Did you really want to say THAT on Facebook?

If you've been on Facebook for a while, you have probably come across a post or two that brought to mind the following question: "Did you really want to say THAT on Facebook?"  I ran across two such issues this week. Sally Socialite: Posted on a Facebook group of about 4000 people was a notification that one of its members was leaving.  She said she was a member of a few other active groups, one of them had to go and THIS one was it.  She wished everyone well and informed them that she would formally leave in two days. While she had left a few comments, she wasn't the moderator or even a regular contributor.  So announcing to almost 4000 people that you are leaving the group seemed a tad arrogant.  Further, there's really no nice way to say that you'd rather spend your time on three other groups, but "THIS one is it" doesn't even come close.  Lastly, if you're going to leave a group, why not leave now?  The implication, to me anyway, was that she was waiting around to see who begged her to stay.  No one did. In fact, though the group had comments on every other post, this post remained the one without a single response. I think the polite way to leave a large group is to quietly unsubscribe.  If you are the moderator or a frequent contributor whose absence would be noticed, you can simply say you aren't going to be able to contribute to the group any longer.  You might cite a job change, more household responsibilities, a health problem (or anything other than preferring the company of another group over this one) as the reason. Stanley Sob Story While it is more common to find a Facebook bio that claims your potential "friend" is Superman, Einstein and Michael Jackson all rolled into one, I found a few who like to complain.  I'm fairly certain you wouldn't find this technique in How to Win Friends and Influence Facebook. He says he works at an entry level job where he "gets no kind of respect" and lists several grievances against the company which he refers to by name and by specific location-just in case any management, who might have noticed, wasn't sure which franchise was involved! First, reading this makes me feel like I'm eavesdropping on a private conversation and/or participating in gossip.  While his purpose may be to elicit compassion, the use of profanity (not to mention poor spelling and grammar) doesn't endear me to his plight.  Lastly, I can't see myself having a meaningful friendship with someone who keeps private all personal information save the sordid details of his unfortunate career. I've said it before, Facebook is a public venue where you meet and greet.  Be careful what information you give away, especially to your employer and especially in this type of economy.  First impressions are just as important online as they are offline at a party.  Nobody wants to feel as if they are second best (or was that 4th?) and very few are attracted to a vulgar complainer. What say you?  Have you encountered some things people have said on Facebook that left you thinking, "Did you really want to say THAT on Facebook?" X If you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed so you don’t miss one and SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter: for even MORE communication fun, FREE gifts, Book of the Month Club and exclusive excerpts and offers we don’t share with ANYONE else but our subscribers! X


  • jojosblog

    Oh, Cindy, your response made me giggle! Thanks for posting!

  • Cindy Holman

    This brought a few chuckles of recognition from me – I can SO RELATE! Facebook seems to be a place now where people tell ALL and especially if they are miffed or think they’re spending too much time on social networking they will ANNOUNCE to everyone that they are “taking a fast” or “a break” or some other such nonsense. Why can they just not LEAVE? Do they have to announce it? I think it’s a way that they can get attention and maybe even be validated for being “more spiritual” than the rest of us undisciplined people! Crazy! And I’ve seen people announce that they are leaving a group too – it’s bizarre – just leave people – don’t make a federal case about it!

  • jojosblog

    Carla, that’s great advice! Thank you for sharing that. Lea Ann, I couldn’t agree more!

  • Lea Ann @WhateverStateIAm

    Bad-mouthing one’s spouse, children, or other family members. That is my #1 pet peeve on social media (and society at large). The writer/speaker obviously doesn’t realize he is shooting himself in the foot (a house divided against itself cannot stand; every wise woman buildeth her house, but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands). We sould be using the public forum to build up one another, not tear down.

  • Carla

    I’ve left a few comments that I later thought were inappropriate. I try to follow an old, time-tested bit of legal advice lawyers given to potential witnesses. Before you answer anything, even what your name is, take a 2-second pause. Not longer or you’ll look like you’re trying to make something up. Breathe, pause and then answer. This way, if you need a moment to think, the pause seems natural. If you jump on the last word of the question every time, then the 2-second pause makes it seem like you don’t know or, worse yet, you’re lying. I try to do the 2-second pause thing before I hit the button to post. It doesn’t always work, but. . . LOL

    Now I have also seen tons of stuff that I wouldn’t post on a paid dare! Most of my students are on my FB friends list. I am constantly amazed at the amount of very personal info they care to disseminate to the world. OYE! I just shake my head in wonder.

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