Social Media Etiquette

I’ve had a few friends lose family members recently, and it was the first time I was met with an uneasy feeling when it came to say something on Facebook. I’m not one to shy away from trolling situations, but I don’t have anything Earth-shattering to say when it comes to death. I saw people liking the statuses, but when I expanded them to see who hit the button, I only saw family members. I’m not family, and I felt awkward saying one of those generic “you’re in my thoughts” remarks.

I decided to stay silent, which is probably worse. It seems like there’s no outward sign of support, but I think it’s really weird to say that you like that status. It’s as if you’re liking the death itself. Maybe I’m over-analyzing this, and hitting the like button is equal to saying, “That sucks, I’m here for you if you want to talk.”

I don’t know. I haven’t really had to deal with the death of anyone close to me as an adult, so I certainly don’t have any gauge on the expected responses on social media. I’m not sure how I’ll handle it when it happens, and maybe I’ll take offense to people liking my status saying that someone’s gone. Maybe I’ll take offense to people that seemingly ignore it.

Suffice it to say, it’s been in the back of my head, so I thought I’d share my general rules to “not liking”. It’s pretty much a way for me to rationalize my inactivity around the few death statuses that I ignored, but here we go:

  1. Death of any kind (relative, pet, friend, et cetera). Exceptions: if the post contains an anectode to which you can relate (you’re liking the anecdote, not the passing). If it’s an inside joke/story, don’t pretend to like it. It’s not there for you, move on.
  2. Breakups. Exceptions: None. People can be on and off again numerous times, and it’s far better to wait until all the dust settles. Sometimes it’s good to be ahead of the curve, but in this case you just look like a creepy stalker that wants a shot, or you’re eating crow the next time you’re all together. No-win situations.
  3. Your own updates. Exceptions: None. Never hit like on your own update. It’s extremely tacky and it makes you look desperate for attention.
  4. Child Updates. Exceptions: Birth announcements. Too often I see status updates that don’t mean shit to me, and I want to discourage the sharing of said updates. I will ignore everything you say about your kid unless it involves me personally. Even then, I’ll probably pretend to have not noticed until you just call me.

Again, maybe I’m putting way too much thought into a non-issue, but I tend to do that. Anyone else wanna weigh in on this?

By Keith

I am Keith J. Frank, an overweight, acerbic, narcissistic, and sometimes lovable asshole that was born in June of 1983.