Whether you are a student, working professional looking to network, in search of old friends or on the prowl for Mr. Right, chances are you have a Facebook account. Even those who were once resistant to the whole FB phenomenon have succumbed to the sometimes fascinating, other times addictive world of Facebook. No doubt, the online social networking site is part of a new frontier of cyber-socializing and in this new territory, societal “rules” are in full effect, including the question of appropriate etiquette.
We all value our personal space, which in Facebook-Land, may be continually infringed upon by countless invites to groups that you want nothing to do with, people you barely know, or worse yet, people you don’t want to know. Loads of FB users wrestle with their reservations about ignoring invites, which could either result in their personal info falling in to the wrong hands – or the guilt of alienating an acquaintance.
And have you ever noticed how Facebook appears at times to embody a “popularity contest” quality, where some users have well over 1000 friends? Truth be told, even if you are quite frankly the sweetest person in the northern hemisphere, you probably don’t have that many actual friends. In short, some Facebook users display a tendency to horde – which may explain a large portion of those random FB friend invitations you’ve most likely received. Next thing you know, your home page becomes inundated with nothing but strangers who you could care less about getting to know.
These issues merely scratch the surface of the intricacies of the cyber social realm that is Facebook. Rest assured that when Facebook forefathers and mothers launched the social networking site 5 short years ago, the intention was it to be a pleasurable experience that capitalizes on one of the greatest attributes of the internet – global interconnectivity. But ultimately, it was designed for users to have control over what they are willing to share, and with whomever they choose to share it with.