Etiquette Guidelines for Posting Images on Your Facebook Timeline (and thus – everyone’s newsfeed)

When I heard about timeline, I got excited.  I actually registered as a developer and switched over early.  Though I don’t care about the stalker-ish mini-feed they introduced (which I pretty much ignore), I love the functionality, and how it really has gone from a place to share your words and thoughts, to a place where image becomes a whole new world of communication.  Passing around funny memes has gotten so much easier, but in order that we do not get deluged by ridiculous ridiculousness all the time – we have to ask ourselves, when is it appropriate to post an image to share on Facebook, especially with all 3,000 of your very different friends (with very different tastes…and political views).  So how do I decide when to post?

(1)  I ask myself, would all 3,000 of my Facebook friends think this is insightful, witty, true or funny?  If no, I make a group for those who will, and send that image to them.  If yes, then I post to my timeline, and thus, everyone’s newsfeed.

(2)  I then second guess myself and ask a few more questions before I post to the Facebuniverse.

(a) Has this image been posted by eleventy billion other people?  If yes, I do not post, but rather “share” someone else’s.

(b) Does this image come off as mean-spirited, and seem to purposefully offend a group in a disrespectful way?  Though I do not always do this perfectly (because of the different folks I’m friends with), I do not post these things.  I would rather act with grace and care for all the people I let into my circles.

(c) Is the argument being presented in this meme/image logical?  Humor is funny if it is true and in good spirits.  Humor is not funny when it is ignorant and the logic is full of holes.  Though we all post stupid things sometimes without thinking, take a moment to ask, “Does this actually make sense?”  If it doesn’t, your point, your laugh, or your viewpoint is shallow (and yes, I will unsubcribe from your updates).

(d) Did I post something or “Like” something like this within the last hour or two?  My timeline can only take so many airbrushed pictures of unicorns with philosophical sayings.  This becomes gaudy, and what you thought was “neat” becomes a nuisance.  Remember that you are a responsible caretaker of other’s timelines, and you want to represent yourself well.

(e) No, I will not join you in your game.  No, I won’t give The New York Times the right to tell everyone what I just read.  No, I don’t want to see every song you have listened to today (and most of the time it is a bit awkward), and NO, I will not click on anything you have if you are prone to be “hacked”.

(f) Concerning blogs, make sure to write well and have a nice pertinent image that can be neatly displayed next to your text.

So there is a simple list of things I would think or consider when posting to all 3,000 of your friends.  Otherwise, make a group and do whatever you like.  Peace.

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