3 Things Everyone Should Know About Social Networking

Robert S. Donovan
Robert S. Donovan

The Rule Of Three

Ironically enough, the first is what I call “The Rule of Three.” In order to avoid coming off as clingy in the beginning stages of a romantic relationship, I limit my reply-less texts to three. That means if someone doesn’t get back to me after I’ve sent them three texts (at the absolute MOST), I drop it and move on. The same goes for social networking: If you comment on three of someone’s posts or send three tweets without getting a single reply then you probably shouldn’t bother. Note that ‘liking’ your comment without further response counts as a reply in my book, as it serves as an acknowledgement of your post. Also note that the rule of three really only applies to people who you aren’t in a close relationship with, i.e. friends of friends vs family members.

Your Friends Are Not Your Friends

My Mother will never understand this and I expect near half of you won’t agree, but it is important to remember that your ‘friends’ on Facebook are not really your friends. I truly believe Facebook is not only meant for maintaining connections but also for creating them. It is not uncommon (at least amongst the younger crowd) to be friends with people online who you have only met a few times, or in the rare case, haven’t ever previously interacted with. I am ‘friends’ with people online who I have shared classes with, seen walking around campus , and many friends-of-friends. I would not consider any of these people my actual friends, and would never expect much out of them. I promise you this is common, at least for people my age. If you are wondering whether or not it would be weird to add someone who you haven’t talked to (yet), I say go for it as long as you have friends in common and/or a reason to add them. Worst case scenario: they ignore your request and nothing changes.

Stalking vs. Stalking

If you’re unaware of the phrase, “Facebook stalking,” then I’m uber glad you’re reading my blog. The straw man definition of Facebook stalking is going through photo albums, reading statuses, and looking at a person’s ‘About Me’ section. What differentiates Facebook stalking from actual stalking are boundaries. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have boundaries when Facebook stalking. It is perfectly normal to glance at the most recent status updates, and go through a persons profile pictures. It becomes stalking when you find yourself looking at a persons first photo album or reading posts from seven months ago wondering why Jason broke up with Janice. The NUMBER ONE RULE is you don’t tell people you stalked them, and you NEVER tell people you are currently stalking them. Everyone knows that everyone stalks each other but we don’t ever talk about it. It is a social networking norm.

Accept the norm. Respect the norm. Don’t abuse the norm.

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