just needs to be a balance.

  2. Afaq Alam Ansari
    December 18, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Really cool article buddy. These are obviously stupid things that most people do on facebook and i have noticed them many a times.

    • J. Lockhart
      December 21, 2011 at 11:09 am

      I really appreciate the kind words about the article, Afaq. It's just interesting to me how we've accepted these new ways of doing things. Crazy!

      • Afaq Alam Ansari
        December 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm

        Yes that is crazy . ;)

  3. carol
    December 15, 2011 at 12:43 am

    some people just have this need to be celebrities, and live in a pretend world, wishing that somebody does care about what they're doing and whom they're with and what they're eating and what they're feeling.

    • J. Lockhart
      December 21, 2011 at 11:08 am

      For the record, I'm actually not eating anything right now. But I am about to watch some Walking Dead via OnDemand.

  4. Andreas Beer
    November 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    why do you take the "like" word so literally? people don't use it because it has the word "like" in it, but it serves a certain function. you forget to even mention the function completely. so are you just ranting?

    • J. Lockhart
      November 21, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      Not ranting, Andreas. Just a question. We all know the function, but why did we choose that particular word? That's all.

  5. Slywlf
    November 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    This article and its comments are part of the reason I joined MakeUseOf - to clarify some of the 'stuff' going on online that has been baffling me ;-)
    I'm no kid - not 60 yet, but getting closer - and though I have been using the computer for work since the mid 80's I am still relatively new to the recreational uses. My biggest vice is insomniac web comic reading so far. Social networks are still a bit of a blur for me. I joined FB a couple years ago in order to keep in touch with a few friends and relatives scattered across the country but then watched my 'friend list' balloon out of control as I accepted invites without thinking it through. Tagging and poking still make little sense to me - though at least now I have a slightly better idea about the tagging. Thanks for that! I have the tightest privacy settings, and don't keep any 'personal' info in my profile, but I then I tend to be intensely private to begin with. I also keep an eye open for the periodic (AKA idiotic) 'change' bulletins FB announces so I can keep the privacy shields up ;-)
    I like the coffee shop analogy too - though lately mine has been feeling like one in Grand Central Station rather than on a quiet side street. :-/

    • J. Lockhart
      November 20, 2011 at 10:16 am

      Glad to help, Slywlf! Feel free to ask anything on MakeUseOf Answers for more info concerning the recreational stuff. Lots of good people are willing to help.

  6. Dave LeClair
    November 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    135 likes and counting. I love irony! 

    • J. Lockhart
      November 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      Baha. Well. As someone mentioned above, sharing interesting articles doesn't seem too bad. I do it. I suppose the emphasis should be on liking odd things on Facebook, such as items that would make "u crii every tym".

  7. beckirobb-bee
    November 17, 2011 at 1:37 am

    not a bad article, i do disagree with most of it, but i do see your point.
    two thumbs up.

    • J. Lockhart
      November 20, 2011 at 10:16 am


  8. Rkiak969
    November 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Dead on, perfect article.

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 9:49 pm

      Thank you, Rkiak.

  9. Aegix
    November 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    JL, you seem to be missing the point of social networking entirely.  Updates, Wall conversations, "liking" something, tagging people in posts...while often taken inane levels, are all a part of the very thing that FB (et al) is all about:  Connectedness with your social network.  

    Sure, I can't stand to see "baking cookies...YUM!" updates every five minutes from some mom in Outer Suburbia ("ignore" immediately) and I sure as heck could care less that a 70% of my male friends "Like" Kim Kardashian, but between the noise, I'm get insights on far flung friends I would certainly never have time to call or email, learn new things (e.g. "check out this article on a ...." -- and this makes sense because I'm connected to a group of like-thinking, interested people, right?), etc.

    While far from a FB apologist, nor an lover of All Things Social, I think articles like this make as much sense as complaining that golf would be so much better without having to hit a ball into a hole or boxing would be more enjoyable without the hitting and whatnot.

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 9:49 pm

      I'm not necessarily complaining, Aegix. As I mentioned to Jonny, my view is simply "why?" rather than "please stop". I'll admit that I may have not communicated it as effectively as I intended.

      However, I do believe you and I use Facebook the same way.

  10. Jonny Lindsay
    November 16, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I disagree in part with the tagging peoples names in your status, i use this as a heads up` that i am talking about them generally. I might be making a public statement like 
    " I would like to thank everyone who helped out today especially "@ insert name here" 
    I know then that that will show up on their wall and they will see it, thus publicly and directly acclaiming them at the same time.

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      That's a good reason for usage. I doubt people are understanding the concept of this article, and I am going to assume it was the way I wrote it. It's more of a, "What is the logic of doing these things?" than a "You need to stop doing these things!"

  11. Anonymous
    November 16, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Speaking of creepers shouldn't you block out some names?

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      My own or my good buddy (who doesn't particularly care)?

  12. ranjeet varma
    November 16, 2011 at 5:09 am

    hey, that's a nice article by you..
    even i don't get it why people do things which they shudn't..

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 7:11 am

      Thank you, ranjeet.

  13. Janetsellers
    November 16, 2011 at 4:58 am

    The tag thing is beyond annoying, but I was told by the most annoying tagger that they do it for advertising and to get friends to look at a post - usually because the friend won't bother if they don't tag them. Lies! Liar liar pants on fire. The phone posting is just plain stupid,and lots of things on Fb are so dumb I hide them and then go visit when I'm bored. But, I must say, I post what I think is interesting, entertaining, and/or just plain fun, and people tell me they jump over to read what I wrote for a day when they get home from work. So the Janet channel is alive and well. You can run, and you can always hide stuff!

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 7:11 am

      Excellent then, Janet.

  14. Wedsuccess03
    November 16, 2011 at 4:02 am

    I've probably done all of the above (minus posting my phone number) and . I think people are interested, perhaps secretly, in knowing what their friends are doing. This is why reality TV is successful. Also, the like button is genius. No one has the time to make eloquent comments on status updates, which change moment to moment. The like button, to me at least, is a way to smile back. And this might be a bit thick when applying to the like button, but I just read this quote and really loved it. "Perfection Is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 7:12 am

      Oh everyone is, Wedsuccess03. Everyone wants to know what everyone else is doing, and that's how it always has been. It's true about the functionality of the Like button. My curiosity is merely bent on this – why did we choose to use this?

  15. Gal328gal
    November 16, 2011 at 2:41 am

    Sometimes when someone does something kind or helpful for me or is too modest to publicize an accomplishment, I will thank or congratulate and tag them so that they know I appreciate it and to give others (my friends and theirs) the lift of knowing something positive about a friend. Similarly, status updates can be a way of alerting friends to mutual interests as a way of building relationships. Facebook is a low-investment way of inviting those who are interested into more frequent or deeper interactions without being intrusive. Starting a semi-public conversation on someone's wall on a casual topic can be a way of inviting others into the interaction if they want to participate. I have gotten to know friends of friends on Facebook through comments both of us made on the status posts of the mutual friend. It can be a good way to "spread the love" if used thoughtfully - more like the "coffee shop" than drunken screaming at a party. It's all in how and what one chooses to post.

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 7:12 am

      I loved the coffee shop analogy. Really made me rethink a few things.

  16. Aaron Couch
    November 16, 2011 at 2:32 am

    "Poking!" Totally doesn't make sense. Why?

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 7:09 am


    • Cicas
      November 17, 2011 at 5:17 pm

      totally agree!! what the hell is that?? :D

  17. Stephanie
    November 16, 2011 at 2:25 am

    I do tag my friend sometime, but I will set privacy to only that particular person can see my message. It's just whether you want to make it public or private.

    As for the like button, haha.. I would hope there is a hate button! WHy just like and no hate? Hmm..

    A lot of people likes to post their status on their wall. I stop doing that when I have too many not-so-close friend in my friend list. lol.

    I think this is shows how we complain about FB yet still stay on in. :)

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 7:13 am

      I wouldn't mind having an answer to the Like button. But I really don't think Facebook is a bad thing. Honest. 

  18. Mpurvis33
    November 16, 2011 at 2:12 am

    This article reads like it was written by a second year college student.  Oh wait, it was.

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 7:09 am

      Your point?

  19. phoenixstormcrow
    November 16, 2011 at 1:31 am

    I will sometimes tag friends in a post, not so much to get the attention of those friends, but to publicly compliment them, and bring them to the attention of others who may have common interests.

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 1:44 am

      Phoenixstormcrew, that's very kind of you. I can see that as a good thing.

    • Aaron Couch
      November 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm

      I occasionally do this as well.

  20. gussde
    November 16, 2011 at 1:06 am

    dammit, i just liked this article....

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 1:43 am

      I can appreciate that! Not saying it's a bad thing. I've considered the possibility of something different as mentioned by the article, but that's all.

      (Thank you for liking it, gussde.)

      EDIT: Not saying the action is a bad thing.

  21. Lunatikat
    November 16, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Oh sweetie, I do disagree with most of this. I think your starter analogy of a loud party is where we diverge. Try this analogy: sitting at a leisurely breakfast in your small town's cafe, while people you know both intimately and more casually come in and go out getting their morning coffees to go. Some you'll have a conversation with, some you'll just wave "hi" to, but most of them will give you a little warm lift just from seeing them briefly. We are all so geographically scattered, we forget how much those little tiny interactions count, but the popularity of social media of short forms, shows what people want, need and value.

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 1:02 am

      Lunatikat, thank you for your polite and very reasonable comment!

      This is actually a brilliant way of looking at it, and I may have to reconsider things. Seeing that I'm a local coffee shop fan, I can definitely see this analogy. I definitely appreciate that. Thank you.

      • Sascha S.
        November 16, 2011 at 9:23 am

        This is probably the first courteous thread I've seen on the internet. I want to like it but dammit... grrrh, what the hell.

        For me there's one more reason to like something and that's actively adding it to my feed. Either to share with my network and/or to bookmark it (the ladder is especially true for twitter).

        • J. Lockhart
          November 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm

          Oh I know, Sacha. It's just... "why this?" Why "like"? That's it. I like things to add it to my feed for others to read.

  22. Kerri
    November 16, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Heres another: complaining about FB privacy, yet staying on it. If I was concerned that my bank was selling/exposing my personal information, wouldn't I switch banks?

    • J. Lockhart
      November 16, 2011 at 1:00 am

      I don't think you read the article, Kerri.

    • Craig Snyder
      November 16, 2011 at 11:36 am

      Facebook knows only as much as you let it.

      • J. Lockhart
        November 16, 2011 at 10:49 pm

        Agreed, Craig.