Recently, a slew of self-described social media experts have cluttered up the information highway with all sorts of dire etiquette warnings and self-righteous suggestions for how we should behave on Facebook.
Here’s why we don’t need them (and neither do you):
1) We like your pictures. We really do. We don’t click “like” indiscriminately (though one of us clicks it very often). We aren’t offended by your food porn, we’re inspired by it. We love the baby albums and the puppy pictures, especially as we are currently without access to either. Bring on the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the panoramic beach photos and scenic vistas. Sitting in front of our laptops on a grey Wisconsin morning, or shuffling through our phone on an especially hectic day, we like to know such beautiful places exist in this world and that people we admire are out there enjoying them.
2) We like our family and we enjoy being their Facebook friends. We’re going to continue happily liking their statuses, commenting on them if we’re so inclined, and sharing them when we want to spread the joy, or support the cause, or encourage the support.
3) We like the inspirational messages. Why wouldn’t we? We can start our day with all manner of encouragement, thanks to the postings and re-postings of our Facebook friends. We aspire to “be a fountain not a drain” and, while we can’t be sure “Today is the day we’re going to paint a masterpiece,” we can’t fault the poster who cheerfully encouraged us and all her Facebook friends to give it a whirl.
4) We like to celebrate. Our Facebook friends give us all sorts of reasons to party on holidays we’ve never even heard of. National Tell a Fairytale Day? We’re in! National cake day 2014? We”ll lick the beaters. Thanks to our newsfeed, we’ve enjoyed lots of spontaneous revelry (though we skipped national nude day and you’re welcome for that).
5) We like to scroll. Think about it. It’s a small movement of your pointer finger. A flick. If we don’t like what we see, we simply move on, less than a nano-second wasted.
6) We like to read about the good stuff. Junior hit a home run? Post it. We’ll cheer too. Straight A’s? Honor roll? We’re all ears. Shared excitement doesn’t hurt anyone and we’re all for big ole digital pats on the back.
7) We like to help. Need a little support or an extra prayer or two? We’re happy to oblige. Sometimes, you just need to vent and we’re good with that too. Post away, we’ll have your back.
8) We like discourse. Oh man, sometimes we don’t agree with you at all. But we support your right to speak your mind and we’re happy every day that we live in a country that allows you to do so.
9) We like crafts…but we’re not very crafty. Therefore, we appreciate the pictures you post of your very cool handiwork. We’re big fans of ingenuity and our Facebook friends are some of the cleverest people we know.
10) We like video clips. But, we don’t have time to scroll through YouTube seeking the best, most inspirational, most entertaining ones. We rely on you to do that. Repost a video that made you laugh or cry and we’ll watch it too.
Social media gives us a virtual neighborhood that stretches all the way around this beautiful planet, and anyone can jump on in. We advocate kindness, we urge caution, and we want you to know that we’re glad you’re our friend.