Thursday, February 24, 2011

Social Schmocial, What Does Miss Manners Say?

Quick! Can you identify all these logos?
Recently, a friend of ours had a baby and posted the news on Facebook.   Well, technically his wife had the baby but that's besides the point.  What was notable about this announcement was not so much the post itself but rather the conspicuous lack of "announcement" email that went out.  Think about that.  It was so quickly assumed that Facebook would be sufficient, they didn't even send an email.  Their parents, friends, family, almost all got it.

But a couple of friends who aren't on Facebook were out of the loop and had to find out through the cool people on Facebook others. 

So this leads us to ask:  has Facebook become so mainstream that it's socially acceptable to assume people will read what you write on your status?  What would Emily Post say?

Of course, this begs the larger question of what would Miss Manners say about social media in general?  Is it now assumed that we're keeping up with everyone's status on our network?  What if we're friends with hundreds of people?  What about the friend who posts daily on how many tissues they used that day?  Or the coworker who constantly has something stuck in their teeth?*  Do we have to keep up with all of that?  Are we really expected to know what Aunt Ida ate for dessert every day? 

And while we're at it, let's consider social media in the professional realm, shall we?  Before LinkedIn, it would be unthinkable to not reply to new business opportunities from headhunters and potential employers.  But when these people try and "connect" with you, do they really expect you to add the to your profile for the world to see?   If you don't, you're rude, but if you do accept all of these you end up with a profile that's comprised of all sorts of people you've never met (and who knows what you don't know about them) and what does that say about you when others look you up?  That can't be good, right?  It's analogous to logging into Facebook and seeing a friend request from your father.  Nothing good can come of it.



We did find this one video but it's so...you know, 2009.  It's all different now.

The only thing we know for sure about social media etiquette is that it's not polite to read these posts and not pass them along.  We're just saying.  And while you're at it, if you or someone you know or someone in your network or someone in your friend or coworker's network happens to be friends with Emily Post on Facebook, could you give her a little poke and ask her what the etiquette is for this whole social media thing is?  That'd be swell.

*These are all fictitious examples to make a point, peeps. We're not stupid enough to use actual examples from our network.  After all, wouldn't want to risk being a social pariah. 

2 comments:

Wendy said...

I've found people don't always read, or they at least forget, what I've put on facebook. Not that I expect them to commit my posts to memory or anything. I like things like baby announcements, invitations, and thank you notes in the mail but I think that's disappearing. I even broke down and invited Ella's friends to her birthday party via e-vite because it was too much trouble to dig up all their home addresses.

Poker Chick said...

I totally read your FB posts :)