Common (Social Media) Courtesy

I usually turn off my chat when I log on to Facebook in order to ‘work’. You know I am because you can see me commenting on posts and sharing links. But my chat shows I am off.

Am I a liar? Is it polite for me to choose to ‘not chat’ with my online ‘friends’?

Social media has broken many walls — geographical and temporal — but it has built others. Social walls: the ability to choose when I want people to ‘see’ me or ‘chat’ with me. I can ignore notifications and explain: “Oh. Sorry. The network. Meh”.

Since I do all these, I guess I must be part of the new breed of criminals- social criminals?

I don’t know. But I find interesting to…you know… ‘visit’ a ‘friend’s’ page, check out her pictures, see her friends, comments, interests et cetera.

The sad part is we’re NOT friends and I don’t intend to send a friend request. Is that stalking? My friend once said it is punishable by law in some states.

Hm. I must be a wanted criminal.

What about unfriending? Or unfollowing? (My account was blocked from following @StanleyEnow on Twitter shortly after I wrote this blog post). What does it mean to click the button with the intent of not being able to get someone’s updates? Is it worse than saying, orally: “I don’t like what you did. We’re no longer friends”.

Since when did a click gain the power to generate such debates?

I will not open the ‘You didn’t like my picture’ page. Or the ‘why didn’t you comment/share/like/RT?? Why? WHY?

A social wall. That is what we’ve erected with the new media. The ability to touch everyone and no one. With the need to re-learn ‘how to’ be social. Some are pretty good at it. Some get the conversation going with just a click, a picture.

If you’re like me, after writing a post, you WRITE a post. You tag, add, share, tweet mention. Promoting content online is almost as important as creating it. Just observe the panoply of social media pundits/agencies.

Has the meaning of politeness changed? Or worse, should I remain friends on Facebook with someone I don’t want to be friends in ‘real’ life?

I am cheerfully confused.


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