I joined Facebook about 3 months ago and while it took me a while, I am now an expert on it. It was an expertise I earned the hard way, as I quickly learned that Facebook does not come with an instruction manual.
I figure it’s past time somebody put together an operator’s manual for FB and I had nothing better to do and if I’m lucky the head of FB will see this and pay me a lot of money for it. If not, well, I had nothing better to do.
Here then are the 2009 Rules and Regulations for Facebook. Some of you will discover you are in violation of some, maybe many, of these rules. That is OK. For now. Since I am not yet an official representative of FB, these are really just “suggestions” until such time as I am named Facebook Cop, at which time heads will roll.
Chapter 1. Your Profile Photo.
THIS is NOT your profile photo. This is a placeholder that FB automatically puts up when you join. It is your responsibility to immediately remove the placeholder and put up a fitting image. Leaving this up is not acceptable. No one wants to talk to this. Seeing this when I should be seeing you is annoying. If you want me to friend you, I need to have some idea of who you are. Nothing personal, but I may not remember you. I have a lousy memory, as many people who know me will tell you. If I knew you from Stockton, that was 30 Years Ago. If I worked with you, I’ve worked with many, many people over the years. I can’t keep everyone in my memory banks. I am not my wife. Putting a photo there will help me.
Now, not everyone wants to put their picture up on the Internet. There are legitimate reasons. You may be ugly. You may be shy. You may be on the run from the law. All valid excuses. You still need to take that boring silhouette off your page. Any picture will do so long as it says to the world “This is Who I Am. If you don’t know it’s me from this image then you probably shouldn’t be friending me.”
That said, the following images are unacceptable for use as portrait photos:
1. Your child. Yes, your child is the most adorable child on earth. Yes, your child is a beautiful, precious flower and unique in all the world. You are not your child. I am not here to talk to your child. It confuses me when I see your name and some infant in your place. Especially if I’m having trouble remembering who you are. Feel free to post as many photos of your lovely, lovely child on your FB page as you want, just not in your portrait photo. (see also, Your pet)
2. Your pet. See “Your child” for details.
3. Multiple people. A photo of you and your spouse is not perfect but acceptable. A photo of you and your child is not perfect but acceptable. What is not acceptable is a photo of you and another person(s) of the same sex and roughly the same age. Again, it’s all about clarity. How am I supposed to know which one is you? Besides, the portrait photo isn’t that big to begin with, why clutter it up?
Chapter 2. Games, polls and quizzes
Many people come to Facebook to play games and answer polls and take quizzes. I am not one of those people. I do grudgingly accept that many people like to take part in these things and do not want to stop anyone from doing so. But I don’t want to hear about it. (I don’t mind some of the polls, as they sometimes lead to interesting conversations, especially by certain facebookers who like to stir things up. But boy, some (nay, most) of those poll questions (and quizzes) are mindbendingly stupid.)
If, like me, you don’t want to be inundated by messages from all your friends playing Farmville and Mafia Wars and whatnot, here’s a trick I learned far, far too late: When you get one of those Game messages, click on the word HIDE that will appear to the right of the message. It will then pull down the question “Hide Game?” and if you click YES you will never be bothered by updates again for that game.
To be continued