I know I’m not the only one filled with a minor sense of dread when I get a Facebook notification that says “So-and-So has tagged you in a photo.” I’m admittedly camera-shy, but I’m more than fine with a flattering picture making it’s way to the interwebs. However, friends and family often have a different concept of what “flattering” looks like. Hence, the lovely image of me with my tongue hanging out of my mouth as if I was drunk and drooling that my cousin uploaded because she looked cute beside me and thought I’d find it funny. Or the terribly-angled picture of my homegirl looking 12 months pregnant that caused a huge fight between her and the super-slender mutual friend who posted it, claiming that she didn’t see a problem with “a little stomach chub.”

And that’s not to say anything of the picture of you in the club doing the (insert the dance-of-the-moment here, I’m not even pretending to know what’s hot anymore) after three glasses of Moscato and two shots of Henny, which appears on the very day you begrudgingly accepted your preachy aunt’s friend request. Or the shot of you on the beach snapped on the very day you told a co-worker you were too sick to come to her baby shower. The fact that you looked cute isn’t gonna help you here, sis.

While pics can be particularly problematic, getting tagged in the wrong status or post can be aggravating as well (especially when it links you to friends of friends you’d rather not connect with). Don’t be a Facebook offender! Check out our list of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for tagging folks and let us know what we may have forgotten in the comments!

  1. When It Comes To Pictures, ‘Tis Better To Be Safe Than Sorry: Why not simply send an email allowing your folks to preview pictures before you upload? Your friends will appreciate it, and you can avoid unnecessary beef. If you’re loading a massive album, i.e. a post-Homecoming retrospective, simply message or email people to let them know the pics are online and to let you know if they are opposed to being tagged.
  2. Don’t Be Cruel: Your friend with weight issues may freak if a pic makes her look particularly heavy, as much as your sister may not want a shot that highlights her adult onset acne. You know your folks. Show them a little courtesy.
  3. “But I’m Not In This Picture!” Don’t tag people in pictures when they aren’t actually in said picture. It’s annoying. If you want your friends want to see your latest baby pics or your club flyer, post them on your wall. Don’t force them on people — it’s rude!
  4. Dude, Don’t Tag Strangers: If you’ve friended random sorority sisters, fellow alums, or other folks who you may not know personally, don’t tag them in anything unless you’ve developed an online relationship that makes it seem appropriate to do so. Even Obama supporters might object to being tagged in a random campaign poster, just as proud AKAs or SGRhos may be annoyed in being linked to a picture of whatever paraphernalia you’re selling online.
  5. Keep It G Rated: It may be totally fine for you to be linked to a raunchy video or a picture of a particularly ‘gifted’ male stripper. However, your FB friend may be connected to employers, professors, relatives and others who may be horrified to know that “Exxxquisite” is her favorite adult entertainer.
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