I was first invited to join Facebook during July of 2005 – right as I transitioned from high school into college. My friend, K, and I were messaging each other on MSN and she sent me a link to join Facebook. At first, I questioned her intentions.
“K! Is this a VIRUS?! You JERKFACE!”
“No,” she replied, “It’s a website that will help us meet people in college.”
K was 100 percent right about Facebook. I began linking up with people I’d never even met. Before I even stepped foot on UNL’s campus for the first time, I had friended almost every student on Abel Hall Floor 5.
Now, just six short years later, everyone and their dog (literally, even dogs….) have Facebook accounts. Shoot, even my dad – MY DAD, who didn’t even want a cell phone a couple of years ago – is on Facebook more than I am. (Rather, he’s on “Faithbook.” For some reason, he calls it Faithbook. I’m not sure if he’s just acquired a pretty hairy lisp or if he really thinks that Facebook is a place to connect Lutherans with Catholics.)
Anyway, I feel like six years of Facebooking have entitled me to set some freaking Faithbook – errr, Facebook – ground rules. Here goes:
1. Facebook is not the same as IMing. When updating YOUR status, please check YOUR grammar.
Please read the following status and circle grammatical errors:
“George is sad because your a bitch and you dumped me. They’re isnt much I can say other than you’re sisters a bitch to.”
Did you spot them all? Now, ladies and gentlemen, let’s see what the status should look like:
"George is sad because you’re a bitch and you dumped me. There isn’t much else I can say other than your sister is a bitch, too."
Folks, it’s not hard at all to avoid Facebook grammatical mistakes. Just type your status into Microsoft Word first and it will correct the mistakes for you. I know, I know, I have an English degree so I’m kind of a jerk when it comes to this stuff. But I promise it’s not rocket science. And who knows who is creeping on your profile – don’t you want to appear as smart as I know you are?*
*Addendum to the previous rule: Spelling mistakes are acceptable. I can’t spell worth a shit, so I assume no one else can either.
2. Don’t delete people. It’s not nice.
During my freshman year of college, I was a part of the Chancellor’s Leadership Class. The class met once a week and we did all sorts of fun things in the community. Because I was a brown-noser and liked to be involved in everything, I volunteered to lead a fundraising group for the battered women’s shelter in Lincoln. I met some really awesome people during the fundraiser and Facebook friended most of them – you know, it’s allllll about networking in college.
There was one guy on my team who I felt particularly close with at the time. To protect his identity, let’s call him George. (Do you notice a trend? George is my favorite name to use when making up names. I think it has something to do with my Grandpa’s cat being named George. Actually it has nothing to do with that.)
Anyway, George and I haven’t spoken for five years, but at the time, I considered us to be friends. Well, evidently my friendship meant absolutely nothing to George. Last week, a picture of him surfaced on a friend’s profile. I clicked on his name to see what he had been up to and the “Add Friend” tab was present on the top-right hand side of his profile. GASP. That jackass George deleted me.
Notice how I’m now calling you a jackass, George? I never had a problem with you before. In fact, I thought you were pretty cool. But you’ve deleted me. So I think you’re a dirty man slut and I will spread vicious rumors about you based on the things I CAN see on Facebook – your profile picture, your education, and your birthdate. I will also blog about you. You're not the only one, George. This also goes out to you, Barbara (fake name), and you, Georgia (fake name). I KNOW who you are. I mean, come on Barbara. I went with you to get your first tattoo. Doesn't that mean ANYTHING, you dirty pirate hooker?
Here’s the deal, Facebook friends: If I annoy you or just straight-up offend you with my Facebook statuses or pictures, then you can simply hide me from your mini-feed. There’s no need to delete me. I can see that you have 2,200 friends. I can also see that 44 of those people are also my friends. Must you single me out? I suffer from self-confidence issues the way it is. Do you really want me to go jump out my window because you deleted me?
George, Barbara, and Georgia: If I am found face-down in a pool of my own blood outside of my work window, you’re to blame. YOU THREE. I hope you feel terrible.
3. Denying friend requests is also not nice.
There are really only a handful of instances where it’s okay to deny a friend request. It’s okay to deny if the potential friend appears to be a porn star (Harry Buttz, Ivana Kock, etc.) It’s okay to deny if the potential friend has no mutual friends with you. It’s also okay to deny if the friend request comes from someone who appears to be a future employer OR appears to be a fake account created by your creepy ex-boyfriend to stalk you OR if you started dating a guy and his bitchy, catty girl friends are adding you to stalk you and you know it (Sorry about that, Alli...forgive me? I totally understand why you denied me at first.) Otherwise, you should accept.
Feelings get hurt when you deny, causing people to jump out of windows.
I have a particular connection to the friendship-denying thing because my name appears as Jessica Goldschwager on Facebook. Some people have a hard time identifying me because of the name, so I get denied all the time (I refuse to believe it’s because I’m not cool…) I know, I know, it’s probably my fault I’m getting denied. Why does my name appear as Goldschwager? Because it sounds awesome, that's why.
Here’s what I don’t get….
A. Are you that stupid that you can’t figure out that Jessica Goldschwager is actually Jessica Schwager, but I added “gold” to the front?
B. Do I really look that unfamiliar that you don’t want to add me? My picture is of ME.
Sure, a few weeks ago, I had this picture as my profile picture:
If I added you while I had this picture and you denied me, then you’re forgiven. I can totally understand if you thought I was a dog.
JUST KIDDING. Actually you’re not forgiven at all, you idiot. Who the hell denies a Weimeraner wearing funny glasses? Weims are precious dogs. I’m glad you denied me because I didn’t want to be friends with you anyway.
C. I’m not adding you to stalk through all 640 of your profile pictures. I’m not adding you to see if we have similar interests. I could care-a-less about your relationship status or your “About Me” section. I actually have no interest in even looking at your profile picture. I’m adding you to be NICE. I probably met you once or twice, realized we had mutual friends, and am extending my hand as in, “Hey, you’re okay by me. Let’s be Facebook friends.” I am not going to take your photos and Photoshop you into weird pornographic poses. That’s not my style at all.
Seriously, denying a friend request only achieves one thing and one thing only:
I didn’t have a problem with you before, but now I fucking hate you.
I shall stop with just three Faithbook rules today. I literally have a list a mile long, but I felt like these were the most important issues – mostly because if I can help you salvage at least one Facebook friendship, I can die happy. Well, and I must stop for the night because Hart of Dixie is on and I want to get home before it starts. Have you seen the show? If not, get on it. Hot Southern men in that show. Bowchickawowow.
P.S. - I really don't hate anyone. I just hope you understand how hurtful your actions are when you decide to delete your Facebook friends or not even accept a friend request in the first place. Facebook friendships have replaced real friendships (I wish I was kidding), so deleting someone is similar to punching your friend in the face. And, as Jacy says, not accepting a friend request is similar to denying a handshake. Be considerate.