Gemma Styles' Guide To Facebook
The Debrief: The danger is real, guys
Photographed by Matilda Hill-Jenkins
Happy Saturday to all! So it’s set to be a lovely weekend, which doesn’t really explain why we’re all in bed right now, hate-reading Facebook on our phones and getting angry. No? Just Me then? Ok, moving on. The main difference with my use of Facebook compared to other social media is the fact that I only have people on there who I know personally. This means the nature of what you share can be quite different. Love it or loathe it, it takes a certain breed of confident hipster to shun it completely (you know who you are) but there are certain ways to make sure the whole experience a little more bearable.
One thing guaranteed to get people grumbling is notifications. If someone’s commented on your post and somehow gone on to have a completely unrelated conversation with their Auntie Debbie about how her mysterious rash is clearing up then fine, have a little eye roll, but for Goodness sake, keep it to yourself.
There is a very simple solution – turn off the notifications. This is me having a moan about people moaning. It’s a skill. It does annoy me when people get grumpy for the sake of it. Don’t want to read it? Don’t have to. Don’t want to read UKIP voter 2015’s latest thoughts on Europe? Hide posts. TMI from new parents on small children’s bowel movements? GOODBYE TO YOU. Now let’s all move on and enjoy our weekend.
And by ‘curate’, I mean ‘unfriend some people’. The enduring benefit of Facebook is the carefully curated friends roster. But if you’ve got a bit lax with your guest list and no longer require life updates from Polly (who you think you met on that day training course in 2009…?) then you might struggle to enjoy your morning stroll scroll. If you do feel like some serious procrastination and have time to kill then you might consider a one-hit, methodical cull. However, if like me, you’re just trying to find ten minutes to pluck your eyebrows, the slow and steady approach may work best. My best advice for this – birthdays. If you’re getting notifications that it’s someone’s birthday and think ‘meh…’ then unfriend them. Harsh? Perhaps. But if you weren’t even going to wish them a happy birthday then you’re just not going to miss them. Move on. Be ‘without Ruth’ as my mum would say.
Don’t be Gross Picture Girl
A serious point for Facebook etiquette, and social media in general, is thinking about the pictures you share of your friends. You do not want to be the girl who puts up gross pictures of other people because you look nice. Your friends will hate you and it’s totally obvious anyway. The best thing about us being glued to our smartphones is that there’s really no excuse for this – a tactful edit is but a couple of taps away. The dreaded smushed fat arm has led to a popular mantra among my friends: REAL MATES CROP.
I reckon the days of the Facebook status are a bit dead. In the old days it would be all 'Jonny is watching the rugby' and 'Tess is thinking about what to have for dinner' but those days are long gone. I put in a lot of self-censorship to stop myself being a classic Facebook bore. There’s no particular science to what I choose to post, but you should think about your audience a little – when I got over-excited about the new Harry Potter play yesterday, I didn’t ram this down everyone else’s throat, but did chuck it straight on my friend Aimee’s wall. Rule of thumb: would I be pissed off about seeing this in my feed? Personally a lot of what I share is stuff like the proper way to peel an avocado, petitions I care about and the Humans of New York. But that’s what my friends like I think! And to anyone who doesn’t like guacamole, equal rights or… interesting things… feel free to unfriend me on my birthday.
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Follow Gemma on Twitter @gemmaannestyles
Photographed by Matilda Hill-Jenkins
With thanks to Airbnb
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