The 10 Commandments of Facebook
1. Thou Shalt Not List Every Movie, TV Show, Band and Book You Have Ever Heard Of In Your Profile
Do you like Radiohead, A Confederacy of Dunces, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Do you enjoy watching The Office and Family Guy? Of course you do - everyone likes those things. Why make it a point to express your enthusiasm for things that everyone likes?
Maybe you're cooler than that. Maybe you're into cool, obscure bands like Fela Kuti and Einstürzende Neubauten. Awesome, dude - you have impeccable taste in shit that nobody has ever heard of. Congratulations.
Everyone knows that a person is only as good as their taste in books, movies, bands and TV shows, but what exactly do you hope to accomplish by posting a 5,000-item laundry list? Are you going to forge deep and meaningful new relationships with people based on a mutual appreciation of
"You like The Office? I like The Office!!!"
2. Thou Shalt Not "Poke" Indiscriminately
Maybe I'm missing something here, but as far as I can tell, "poking" people serves absolutely no purpose other than prompting the person on the other side to "poke" you back, sparking off a potentially infinite spiral of pointlessness that makes everyone involved just a little bit dumber than they were when it started. Before you know it you're installing apps that offer
This guy was into "the poke." He's dead now (probably).
3. Thou Shalt Not "Friend" People You Don't Actually Know
What does the word "friend" mean to you? It means different things to different people, but most would agree that a "friend" is someone that you actually know. Ideally someone you've met in real life. I know that's not always going to be the case (Gladstone would have exactly ZERO friends on Facebook if he had to follow that rule), but I'm sure we can all agree that if someone is your friend, you should at least KNOW WHO THEY ARE.
If you vaguely remember someone from high school but you don't remember how you actually knew them, then chances are you guys weren't very good friends to begin with. Of course, it's also entirely possible that you guys were total besties and you're going through some sort of
This guy is Gladstone's "friend."
4. Thou Shalt Not Use A Wall As A Private Messaging FunctionThe "Wall" is one of Facebook's most popular features. That being said, there are times when it might be a good idea to move your conversation to a private venue. Here's a handly little chart to help illustrate when it's appropriate to communicate on a public Facebook wall, and when it's INAPPROPRIATE to do so:
Hopefully that clears up some confusion.
5. Thou Shalt Not Join A Billion Groups
While it may very well be true that Dave Coulier shaves his balls, what more is there to say about it?If you're a black lesbian with a severe wheat allergy who also happens to be into Philip K. Dick and astrology, then you're in luck: there are tons of groups on Facebook, and there's sure to be at least one of them out there that caters to you. But with so many groups available, you have to draw a line in the sand somewhere. You might like chicken noodle soup quite a bit, but do you really need to join the Chicken Noodle Soup Group? Maybe you prefer sponges to forks, but do you really feel so strongly about it that you need to join
6. Thou Shalt Not Use Stupid Apps
With so many fart-related apps to choose from, how do I know which one is right for me?The other day I got a notification on Facebook letting me know that someone had "bought" me. Then someone else challenged me to a "race" where this crappy little car came up, I hit "Go!," and a message popped up that said "YOU LOST THE RACE." Then another notification popped up informing me that someone had "thrown a sheep" at me, asking if I'd like to install some sort of app to "throw a sheep" back at them. Then another notification popped up, but instead of clicking it I closed my laptop, walked down to the nearest highway overpass, and proceeded to get as drunk as a human being possibly can without dying. There are thousands of apps available on Facebook, and although there are a few worth checking out, about 99.9% of them suck. A reasonably intelligent person should be able to tell the difference. If you can't figure out which is which, maybe Facebook isn't the place for you. Perhaps
7. Thou Shalt Not Give "Gifts"
Q: What does all this crap have in common?
A: I don't want any of it. (Except that Chinese paper lantern. That looks nice.)
8. Thou Shalt Not Contact People From Your Distant Past While Intoxicated
If you had a relatively normal childhood, you probably have some nice memories of the people you grew up with. Assuming those people feel the same way about you, Facebook creates a tinderbox-like atmosphere - all it takes is a few booze-soaked swipes at the keyboard to send off an incoherent missive that can easily shatter even the fondest of childhood memories. It's nice to let old friends know what you've been up to, but mixing Facebook with alcohol can be a potentially deadly combination.
9. Thou Shalt Not Update Thy Status Message If Thine Status Hath Not Changed (Or If You Have Nothing Clever To Say)
Status Update: Still watching the copy machine.You have a full-time job, Monday through Friday, 9-5. We have a pretty good idea of what you're doing when you're at work - sitting at your desk, typing stuff, maybe talking on the phone every once in a while. Your weekdays are pretty predictable; your friends could use your routine to set their watches. You're at work. We get it. So here's a tip: Wait until you either have something clever to say or - godforbid -
10. Thou Shalt Not Act Like You're On MySpace
Facebook: Not nearly enough glitter.