Facebook Etiquette Blog Post #1

Jim and Sarah are in love.

How do I know this?  Well, for one thing, they do nice things for each other.  They make supper, they go for walks, and buy nice birthday presents for one another.  I also know this because they are getting married soon – just a few months I think.  It’s very exciting.

But the main, number one reason I know that Jim and Sarah are in love is because I am Facebook friends with both of them.

Almost every time I log into Facebook, and skim through the news feed part to see what my friends and family have been up to, there is a post like this:

Jim Jones -> Sarah Smith: I love love love love love love you and can’t wait to be with you forever!!!!!!!

Aww.  Well isn’t that nice.  It’s romantic and sweet…but sweet in sort of a “double chocolate ice cream with marshmallow, brown sugar and syrup topping, served with a bowl of icing on the side.”  Don’t get me wrong – a few bites would be delicious,but if you ate that every day you might get – well, kind of sick.

Anyway, this blog isn’t really about Jim and Sarah’s rampant online PDA.   Because while I might find their public affection and ardor a bit…much, it’s things like this that I find really bizarre:

Jim Jones -> Sarah Smith: I love love love love love love you and can’t wait to be with you forever!!!!!!!                                                                                                                                                               Jemima Jenkins likes this.                                                                                                                     Billy Brown says: Aww I love it!  You guys are so cute! 🙂

And this wasn’t just a one-time observance.  No, on at least a quarter (and for a couple like Jim and Sarah, a quarter is still a significant amount) of mushy posts between these two, somebody had either “liked” the comment, or commented something appreciative of their own on it.

Who are these people?  Are Jemima and Billy just supportive friends expressing their radiant joy that Jim and Sarah have found their “other half”?  Maybe, and for comments about getting engaged, or comments about the other person, but not written specifially to him or her, it’s fine and normal (i.e. Sarah Smith loves the flowers that Jim brought her today!).  But when Jim writes something to Sarah, and Jemima comments on it – it’s just weird.  Imagine with me if you will what this would look like in a real-life situation:

Jim, Sarah, and Jemima are at a get-together with a few other friends.  Jim and Sarah are on their way back from the kitchen, re-filling their glasses.  As they are about to walk through the door, Jim turns and pauses, and looks into Sarah’s eyes.  “Sarah,” he says, “I love you so much.  And I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.”  Sarah gazes back into Jim’s eyes, and they smile at one another.  It’s all very romantic.

At that moment, Jemima slides into the kitchen.  She grasps Sarah’s hands and gushes, “Oh you guys, I think it’s just so great that you are in love!  You are sooo cute together!” She heaves a great sigh, looks meaningfully at both of them, and continues on her way over to the punch bowl.

See, weird, right?  In real life, Jemima probably wouldn’t even think of stepping in and saying her two cents.  And if she did, Jim and Sarah would probably give a curt “why thank you”, end the awkward altercation as quickly as possible, and give weirded-out looks to one another once Jemima was out of eye-sight.

I understand that Facebook is, essentially, a public medium.  You dont – or shouldn’t anyway, put stuff on there that you don’t want others to read.  But perhaps it’s the same as having a conversation in a public place.  People generally only say things to one another that they dont mind the guy over there overhearing.  But that doesn’t mean that the guy over there has been invited into the conversation.  It’s all about discretion.

And Jemima, it’s great that you are happy for Jim and Sarah, but you should tell them in your own conversation, okay?

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2 thoughts on “Facebook Etiquette Blog Post #1

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