A Crash Course In Facebook Etiquette 101

by Melanie Owens

The dreaded Sunday night e-mail that states how many pictures you were tagged in. You may be bold enough to think the tagging is over with an early 8 entries, but the tag initiator reminded all those with cameras that it’s upload time. You immediately rush to the nearest computer to flag and de-tag – because sometimes the mobile device just does not cut it. Because 3G service is pure shit. 

Here are a couple scenarios that all those with social responsibility should consider before uploading. While you can flag and de-tag all you want, we all know there is no erasing the internet – especially if someone sees.

Fat and food pics

If I said, “I think I look fat,” then I look fat. So as a friend you need to take that unflattering picture down! Do not try to tell me differently because my mind is made up. And a de-tag is not enough; I need it off the 'Book for good.

We all eat 2 a.m. pizza – if you don’t then you’ll be hungover the next morning. It’s science, people. But what I don’t need is a picture of me eating pizza while sitting on a random curb in the East Village. Have you ever seen a picture of yourself eating at 2AM and made it a profile pic? Didn’t think so. It has never happened.

These are not those cute shots of a girl out for her birthday dinner at Indochine – these are the shots where we see a girls holding her slice of pizza, phone in hand, and one eye open trying to send her poetic 2 a.m. love confession to the random guy walking his dog. Lovely image.

For a girl, nothing is cool if we are not tagged in anything except the “Skinny Girl Pose.” I neglected to learn this the first week of Rush and was shunned from Greek Life, lesson learned. Arm on hip, chin extended from neck to provide a Gisselle type optical illusion, head tilted to the perfect angle so that your hair frames your face and covers a bit of your arm to make you look like you have African child arms – and obviously make sure you are on your good bang side.

Any types of picture where my arm is against my body, there is pizza anywhere in the vicinity or I have a chubby face, are all barred from touching Facebook. Do not think I’m afraid to flag them as inappropriate.

Pictures capturing PDA or a random hook-up

When dealing with hook ups – especially in your early 20s – there is a reason that you leave them lableless and referred to as only a “hook up.”  There is no harm, no foul, vague, ambiguous term used when things are meant to be kept casual and care-free. The main draw of a hook up is that – unlike a girlfriend or boyfriend – they are acceptable, if not encouraged to have multiple time (unless you’re a Mormon).

To be honest, when people tell me they are hooking up I have no idea what the fuck that means. Are you drunkenly making out at the bar and going home together? Is there the occasional sober interaction where you know random facts about this person? If another girl posts on this guy’s wall, do you immediately stalk that bitch? Do you only interact after 2 a.m?

Everyone's hooking up gauge is different, but it is safe to say that until both parties are in an official "In a relationship" status on Facebook, then they are on the level of hooking up – whatever that means.

Although other acts in the show probably have a feeling, they are not the main stage. There is no need to provide hard evidence to the hook up’s rosters. Be a respectable hook up and friend to someone who is hooking up, and keep tagged photos of their drunken escapades in your iPhoto library. While they did get drunk and participate in some Public Display of Affection, it was not meant to be publicly showcased. If you have an absolutely dyer need to use that photo, the obvious thing to do with this pic is get one of those cheap frames from Marshall's that says “Live, Love, Laugh” around the edges, put this photo in it, and give it to your friend.


You’re fucking kidding me right?  The last time I saw a video of myself and thought, “I’m so glad this moment was caught on camera,” was when I saw my 6 year old self learning to ski with my Dad. It has been 18 years since, and there has yet to be any video that I would want anywhere near a social network.

Until the day my friend video's me sitting in Central Park reading the Business sections of the New York Times while sipping an organic soy latte, I do not want videos posted on Facebook. I will say that videos of the night are helpful when putting the pieces together in the a.m., but this should be done with your crew – not your entire Facebook network, including your boss, grandmother and local parish preist.

On another note, the video is probably only funny to people who were there. How many times have you tried to re-enact a hilarious drunk moment with your friends to your other friends who missed out and they just stare at you like you just walked into the Catholic church asking for an abortion? In other words: these are inside joke videos, so we should keep them inside.


Funny faces

You know those girls who can make any type of “funny face” in a pic and still look like they could be in a Ralph Lauren ad? The girls whose "funny face" is cuter than your “trying really hard to be hot” face. Personally, I hate the funny face pic because it never translates. I always like some variation of a deer in the headlights who just got hit by an 18 wheeler.

The funny face pic works like this: everyone makes some variation of their smile, while still doing the “Skinny Girl Pose,” yet they look a tad ridiculous. If upon showing this picture to a special education school, someone in the group would be gladly accepted. These should not go on Facebook.

All around ridiculous-ness.

If it looks like I had to be on drugs to be fucked up enough to do whatever it is I’m doing in the picture, it shouldn’t be on Facebook. Plain and simple. If you are laughing to the point of tears at whatever is going on in the picture while looking through them, please just group text it and spare me the embarrassment.

No one can get away from the things they do while intoxicated and your friends are going to love you for your funny faces, 2 a.m. pizza seshes and ridiculousness, but that is why they are right they are in the picture with you. So let’s keep it between friends – they invented G-Mail for a reason. And, hey, there is always the Maid of Honor or Best Man speech and anything goes here – videos and all.

Just remember: you’ll get married one day too, and payback can be a fat-pic bitch.

Melanie Owens | Elite. Want to hear more from Melanie Owens? Check her out on Twitter @Melowens or on Tumblr.