I’m going to get right to the point and just ask the question, “What makes people think Facebook is a forum in which to air anything and everything that would normally be considered private?” It happens with teens and adults, alike, and I don’t understand the thinking behind what some people think is ok to put out there for anyone and everyone to see. Whatever happened to common sense and dignity, or rational thinking for that matter?
Yes, we live in a time where our minds are over stimulated with things like technology, social networking, and “reality” television. (I certainly use the term, reality, as loose as I can possibly use it.) Does that make it ok to post your deepest darkest feelings as your status update for everyone to mull and react to? Have we really become that desperate for attention?
It’s one thing to whine, pine and complain privately amongst your friends and family. After all, things come up that we have to complain about. It’s natural, normal and healthy. However, it is not ok to discuss certain things in a public forum like Facebook. There is such a thing as manners.
Sure, Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with numerous people that I normally wouldn’t have any contact with and allows me to catch up and keep up with many different people. I use it as a way to keep up with bands and series premiers, etc. On certain levels I find Facebook entertaining. On other levels, though, I find it extremely frustrating and aggravating when certain people use it as a means to seek attention, broadcast private details, bully, or otherwise make fun of others.
In my experience with Facebook, I find the following inappropriate:
– Violating every HIPAA law known to man by taking pictures of patient invoices with your camera phone and then uploading them to your photo gallery. The name was not crossed out, nor was the address or the treatment. The caption for the invoice made fun of the patient and the fact that the person was receiving a certain therapy. (And yes, if it remained up after I said something, I was going to report it complete with a link to the violation.)
– Talking about your sex life and sexual partners on your wall for everyone to see. At a time when bullying is rampant, why set yourself up for ridicule and rumors that you might not be able to handle?
– Posting about being dumped and going on and on about it in order to seek attention. Sure, it sucks to be dumped, but do you really need constant attention from it? You come across as being pathetic and desperate. Stop. Have some pride and dignity.
– Airing family matters that should remain private. Just because you don’t get your way as a kid doesn’t make it right for you to make other family members look bad by not providing the whole story. You were grounded or had your phone taken away for a reason, but you’re not saying that.
– Saying terrible things about another person’s mother or father. It is not ok to publicly call someone’s parent a derogatory name in front of everyone. That usually goes over well when the rest of your family is also on your friends list and sees comments like this.
Now, I am not a prude by any means but I do think there is a certain etiquette that should be followed. Impressions are everything and once they are ruined they are hard to turn around. Think before you react and start Tweeting or updating your status with something that can hurt you or someone else. Ask yourself, “Who is going to see this, and what’s going to happen?” Keep certain things offline. Deal with personal matters privately with the people you are angry at, keep your sex life to yourself, and grow up.