What Is Facebook Etiquette?

Facebook has almost always been a way for me to network and I’m not too shy about letting someone become my friend there. I have learned over the years to look closer at the profile of someone that I don’t know to evaluate what they might be like. And I realize that many people still use it just to socialize with people they know or used to know or are related to and such. But I’m a little more adventurous than that.

Not TOO adventurous though. It’s amazing how people can take something innocuous that you say and put a spin on it. Often it’s turned into something suggestive. I don’t get it. I mean, how many people are actually on Facebook trolling for a relationship or just plain sex? That’s not something I’m looking for and it amazes me that women can see clearly on my profile and think that somehow there might be hope for a potential romantic relationship.

That’s not to say that that is all that happens to me on Facebook, but it kind of rankles me. I don’t consider myself conservative and doubt that I would come across that way if I took some sort of test. In fact, I consider myself somewhat liberal. There. I said it.

But I guess I’m not liberal about relationships when it comes to today’s standards!

I think the first time this dawned on me was when I was divorced. Yes. I have been married twice. To the same woman. And there was no one in between for either of us. I did go out to lunch with women when I was divorced. Most I talked to on the phone before we met in person. This was in the mid-to-late 90s. Before many people were using the internet for more than email or maybe buying plane tickets or playing games.

Are my standards that much more conservative in this arena than most people? I don’t know, but my experience with women in San Diego led me to believe I was not as open-minded as a lot of people when it came to dating. Or rather – going to lunch. I remember 1 or 2 women who I said that I could go out to lunch with and maybe we could be friends until they settled their divorce. But that was it. One woman wanted to argue me into dating her even though she was till married. I told her that she could give me a call when her divorce was final and she said that wasn’t going to happen because they were only “technically” staying married because of health insurance. I believed her but said no to dating. She thought I was from the dark ages or something. I told her that I don’t date married women, but I would consider going out to lunch IF the divorce proceedings were actually in process. She just couldn’t believe it. And like I said, I don’t consider myself conservative, but maybe by today’s standards in this particular area I am.

Another woman went out to lunch with me to Souplantation and then we made a date for a movie on Friday night. When she didn’t show up I called and ended up speaking to her husband! She told me that they were in the process of getting a divorce, but I guess she didn’t tell him. Amazing. I ended up apologizing to him and explaining that I had no idea that their situation was the way it was. She had definitely given me the impression that they were getting divorced.

My wife and I have never cheated on each other. I’m not saying that because someone goes out to lunch with someone that they necessarily cheat. I just wanted to point out where I’m coming from. I guess because we think about relationships the way that we do, we just didn’t consider some of the “options” that other people do. LOL

Another time I noticed a big difference was probably 10 or 12 years ago when my wife and I had gotten back together. I was watching a show in what we used to think of as family viewing time and I heard the term “sex buddy” for the first time on TV. This term didn’t exist so far as I know when I was a teenager or even in my twenties. And I realize that for many that that is the cleaned up version. But the whole episode of this show was about this man and woman who had become sex buddies and they learned to be ok with it. I thought it was going to end up that they regretted it or that they decided that they wanted to be more than friends with benefits, but I was genuinely surprised to see them become ok with it by the episode’s end. I was kind of stunned. Broadcast TV at around 8:30 at night. Again, I don’t consider myself conservative or a prude, but I was left wondering about how “far” we had come.

Yet today I’m guessing that this is probably very mild to a lot of people. Which brings me back to the Facebook etiquette thing.

Is it ok for someone to connect with me with no real reason except to connect to my friends so that they might develop a romantic relationship or a sex partner? Look, I’m an adult and people are going to do what they are going to do, but when they have no interest whatsoever in me and just connect to connect to my connections… Got that? Or, like I mentioned in the beginning, what if they are connecting on the off chance that they can develop a romantic relationship with me when I state that I’m married?

There are 850 million profiles on Facebook and even if only half of them are real, legitimate people that means 425 million!

This doesn’t even begin to count the women who try to connect who seemed to have developed their profile this very day! When I saw that a while back I decided that I better be a lot more careful about who I connected to and I went through profiles of some people and found one who I had accepted who claimed to be the CEO of a fairly big computer company. I Googled that company and found out that it was run by a gentleman of Asian heritage and since she was female and blonde, I blocked her.

I guess those people just need to get past a few and then someone sees that they are connected to 7 of their friends and figures that they are ok and they can have a conversation with them later. Later doesn’t always come and that fake profile or fake person or whatever you want to call it has 1000 friends a month later.

Another dead giveaway for me is when a profile has friends that are all or almost all of the opposite sex. I don’t mean 70-30 or even 80-20. If someone is actively dating, I guess that’s possible. But when a woman had 48 male friends and 2 female friends I could not even think of giving her the benefit of the doubt. And when you pair a shaky beginning like that with someone who never seems to post anything themselves unless it’s a picture and only responds to comments that those persons of the opposite sex leave, well there is something shady going on.

Lastly, what about your normal, everyday, applies-to-everyone etiquette. Like, someone asks for connection and then starts to chat through Facebook and then they leave without signing off? What’s up with that? That person contacted me. They initiated the conversation and then where nowhere to be found.

Maybe they lost the connection in Ghana. Maybe.

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