Facebook has become part of modern life with 60% of the UK having an account. Along with all its benefits Facebook is a minefield of tricky social interactions that have a set of rules and complications. When a rule isn’t followed or a tricky situation is encountered it often results in some sort of conflict.
It is hard to know whether you have crossed a social boundary until you get abusive comments, unfollowed or deleted as a ‘friend’. This can feel confusing and hurtful. The thing to remember is that Facebook is not real life and users often feel like they can behave in unacceptable ways that they would not dream of in face-to-face interactions. This does not make it OK though.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you:
- Take time to think about what you are writing
- Think about whether what you are writing might cause future problems
- Think about whether it is better to post the comment or statement publicly, privately or maybe not at all
- Say sorry if you have upset someone by accident
- Use the same social skills rules that apply to real life.
- Avoid controversial or emotionally triggering topics
- Approach confrontations and conflicts calmly and politely
- Write a comment when strong emotions are influencing what you are saying
- ‘Like’ or comment on every post a particular person uploads
Although your comment can be deleted, it cannot be ‘unread’ by the people that have read it so be careful. A good rule to remember is that if you are unsure of the risk involved or the consequences, don’t write it at all.