Largely through the efforts of fellow writer, Patti Larsen, every second Tuesday of the month I will be writing as part of a “blophop.” This means multiple blogs will be writing about a common theme, thereby providing readers with different perspectives of one topic. It will enable you to hop to other sites and discover how other writers interpret the same subject. I hope you enjoy all the different viewpoints. This month’s topic is “New Connections.”
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When I left my job to become a full-time writer almost a year ago, one of the questions I was asked over and over again was “Won’t you be lonely without people around you everyday?” My answer was an unequivocal “No.” Being alone has never caused me to feel lonely. I am very comfortable with my own company, and if the number of new Facebook friends I’ve made over the past year is any indication, I’d say I have more people around me daily than I ever have! Each morning, I open up my laptop to write. Along with Word, my email program, and calendar, I also open up Facebook and Twitter. I am new to Twitter, but have been on Facebook for a few years. I use it as both a promotional tool and as a way to stay in touch with family, friends, and acquaintances.
Because Facebook is a virtual landscape, there are, of course, ways to conduct oneself which are different than with friendships in the “real” world. Here are just some of my own etiquette rules for Facebook.
- I don’t “friend” anyone unless I know them, via some connection or referral, past or present.
- If I don’t accept someone’s friend request, I always send a private message to tell them why—just a courtesy.
- If I want something from someone, I say ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ and I’m willing to accept if they don’t give it to me for whatever reason.
- For those who don’t know me personally, I try to be careful with what I say. As tone cannot be interpreted with the written word, I can’t be sure they will “get” my humor, sarcasm, or *ahem* dry wit.
- The ability to cast a wide net with Facebook is a double-edged sword. It’s great when I have good news to share, but I never write any negative or venomous messages on the WALL.
- I enjoy reading about my friends, but I seldom make a comment. It’s not because I don’t care, but sometimes I feel it’s enough to observe without injecting my two cents. I like to give people their space.
- All my friends, old and new, know I will support causes that are meaningful to them, and if you didn’t know that, now you do. You need only ask (and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ of course).
- I keep all conversations that I consider sensitive, private, or confidential off Facebook, unless the other party is comfortable with CHAT or sending private messages.
- I reread what I write about five times before I send it, especially if sending to a big group of people – I hate reading bad grammar and spelling errors and don’t wish to subject others to mine.
- I make an effort to send a birthday wish to my friends on their birthdays.
I believe all friendships, if they are mutually desired (whether they are in person or on Facebook) deserve to be nurtured and respected.
To hop to other bloggers writing about this topic, click on their links below.