Do you ever wonder why there is no “dislike” option on Facebook? In real life, we have the option to let someone know when we don't like something they've said or done. In social networking, we post freely, say what we feel, what we like and do it as often we choose, whether or not others enjoy it.
The ability to share in this way is the beauty of Facebook, but sometimes we should be our own filter. There are times to share, and times to hold back. Here are three common Facebook practices we dislike, and how to fix them.
Using Facebook as an emotional sounding board. This network is all about sharing, not over-sharing. If you're feeling particularly negative or upset, often-times you'll find that if you wait five minutes before telling your social network publicly, the need to do so will pass. Think of it this way, if you were in a room with every person you are connected to on Facebook, and they were all listening attentively to you, what would you say? What would you feel comfortable disclosing to all of them?
Using Facebook for connection, not catharsis. The fix here is to reach out to someone, but not everyone. It's true that sometimes we just need to vent our frustrations or emotions, and a phone call or a face-to-face meeting might not be possible. Send a private message to a trusted friend or connection, or perhaps write on their wall and suggest catching up. Or, post an inspiring quote that you can keep in mind and that may cheer up others as well. A Facebook timeline should be an archive of adventures, events, new friendships and shared experiences, not a graveyard for bad days to be documented.
Updating your friends and followers on the minutia. It can be helpful to keep in mind the idea that just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. Indeed, you can now tell thousands of people that you're eating a sandwich, or that you could really use a nap – but truthfully, no one cares. Everyone is living their day-to-day life eating, breathing and sleeping, it's the special and unique things we want to see from each other and should want to share.
Sharing exciting moments, beautiful photos and entertaining links. Curate your life! Are you going on a fabulous vacation? Did you snap a gorgeous sunset photo, did you watch a hilarious YouTube video today? These are the updates that engage and entertain your friends and followers, and maybe make them a little jealous! These things can be joyful, poignant, or reflective. We spend so much time visiting Facebook because we want to know what everyone is up to in life, not in the next five minutes.
Focusing solely on your page. No man is an island, even online. We need connections and interactions, and if we don't engage with others, we may lose them. Posting update after update that only pertains to yourself or your blog is like having a one-sided conversation. It's boring.
Commenting, liking, responding and posting on other timelines you follow. It's called a social network for a reason, so we can't forget to engage with those around us. It really can be easy to forget sometimes, when you try to focus on sharing your posts and keeping your page up to date. It's a lot to manage, but a little can go a long way. Commenting on or liking a photo on Facebook can have the same community-building effect as it does on an actual blog.
What are your personal do's and don'ts on Facebook? Do they differ for your personal profile and your blog page?
[Image credit: Shutterstock]