Brenda Boitson is looking forward to seeing her friends tonight. Brenda Boitson has diarrhea. Which do you think is more appealing to an audience of 627 of your “friends”?
Your status on your choice of social networking sites becomes you. Once it’s out there in cyberspace, everyone becomes witness to the sometimes boring, and sometimes controversial, happenings of your life.
Despite living in the land of free speech, we have become a censored society. This fact is even more evident, and sometimes completely not, when determining a suitable status to describe your life’s events.
I must admit that I censor my statuses. Yes, opinionated Brenda, adamant writer, fully censored. Frankly, I don’t want people to know what happened in Vegas a few weeks ago. Not that it was bad, but I like to live by the philosophy, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Sometimes there are occasions when only you need to know, and no one else.
The status of our lives has become the daily gossip channel for many of us. I am proud of my 627 acquired online “friends”. I think it’s amazing that through some odd occurrence, I have pretty much met every single “friend” I have, and they all still want to be my “friend”. However, not all my friends know all my dirt, and having only met some of these people 1 time, I don’t feel it’s fair for me to air my dirty laundry in their febreeze worlds.
My friends and I have discussed our statuses to great lengths. The topic that sometimes comes around is, what’s OK to put on our status that won’t offend people? What if “so and so” reads it? It is from these conversations that I have come up with a social networking status etiquette guide, to help you through these questions.
-If you have a “friend” who is a former spiritual adviser, teacher, or mentor, it would be best to not publicize you getting blitzed on your birthday, or acquiring the clap from an ex.
-When you have aunts/uncles/grandparents who are computer savvy enough to join a social networking site, it means they are checking up on everything you do, say, and everything your friends say. If a friend replies back to “Jessica had fun with Steve last night” and says “I knew he was big! Or was it more average? I want all the dirty details”, it is usually best to delete their comments, even if they happen to be teasing.
-We all get the stomach flu, but none of us want to read about what color it was, or if it had chunks. No one.
-You should be happy to declare if you’re Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, and even a good ole’ Commie. Because we live in a free speech society, there will be at least one person that replies back negatively, or even unfriends you for your right to democracy.
-If you have been “in a relationship with ________” and you change it to “It’s complicated with ______” questions will be asked. Or in my case, if you’re widowed, and because Facebook (at one point) had no status for that, you put “it’s complicated”, people think you have not only begun dating, but already screwed it up.
-In no way, shape, or form, is it ever OK to breakup via email or text message. However, it seems it has become perfectly OK to end your relationship via relationship status. Or not.
-Never, ever post a negative status mentioning the hater’s name unless you are 100% positive they are not your friend.
-If you do post a negative status including the hater’s name, even if they are not your friend, one of your 100’s of friends will forward it to them via “share”.
-If your parents are your friends on a social networking site you are screwed. No longer can you post about relationships, drunken nights out, or bitch about your parents. You are now “in a good mood” or “need some money” 24/7.
Whatever the case may be, always use good judgment when posting your status. It is a good rule of thumb to stay away from your favorite social networking site while intoxicated, horny, desperate, angry or just plain ignorant. Sound statusing is always the best way.