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10 Ways To Avoid Being A Facebook Jerk-Face

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by David Garland in David's Blog

Ahhh….Facebook. A land of connections, interesting links, photos to stare it, people to stalk..err…look at, videos to watch and many other fun and useful things.

If you want it to, Facebook can be an amazing place for information, networking, sharing your content and the content of others. Plus, for those who want it to be, it is a great blend of personal and business relationships.

Or it can be a nightmare of annoyance. People inviting you to events in outer-Mongolia, posting Farmville, Mafia Wars and whatever ridiculous Lite-Brite game/toy/application of the day on your wall. Or people spamming the crap out of you with products, services, work-at-home schemes and other nonsensical garbage.

Facebook is a hilarious glimpse into the real world. There are people that are nice. There are people that are mean. There are people who act like robots (well…maybe that can’t be found exactly in the real world). There are people that are ONLY friends with people they have met in the real world. There are people that connect with everyone. Some people use Facebook only for business. Some people use it only for personal stuff.

There is definitely not a 100% correct way to use Facebook. It isn’t like taking a multiple choice test where there is only one correct answer. That being said, there is etiquette that has developed.

What happens if you don’t follow it?

1. Well, for one thing you will lose your virtual friends. Your count will go down. Less people will want to hear from you.

2. Believe it or not, this will carry over to real life.
I’ve heard countless conversations at events and other away-from-the-Internet-activities. “Can you believe (insert annoying person here) on Facebook? They sent me 2949499 requests to join their fan page about purple dinosaurs.”

3. You will be called out at some point. It might be by Gary Vaynerchuk or Peter Shankman (or I guess me).

4. You will probably complain that “Facebook doesn’t work!”

5. You will be arrested by the social networking police….OK, you got me, that isn’t true, but the other four are.

There is an old adage that rings true in the virtual world just like the real world: You become more like the people you hang out with. If you are positive, awesome and have something to say, there is a tremendous opportunity to build a strong network. If you are negative and annoying, it will have an adverse effect and people will one click the “remove from friends” button and you will disappear back into cyberspace as far as they are concerned.

Of course, I’m by no means perfect. I’ve lost a friend or two and I’m sure you have as well. Relationships change over time. But, overall my experience has been massively positive in almost every way.

So, here are the ways you can avoid being a Facebook Jerk-Face:

1. BUSINESS SPAM: This is a relative term but most people can agree on this one: Posting special offers, deals, products, services, unwanted events on people’s walls is just lazy, un-effective and dumb marketing (unless they have ASKED for you to tell them about it).  In fact, even if your product or event is amazing, it will make people hate you. An adverse effect. This could be direct wall posts, tagging people in posts or the dreaded direct message spam from an unwanted club promoter or other tool.

2. APPLICATION SPAM: I’m really excited that you are spending all day playing Mafia Wars and Farmville, taking quizzes on which color dog you would be, and other crap, but don’t post it to my wall. If you do, I have to click stuff to get rid of of it and block the application. You wouldn’t show up at my door with a quiz and interrupt me during dinner, would you?

3. SENDING OUT 294845858 REQUESTS TO THE SAME PERSON TO JOIN YOUR FAN PAGE: I get it, asking someone to join your fan page is totally fine. I do it all the time with The Rise To The Top fan page. But ask ONCE (maybe twice over a few months). If you keep asking, you will turn people off like nude photos of your grandma.

4. BUSINESSES AS PERSONAL PAGES: There is a reason there are personal pages: They are for people. If you have a business, awesome, create a fan page or group. Why? Because we want to be friends with people and not faceless businesses (and sure you can talk shop on your personal page like many of us do, but it is coming from a person). Especially since I can’t even tell who is running the page. Is it the CEO? An intern from her couch? Also, please remember, all of us are smart. This also won’t work: Yesterday, someone friended me from a personal page. It was an employee of a local company who said in her bio “this page is for networking only.” Hmmm…so I took a gander at the few wall posts her friends wrote and every single one of them she responded with the phone number and website of her company plus some kind of offer. I threw up.

5. NOT TARGETING EVENTS. So, you are having a cocktail party next Friday in southern China. Awesome. Why the hell did you invite me? It is REALLY easy to segment your friends so you invite only ones that interested to your events. Know your friends. They just aren’t numbers up on a marketers wall, they are people.

6. EVERY MUNDANE DETAIL OF YOUR LIFE: I know it is riveting to you that you are eating a banana (post #1) and now you finished it (post #2). You know these people. They post every little damn detail about their boring lives. Perhaps nobody has told them we don’t care…what do yo think?

7. TMI: Being personal on Facebook is a GOOD thing (heck, that is the core of Facebook). But there is a line. We don’t need to know that you went to the bathroom and had to flush 8 times or that your “ex husband is a cheating, lying, SOB.” We really don’t.

8. EVERY TWEET POSTED TO FACEBOOK: Posting too little on Facebook will render you irrelevant in Facebook world. Posting too much will render you annoying. Sure, some things from Twitter make sense to post to Facebook, but not everything including every @-reply. Every social networking site is a little different.

9. NEGATIVITY AND FIGHTING: You know who wins a Facebook fight? Nobody. Discussions are fantastic, fighting is for little kids. Same thing with negativity. There is nothing worse than a negabot that always takes the glass half-empty approach. You know who they are. They are the folks that will complain when it is 84 and sunny because it isn’t 85. Who needs them? Life is too short.

10. FORMAL: Dear loyal RISE reader, viewer and community member. It is with warmest regards that you are reading this literary paragraph. It is an absolute pleasure to connect with you on social networks. I look forward to sharing a glass of Brandy with you next time you visit by home full of rich wood.

Sincerely and forever,
David Siteman Garland

Formality on Facebook doesn’t play. It doesn’t mean you need to butcher language, but…take off your tuxedo, we are all friends here.

I’m sure there are many more you can add to this list (and please do below). Also, if you know someone that MUST read this, pass it on and we will all benefit from a happier Facebook.

The bottom line is if you add value and are a good person online and off, great things will happen. Otherwise, in case you are defriended, it really isn’t us. It is you.

Your Turn:

Some of my favorite responses to: “Have you ever defriended someone on Facebook? Why or why not?” which was asked on Facebook & Twitter:

Via Facebook:

Michael G. Meyer: Because they were being a pest. A few weeks ago.

Jennifer Rolwes Volk: A few weeks ago when someone decided to be “nice” and Photoshop some of my photos…unsolicited.

Roy Naim: Well to begin with, I do not befriend people on facebook that quickly though I am starting to change that train of thought. I used to keep more personal with a touch of business but now I see the usage of it is SO valuable that I am starting to accept “random” friends but even then…I like to get to know them. I go out and check out their info etc. The only time I ever defriend someone…is if they are right on negative people and I mean negative and b) if they like to spam and that means tagging me in everything they do etc.

Nina Tekwani: Couple of months ago…approx 500 people. Just had too many acquaintances on fb!

Russell J White: Just defriended the Facebook account of Dr. Margaret Chan, Director of WHO. It is an impostor looking for bank account numbers type scam “to help out the leader of Haiti.” Spread the word.

Alana Weaver: Yes or either ignored friends request from certain ppl…

Stephanie Haworth: Agreed on people not interacting. The idea of SOCIAL media is to be SOCIAL, not to just let the world know what they are doing and then ignore their responses.

Kennedy Pittman: Get lots of friend requests from ppl who are obviously just gathering a list – you can see no interactions on their profiles other than all the ppl they have friended. Or this one: Friend request accepted. 10 seconds later “Become a Fan of my page”.

Brooke Kleiner: Ummm before Christmas- someone I worked with…just needed to be done. Some people are just better on the outskirts of our lives 🙂

Missy Jensen: Yesterday!  The guy befriended me…I was suspect because I didn’t KNOW A THING about him or how he managed to find me so I indicated “limited profile”.  2 hours later I was sent some spam.  UGH.  Later dude.

Kaysha Kalkofen: A few months ago. I friended someone and they started spamming my friends and people they didn’t know at all. Immediately severed that connection.

Cesar G Abueg Jr: I try to do it ever so often so I can focus and weed off non go-givers or spammer, and especially porn posters as well, which is becoming really apparent. Sad but it happens.

Demian Ross: I did before i realized I could just hide their status updates which were 400+ characters and 5-6 in a row.

Brian Powell: Couple weeks ago. They did one of those friend quizzes and shared information on me and posted to my wall bout it.

Michael Daehn (haha): This Dave guy kept asking questions so I got rid of him. Ha, just kidding. I look forward to your queries 🙂

Via Twitter:

AMBabka“Friend” as verb bothers me. It’s more “Here are 300 people I know/knew” instead of friendship. Want to defriend all! 😉

erine 3 reasons: When I didn’t know you well in the 1st place, Coworker presenting conflict of interest; Farmville (or similar)

blatantlybianca I deleted 250+ bc feed was not manageable. Also concerned w/who has access to my private info. And tired of inane rants.

LeahSchmidt I’ve defriended people before pretty much to “clean house”. if I don’t know them (or don’t remember) they get the ax!

PUBLISIDE I defriended “friend” on Facebook because all guy ever posted were quotes fm someone else. Never his own thoughts, no value.

richardbonilla I defriended a lot before the hide button. Now I hardly every defriend all marketing to me =)

KristinEDziadul Yes, if they were not close to me and update all the time. That fills up my feed and I don’t need to see those updates

RustyRotor Defriend? I almost cried when I lost a follower. Damn cool kids flauntin their popularity again. ; )

RockChristopher…reason to “defriend” ….they post photos of their hiney on your wall … or worst pics of YOUR hiney !

BuzzSkill Maybe a month ago I had to drop someone for spamming me with countless requests to add fan pages. Too many every other day.

meganlaneIS When all they did was try 2 sell 2 me…

BabbaCo defriended someone b/c they just kept playing those silly games & not giving me true updates, + never really liked her ha

Sully I periodically weed through SM relationships while thinking about Dunbar’s Number

bretthimself Number one reason: they don’t provide value

TiaDobi I defriended a man who did not respond to my love poem written & sent directly to him. 😀

JenOrvis cause of negative negative political rants. I ‘hide’ ppl who talk about ailments frequently. great ?

Misterfnygy defriended folks for pitching the same crap every day. I can only ignore so many page invites for groups I don’t care for

Bryan_Vehonsky Defriended someone for only using their updates to complain about their life

pastdue Last time you defriended someone on Facebook? ~ Today. He kept suggesting I become a fan. I get it after the 1st time.

LaurieBergman Rather than defriend people on FB, I put them in a “No Info” friend list if I don’t want to see them (or have them see me).

ProfessionalOne When was the last time you defriended someone on Facebook? Why did you do it? (<–Because they spammed me to death)

dalsgaard Last week I defreinded someone- because FB for me, is a personal network. If I dont know people that well, they get deleted

SaraLang about a week ago, for posting racist diatribes against Obama

GaneshaXi A few months ago, for making constant derogatory comments on my posts.

ADDcrafter I just got de-friended, I think my friend’s wife made him do it – she has never liked me.

ShemTovC I try not to friend them in the first place!

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