In continuation from my last post, Let’s Get Started (a pre-requisite for this post), I’d like to think that SOMEONE out there followed my previous advice and actually created an account on Facebook. If you did, this post is dedicated to you! Because anyone that does what I tell them to do Rocks! You created an account so I feel indebted to you, a sense of responsibility that Facebook needs to be everything I said it was. So, my friends, in an effort to not let you down, I want to give you some pointers. Here is what I came up with:
Starter kit for Facebook (fb)
As a newbie on fb, which is an abbreviation for “Facebook”, there is certain etiquette that goes along with using it. I’m here to teach you that etiquette because I wouldn't want people to un-friend you (remove you from their friend list) because you didn't know what you were doing. So here are some guidelines.
First, let's start with a list of acronyms. These acronyms are not only used in fb, but all over the web, in emails, chat rooms, texting, et cetera. They are commonly used for people who are too lazy to type the full words (Me!) Some people have even carried the abbreviations over in to their every day running speech. They actually say the letters /O/M/G/ when they want to say "oh my god". I’m not sure this cuts down on anything. But you know the people that do this are so addicted that they don’t even know that /O/M/G/ isn’t a real word.
Here are a few acronyms to get you started:
LOL = Laugh Out Loud
LMAO = Laughing My Ass Off - you will be using this one quite often when reading my updates on fb and/or on this blog. So get used to it!
OMG = Oh My Gosh, or Oh My God, or Old Man Gone, no wait, that last one isn't right.
WT? = What the?
WTF? = (Figure it out.)
Some more abreviations to help you cut down on the risk of carpel tunnel syndrome:
J/k = Just Kidding
Def. = Definitely
TTYS = Talk To You Soon
TTYL = Talk To You Later
TTFN = Ta Ta For Now (None of my friends say that to me in person so I'm not sure why they type it. If they did say that to me, I'd say, wtf?)
Character expressions. Character expressions help people know how you are feeling. Are you happy? Sad? In love? Learn these sets of characters and you’ll be able to let people know what kind of mood you're in.
:-) = turn your head sideways to the left and you will see that those 3 characters make a smiling face. Use this when you want others to know you just slammed them but you're just kidding. Well, that's what I use it for. You can use it to let people know you're smiling or that you like something they wrote. This sign can also be used to make us all wonder what the heck you're up to. On fb, there is also a "thumbs up" sign which can indicate that you like something that someone typed without having to type any words whatsoever. I mean, if you are THAT lazy, you can do that. If someone likes what you type, they may just click on the "thumbs up" link. You know they're not actually sitting at their keyboard doing an actual thumbs up. But one of my favorite things to do is actually picture them giving me a big smile and a thumbs up which usually makes me laugh.
;-) = If you change the colon to a semi-colon, that indicates you're winking.
:-( = Use the other parenthesis to indicate you’re sad, unhappy, clinically depressed.
"<" "3" = typing these two characters together will translate into a heart shape on your post automatically. But be careful who you get a heart on from. ;-) (perfect place for a wink!)
Who made this stuff up? Don't know. But we all do it and we all use these funny little shortcuts to express ourselves.
Fb is supposed to be fun. Although there are times that someone states an opinion that you don’t agree with. And that’s okay. As long as you express a difference of opinion in a respectful manner, you should be fine. For example, if you say, “Are you out of your ever lovin’ mind? Did you get your degree in stupidology?” that might be an inappropriate way to say that you disagree. I find that people who say “I agree with you, but…” last longer on fb. It’s up to you on how you want to approach that. But I think you’d be an idiot not to follow my advice. (See? How does that feel? Not too good huh? So don’t do it to others!)
Speaking of diplomacy, sometimes what people type is funny. But sometimes it misses the mark. Never, EVER, say something isn't funny on fb. Keep your disgust, dismay, repulsion, shock, loathing, whatever, to yourself. Nobody wants to hear it. Unless you put a :-) at the end. See at this point, if you were paying attention to what I’m trying to teach you, you would type back to me in fb or on this blog, "LOL".
Can I be frank with you? Great, I thought I could. We don't care that you're doing your laundry right now so don't type that as an update. Fb isn't Twitter! If you want to tell everyone that you are going to the bathroom right now, go create an account with Twitter. But on Fb, there is a higher standard. The only time I want to hear about you in the bathroom is if there was a nighttime of partying preceding it, and you’re on the floor and can’t get up, but have managed to type to us all from your cell phone to tell us all about it. THAT'S an update!
Actually, all kidding aside, updates can be anything you want to type, but be careful because people like me will have something to say about it and will "comment" on it. Which is the whole reason for posting updates - for people to comment.
A status update can range from being funny, or not. It can be sad, like the passing of a loved one, and people will offer you support. It can be a story to see if others commiserate. It can be a story to see if others have had the same experience as you. Or Not! (I was attacked by a person in a wheelchair once. Have you ever been? Yeah, neither had anyone else. But it sure was fun talking about it!)
Had a bad experience at a mechanics garage, post it on fb, so we can boycott the place. Status updates can also be prose, poetry, quips, quotes, anecdotes, daily routines with different views, exercise accomplishments, current news events, political stances, celebrations of births, anniversaries, marriages. Although I have yet to see someone do a status update while taking their vows. But you know darn well SOMEONE is going to do that and it’ll be on Youtube. "Do you take this facebook addict to love and cherish..."
Those are just to name a few updates that people have posted. Everyone gets something different out of using fb and you make it what you want it to be for you. Understand upfront that not everyone is going to agree with you; not everyone is going to think it’s funny; not everyone is going to cry with you; but that's ok. Some people may never even comment on your updates. I refer to them as “lurkers” (props to C. Pryor). Sure, they want to READ your stuff and see what you’re up to. But they don’t have the guts to comment about it. Lurkers. But they do increase the number of friends you have listed, because let’s face it. You don’t want to just have 2 friends showing up on your list when your ex-boyfriend looks you up, thus proving what a loser you are, do you? No. So keep the lurkers around, at least until you can replace them with people who will comment. If you find the lurkers take away from your enjoyment on fb, at that point, you can decide whether you want them part of your fb world or not. And if not, you just delete them by clicking on the big “X” next to their name. (NOTE: If I am a friend on your friend list, it is a fb rule that you can not delete me. Read it in the fb guidelines. It's there. Ha! (Oh, Ha! = someone laughing but it's not as funny as an LOL. And then hahaha is somewhere between the Ha! and the LOL. Have I lost ya? Do you sound like "ha" when you laugh? Me neither. But just play along.)
"You may start to find that, as events happen in your day, you are trying to shape them into a paragraph that is elaborate enough to fully describe, but also succinct enough to not exceed, the character limit for a status update.” – D. Stone, Fellow FB Addict.
Should you exceed the character limit for an update, the first thing that happens is fb inserts an annoying “read more” link. Every time I post a long-winded update, I am convinced that people don’t click on the link, making them think I blacked out mid-sentence. I have also tried to extend my novella-size updates into the first comment section. And when that doesn’t work, I turn to writing a Note. (This will be covered in my next blog entitled, “Intermediate Facebook 201”.)
I touched slightly on this in Let’s Get Started, but I’ll go more into depth here. The goal of posting your picture on fb is to post the very worst picture of yourself. Just look at mine for instance. On a serious note, any pictures you post to fb become property of fb. So if you don't want a certain picture of you or your kids on some commercial on the internet somewhere, don't post it on fb. That's why I post my worst pictures, on the premise that nobody will want them. Of course, that could explain why I only have a few friends on fb. Ha! Hahaha. (Nope still doesn't sound like me.)
Looking Up People - AKA Stalking
THIS is what fb is all about, people. You click on "Find people" and then type the name of the person you are looking for in the "Search" box. For example, if you type my name in, you will get all kinds of people with my name. One being a porn star. That isn't me, btw (by the way). As if I have to note that. Just didn't want you to be reaching out to the porn star and being disappointed to find it isn't me. ;-) (turn head sideways, remember?). Ok, back to stalking. If you get a list of names that match, you have to scroll through to find the exact person you're looking for. Hopefully the person has a real picture and not something stupid like say a wii character or something. (Guilty.)
And sometimes, even if they DO have a real picture, it's hard to tell if it's them or not. Let's face it, other people, not us, are aging not as well as us. So you have to kind of squint and imagine that person years ago and see if they actually could be them. If it is them, Score!
Ah, the friend request. Sometimes, depending on how people have their settings, you can't see their information unless you are friends with them. Which means you have to send them a “friend request”. This is similar to being the new kid on the playground and asking another kid if they want to be your friend. In real life, the response is normally within seconds. "Sure" says the other kid and off you go to play. In fb world, it can take a second, an hour, a day, sometimes a week. The emotional stress of wondering, "do they NOT want to be my friend?" can kill ya. Not to worry. Most people WILL accept your friend request and if they don't, you have to wonder what kind of idiot they became in life to not want to be friends with you. (Or maybe they're just on vacation. So be careful before judging.) :-) (Getting the hang of it?)
Once a friend accepts you as a friend, then the fun begins. You get to read all their stuff on their "wall" (another lesson for another day.) You can look at pictures of their families, vacations, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's stalking at its best! But keep in mind that once you're friends with that person, they can see YOUR stuff too.
You can send private messages as well to just one friend and yourself by clicking on the "Inbox" and composing a message. Keep in mind, the updates, wall stuff, comments, everyone can see if they are friends of yours. If you want to say something to someone privately, use the "message". You'll get the hang of it.
This just scratches the surface, my new fb account users!
My Kaneclusion for this week is that you may not find the humor in any of this right now. But in a few months from now, you will be sneaking away from your desk to check your fb notifications. You'll be excusing yourself from business lunches to go to the ladies room to check your fb. You will be booting up the computer at 3:00 a.m. to see if anyone posted something. Trust me, others are laughing at this right now because it's true.
If you did indeed join fb because of the peer pressure I inflicted on you, 1) I’m sorry and 2) Welcome to Facebook! And where the heck is my friend request from you? :-(
See you next time when we discuss rescinding stupid comments you’ve made on fb and what you can do about it. This isn’t just for the newbies on fb. Some of you long-time fb users could use a lesson in this too! :-)
So come on back!