Facebook Etiquette

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AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560
Facebook Etiquette

Boston Marathon Bombings Raise Social Media Etiquette Questions - ABC News

How soon is it too soon to post on FB after a tragedy?

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Well it depends on what you are posting. Since I'm in Mass. and a large portion of my FB friends live in Mass. or grew up here most of the posts this week were about the explosions, the hurt and the deceased, and sharing the images of the suspects. It seems fitting.

People are going about their business too at this point. It's been a few days and we're big into the "life goes on" sentiment here. Not in a callous way but in the sense that it isn't going to bring us to a screeching halt.

I'll have to admit to rolling my eyes at a local friend who posted her vacation pics right after the news of the explosions.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

That is a tough one I think because of the wide audience that fb has the ability to reach. In normal conversation the area you are in will dictate a lot of the conversation. So if you are in an area that is very affected you will talk about it longer, while people father away may be getting back to normal chatter faster. This isn't the same on fb.

I don't think there is a hard and fast rule. But to post joyful things right after a tragedy runs the risk of making one look uncaring. Especially if the whole newsfeed is about what happened.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I agree. There's no "rule". Like, no fun things for 4 days and it totally depends on your typical audience. If something awful happens in, for example, Germany...I might share an article or post my thoughts. But the next day I might post an anecdote on my kids or and old funny picture or something because I'm removed from the bad things there.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

On the day of the Boston attack, I was very saddened by the loss of life. I also found out that day that one of my best friend's mother had died and another one of my good friend's mother had 24 hours to live (she died the next day). While it was a very sad time, I think it would have been very difficult to get through if the only posts on FB were those related to the attacks or death. The other more lighthearted posts, lifted the gloom. That is not to say it was not a very sad time, but not all conversation has to be related to it. It makes me think of a funeral. I have been to several funeral where I have seen people I had not seen in years. There is nothing at all wrong IMO with sitting and visiting quietly with those people and even laughing at old memories.

I do on the other hand, think that the numerous political posts about gun control and bombs were tacky on the same day (Or ever). I would not have though, expected my cousin to wait a day to post that his baby was born, or for people to not post pictures as they normally would.

bunnyfufu's picture
Joined: 10/21/05
Posts: 203

This was hard for me. I am the content manager for a magazine and I blog for them. Earlier that day I had written and posted something that I really felt like was an out of the park hit. Something that I could post all over the place. It was cheeky and silly and a little gross - as mommyhood is.

And then about 2 hours after my original post, the bombs happened. I am a sensitive person. I had tears. I also understand our audience. Where I live is a place that is filled with transplants from the east coast who dig running and fitness.

Complete halt.

We as a business just simply stop. We stop posting and let others lead with positive messages. Share information about charity runs. Do giveaways to pull the social media cycle out of the darkness.

Today, I was funny again. Smile

For us as a brand, we help families live well. We share information and happy stuff.

For me personally, my goal is to do the same thing. I don't want to contribute to chaos or drama. I try to be respectful and tactful. And most of all, add to the good of the community.

I don't think there are any hard and fast rules but we as human beings are generally intuitive. I say follow your gut.

If your gut tells you to be crass. . . sometimes that is fun. But it is also informative. It communicates something about you.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

I too think this is a hard one, because not everyone was as effected as others. I saw a few posts related to this on my news feed the day of and very little since. Although it is sad and a horrible thing to happen, it is very removed from us. I dont think there really is a 'right' answer when you can instantly connect with people all over the world, but I do think that you need to consider your own audience and try to act as a considerate person in all forums. For example, I have had a few things happen in the last few days that I would normally post in the chatter thread here, but I have been holding off because I understand that people are really hurting there due to different things in their lives, and I can either support them, butt out, or be inconsiderate and share silly news that can wait for a better time. I have already shared on facebook because the audience is different.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

See, my expectation is that others can start posting the things in their lives. I don't expect my friend in South Carolina, who has never lived here, to change their posts as I have. I do expect something different from local people but that expectation is changing as the days go on. I need a change of talk. That's why I come here Smile

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3183

I agree with most of the sentiments here, that you have to go with your gut and there are many contributing factors. That said, if I were truly grieving over something, personal or global/national, and I didn't think I could handle people's silly fun updates & messages, I would simply avoid social media. It's not hard. It's not just up to the people posting, it's up to the people receiving. You make a choice to go on Facebook or Twitter or whatever your network of choice is.

I'm not saying we shouldn't be sensitive, and I wouldn't go on Facebook and complain about some minor aggravation in my life when people are reeling from the news of what happened in Texas or Boston or anywhere in the world (because let's face it, these things are going on ALL the time), but in general, if the tone of people's posts are going to upset you, then don't seek them out.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I totally agree with that too. We do bear some responsibility on knowing what we can handle.

It's definitely a balance act.