Saturday, April 18, 2009

Twin Speak...Social Networking Etiquette

With the explosion of all these social networking sights, with the accessibility of knowing how your friends are and know what they are doing almost at any given time, I have began to question..."What is the appropriate social networking etiquette?"

Frankie: I like having the conveniences of modern technology but lately I have began to find it somewhat inconvenient. I have facebook, myspace and most recently twitter. Most of my friends and workmates are all added on facebook and when I log onto facebook I find that I have close to 20 friends at any given time also logged on. What is the polite thing to do?? Do I say 'Hi' to all these 20 friends.

In the real world, if we saw our friends strolling down the street, of course you would say Hello to them. However, now with all these conveniences and friends at reach at the tap of a key, should you say 'Hello' to your online friends also?? Isn't it rude not to acknowledge someone when they are within your 'virtual' space?? Has it become acceptable to pick the people you feel like talking to?? Has this virtual snubbing become the same thing as when you see a friend in public and casually turn the opposite direction to avoid saying Hello?? And lets not lie...we've all done it :)

I still struggle to ignore friends online and sometimes find myself spending close to an hour chatting to people when all I wanted to do was check my messages. It's gotten to the point now that I sometimes leave myself logged off, just so I don't feel the guilt of social snubbing??

Has the social networking conveniences changed the way we interact with friends and acquaintances so much that we've become complacent of our friends?? What is the etiquette here??


carmar76 said...

I don't think it's necessary to say hi each time you log on to FB or MP. Or even IM. I think it's kinda like when you do see them on the street - you say hi to most, but do you stop to chat w/ everyone each time you see them? You'd never get anything done! Also, at least for me, some of my friends on FB are ppl I'm not close to, but I like to keep up with or they like to keep up with me. I do chat w/ them, but again, not EVERY time I'm logged in. And they're not rushing to chat at me everytime we're logged in at the same time, and I don't take offense.

So, that's just my opinion! : )

Marjorie said...

I totally see your worry and can relate to that.
However, what you must realize is that you are on the virtual highway whenever you go online.
You don't necessarily have to say hi to all when you do go online otherwise you will not have anything done.
One way to go about this is to turn off the "I am online" button so that you do not appear visible online or just go about your normal duties and attend to what took you online first. If you do have ample time after that and you want to go ahead and chat with a few friends then, you do so.
It absolutely not bad etiquette to not say hi to all. It is like being in a crowded social gathering, some people might see you and say "oh, X is here" but will necessarily not want to chat at the moment with you. So is it with social networking.
Keep the relationships meaningful, don't be forced to be what you are not.
I hope that helps.

Shawn Michel de Montaigne said...

I have so few friends that I don't have this problem. And the ones I thought were friends, ones I had looked up on FB, weren't friends at all. So I quit the site entirely.