Howard Feldman

Facebook rules for the unsavvy

2017-07-19 09:02


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Facebook should be a subject at school. It has become such a big part of our daily lives that it often acts as an instant reference point. It often provides an insight into people’s worlds and thoughts.

There should be an (online) textbook with rules as to how to best handle this powerful medium. But in the absence of such a reference, I have listed below an idiot’s guide to operating the powerful machine that is Facebook.  

Things you might want to consider:

Did you look in the mirror before posting that?

Is that sarong as flattering as you think it is?

Where are you going with that? Not as in “life goals”, but what do you want people to get from that post?

Some tough love advice:

That camera is too close to your face.

Nope. We don’t care. I promise you no one cares.

Maybe don’t post a random “happy birthday” without a name attached.

No one – really, really no one cares that you are awake in Illovo at 3am.

A sympathy "like" button for those seeking attention might be a good idea.

I'm really sorry you had a bad day. But don’t you want to tell us why instead of asking us to imagine the reason?

Why do you think it’s OK to post that?

If you’re upset that she stabbed you in the back and bitched about you to everyone, maybe tell her and not post cryptic messages on your wall that makes me think it was me. Because I don’t even know you.

Dogs: Please, please stop making me sob before lunchtime with pictures of abused animals. It might end well but no one gets the whole post.

Cats: Keep going. Everyone loves cat posts.

You don’t need to check in to Facebook at every airport. Your real friends know you are travelling.

They don’t have Facebook in heaven. When you send a message to your dearly departed, I am pretty sure they don’t get it. If they did there would be a “Check in to Heaven/Hell” option.

There is little doubt that you love your new balustrades – but please don’t be aggressive about me not using the same service providers. There might be alternatives to Duncan the balustrade man.

How do you think your child will feel about that photo of them licking the dog five years from now?

Try and limit first day of school, dress up days and beach scenes to a few posts per family. Remember that sometimes less is more.

Did you really mean to repost that article from 6 years ago and not mention that it didn’t happen last week at Sandton City?

The Onion is a satire site! It is satire! That means it’s not fact. Write that down somewhere where you will remember to look at it.

A Facebook status is powerful. But a typo is more powerful.

If you want to troll someone, make sure you do so with decent grammar. Nothing disempowers like your target correcting your “there” to “their”.

Don’t “like” a picture of someone you might be “stalking”. What you are doing is weird enough without you making it obvious.

It goes without saying that your post probably won’t make Trump haters love Trump and convince anyone of a political view they don’t hold. But Facebook is a stunning and awesome platform that makes the world smaller and bring people closer.

That is of course, if it’s not ripping them apart (the back stabbing bitches know exactly who I mean).

- Howard Feldman is the author of Carry on Baggage and Tightrope and the afternoon drive show presenter on Chai FM.

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