A (tongue-in-cheek) Guide To Good Facebook Etiquette

A (tongue-in-cheek) Guide To Good Facebook Etiquette

I wrote a post about Twitter etiquette recently and how being quite new to social media, I have unintentionally broken a few ‘rules’ of what is deemed to be good twittering.

When I say I am quite new to social media, I mean of course that I am quite new to Twitter. However, me and Facebook go waaaaaay back.

I only really started to commit to Twitter properly last year and then only for blogging, but I’ve been hanging out with my real-life friends on Facebook since 2007.

Neither came with an instruction manual on sign-up, but I find myself behaving very differently on each of them.

With Twitter, I liken each tweet to standing up in front of 1,300 strangers and trying to say something witty or thought-provoking. Most often than not, falling completely flat.

Over time, I have found a few trusty followers who will always kindly respond and even though we may not have met in real-life, we still manage to have a good natter albeit in full view of the WORLD.

I socialise a bit differently over on FB, as I affectionately like to call it.

On Facebook, I post photos of my family and ‘like’ photos of my friends’ families.

Sometimes I throw out a quote from Zachy when he says something particularly funny or rude (cute).

But mostly, I am kicking back on the sofa with a glass of wine and watching what everyone else is getting up to and I have to say, some days I log on and feel like I have walked right into an episode of Jeremy Kyle!

Just kidding, I love FB and I love you all, really I do. Even the friends I friended from school but don’t really remember that well… and the colleagues from 15 years ago that I worked with for 5 minutes and will never see again… I think you are ALL GREAT.

It is brilliant that we have this network to stay in touch with each other and I truly enjoy looking at the photos of your wedding day, hearing about the birth of your child and wishing you a happy birthday.

I LOVE FB for that.

However, do I really need to know when you have ‘checked in’ to Cafe Nero on Oxford Street, or have stopped off at M&S to buy a ham & cheese sandwich?

“But I can write what I want on MY Facebook page” I hear you cry.

Of course you can, but… why would you want to?

There are no rules for being a good facebooker, as there are also none for being a good twitterer. It would be absolutely impossible to create some either, as it will always come down to personal preference. Plus, freedom of speech and all that.

However, call me old-fashioned but I think it is polite to consider the news feeds of others occasionally.

I tend to be on Facebook at the end of a long day when I am ready to unwind. I may have just finished dinner or am simply waiting for Eastenders to start, but I log-on with the hope of reading something funny, seeing something pretty, or hearing something happy.

I hope my contribution to my friends timelines fall into one of these categories too, but I know I have also been guilty of the old ‘Sarah is… shopping for chicken breasts‘ type status updates.

I am certainly no expert on these things, but when thinking of how one should interact on Facebook, I like to think the same guidelines might apply as they would for a dinner party.

Not a formal one with fancy knife and fork combinations (save those for LinkedIn) but perhaps an informal BBQ at a friend’s house.

So, here are a few of my personal tips for being a considerate Facebook friend:

Unfold your laptop neatly out onto your lap. Switch TV off and open a bottle of wine.

Circle the room (or scroll down) and find someone interesting to spark up a conversation with.

Compliment their profile pic. Messages such as WOW you look fab! are widely acceptable on Facebook.

Have a glass or two of wine to relax, but not so many that you get lairy and start insulting all of your friends.

By all means, share a photo of your baby or a few from a recent trip overseas, but sense when the viewers eyes might be starting to glaze over and turn the auto uploader off.

If you are not the host, be an active but not dominant participant in the conversation.

If you are the host, ensure you respond to commenters… or the online equivalent to a smile is to hit the ‘like’ button.

It is very rude to exclude anyone from a conversation, however dull you think they are (if this is your thing, then Twitter might be more the place for you).

You see your partner every day, there is no need to have a private conversation in full view of the other guests, mingle a little…

Do not poke the person next to you, even if you are prompted to.

In the same way you would not play Angry Birds at the dinner table, don’t splash your Candy Crush all over my homepage.

So, there you have it. An old-timers view on what makes good Facebook… you’re welcome!

Can you think of any others?


You can follow me on Twitter @grenglishblog, find me on Facebook,
and on Pinterest as Grenglish


  1. April 3, 2013 / 7:33 PM

    Don’t say Candy Crush in my company! I am trying to avoid it like the plague but it’s everywhere and everyone seems to be ‘inviting’ me to play it – nooooooooo!

    Love this post *pokes*

    • Grenglish
      April 4, 2013 / 9:54 AM

      I too have avoided Candy Crush like the plague! Don’t get drawn over to the dark side Mammasaurus!!!
      *pokes back*

  2. April 3, 2013 / 7:51 PM

    i recently started to like facebook again…however when people update their status like every 5 minutes i just unsubscribe….they are still my friends but i am just not subscribed to them anymore.
    i am guilty on one of the things you are mentioning above though…using foursquare..although i don’t always checking in on Facebook. grrr…
    my advice will be: avoid updating your status every 5 minutes as nobody wants to see only one person on all their news feed LOL

    • Grenglish
      April 4, 2013 / 9:53 AM

      You can unsubscribe to updates from people?????! Please do tell me more…

  3. April 3, 2013 / 11:09 PM

    Nice. And I whole-heartedly agree, I do NOT need to know when someone has checked into their local coffee emporium or night-spot: NOT LIKE xx

    • Grenglish
      April 4, 2013 / 9:52 AM

      It is when one person fills my entire timeline with check ins and candy crush updates and new statuses that drives me crazy 🙂
      Wish there was an UNLIKE button xx

  4. April 4, 2013 / 9:45 AM

    I am getting back into FB again – like you I joined in 2007 too – I think a huge wave of sign ups happened then! I like that you can post more than 140 letters! And like you I only ‘got’ Twitter last year! X.

    • Grenglish
      April 4, 2013 / 9:51 AM

      I love how easy it is to stay in touch with friendships that might have been lost pre-facebook. I found out this week someone I used to work with, and was very fond of, is having a baby! We’re not in close contact anymore so I would probably never have known if not for FB and I was so delighted for her! Really made me smile 🙂

  5. April 4, 2013 / 10:33 AM

    I am much more at home on fb than I am on Twitter. Everything whizzes by so fast on Twitter that sometimes it feels like trying to jump onto a moving bus (with similar potential for humiliation), but I keep trying.

    Great post. Lots of sense. x

  6. April 27, 2013 / 9:26 PM

    Perfect rules!
    I have a ‘friend’ that really NEEDS to read them I should unsubscribe from her updates but reading how tragic her day is cheers mine up ;)) xx

  7. April 27, 2013 / 9:37 PM

    This made me snigger out loud, very well written :o)

  8. April 28, 2013 / 10:52 PM

    I love this! I am a sneaky facebooker…I can’t remember the last time I updated my status but I like to mooch around and see what people are up to, probably bad etiquette 🙂 Find it a bit strange that it lets me know if someone has checked in near me!

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