Here’s a list of things that I would not know if I had not been on Facebook today:
- Two Friends are in Hawaii on vacation (separately, not together).
- My husband’s cousin’s husband’s mother is in the hospital (follow that?).
- A friend of a friend had a new baby on Christmas Eve.
- My sister made my nephew slippers.
When you look at these events, they are pretty minor. Before Facebook, there’s a good chance I would know these things eventually, although probably not right at this moment. I would know about my nephew’s slippers once I called my sister later this week. I may have heard about the distant relative in the hospital after talking to my mother in law. My friends send me Christmas letters with details about their latest travels, or we catch up over coffee if they live nearby. But I certainly wouldn’t know all of these things right now, after 30 seconds on Facebook.
Truth is, I don’t object to knowing any of these little things. But just because I know them now, I still need to
- Call my sister
- Talk to my mother-in-law
- Have coffee or lunch with friends
- Send out Christmas cards.
So, I give you the final rule of Facebook etiquette:
Rule #5: Thou Shall Shall Still Interact with Real People
I’m as guilty of this one as the next person… because I work remotely at home, and I use the computer for the bulk of my communication with clients, friends and even family. It’s easy for me to go an entire day without talking to anyone who doesn’t live with me.
But once I get out of the house to take the dog for a walk or meet a friend for lunch or pick up the phone to chat with my sister, I feel much better. I need to talk to real people. Facebook is a fun tool, but it shouldn’t substitute for face-to-face conversations.
Just remember, you still need to talk to real people.
That concludes my Five Rules of Facebook Etiquette. Feel free to leave your own rules in the comments.