# Etiquette

Facebook Etiquette

In today's etiquette chat video, we are discussing Facebook etiquette. Social media is the new frontier as far as etiquette is concerned. How are we to know what to do, and what not to do, on our various social platforms? Facebook is arguably the most popular social media platform and, let's be honest, we all have Facebook horror stories: postings, behaviors and pictures that we have seen from friends and/ or family members that have created etiquette conundrums.

In today's video I highlight many major etiquette do's and don'ts for Facebook. Of course we don't cover all topics. (I didn't even get into politics!) But this can turn into a small series, if there is more you'd like me to address.

Avoid oversharing

Please reference Lessons from Madame Chic's chapter on cultivating an air of mystery for this one. We all know people who overshare on Facebook. Maybe we do it ourselves! We let everyone know what we are doing at all times: what we are eating, where we are going, what we are thinking. The right amount of sharing on Facebook will be different for everyone, but it's a good idea to question whether you share too much or not.

Consider your professional life

Facebook is mainly a place to express yourself to friends and family, but always consider your professional life before you post. You do not want to vent about work on Facebook because it could get back to your boss! In the same vein, you shouldn't post compromising pictures that could put off a potential employer. Always think about your professional presence as well as your personal presence when posting on Facebook.

Don't steal someone's thunder

If you attend a wedding (or another special event) always check with the bride and groom before posting pictures to Facebook. They most likely will want to be in control of what pictures are released and when. Never steal someone else's thunder on Facebook.

Photo tagging

We have all been tagged in a picture that is less than flattering and it can be downright annoying! If you have any doubts, always ask before tagging a friend in a picture. You may look hot, but they may not. :)

Facebook and children (consider your child's feelings)

This is the biggest one for me. We must always consider our child's best interests before posting pictures of them on Facebook. In most cases, they are too young to understand the implications of an online presence. If we do post pictures of our children, we must make sure that they are not embarrassing (the children are fully clothed, etc.). The rule of thumb is, if you wouldn't want a picture of yourself doing a certain thing (i.e. sitting on the potty), don't post a picture of your child doing that thing.

Check out this week's video for much more expansion on all of these topics.


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Letter of the Week
Dear Jennifer:

I would like to keep this message short even though I would like to say so many things!

When one of my favorite bloggers (Kathryn Morgan) first recommended you, I just knew I had to read your books and watch your YouTube channel. But I truly believed it would be solemnly about how to be chic, poised, and elegant. I never imagined it would change my life!
For the longest time I thought I was being pretentious (lol) for trying to be a certain way most people today are not. However, I would try. But not like I needed to and wanted to. Until I read your books! And like I mentioned before, it wasn't only that, but you taught me so much more! You opened my eyes to enjoying life immensely in a very simple form.

For that and so much more I want to say, I thank you so, SO very much!!! You have no idea the impact you're having (even if it's just one person, right? Which of course it isn't...)!

I very much look forward to hearing and seeing more from you in the future!


Tanya S.

Dear Tanya, Thank you for your encouraging letter and welcome to The Daily Connoisseur! I appreciate your support so much. I'm very happy to hear that you were so inspired by the Madame Chic books, as well. Please give my best to Kathryn! Best wishes, Jennifer

There is so much to discuss regarding today's video. I would love to hear from you this week! What are your Facebook horror stories? What topics do you think should be added to the list? Did you read anything here that struck a nerve? Let's get the conversation going. Leave me a comment below and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog. Talk to me on social media using the hashtags #MADAMECHIC #FacebookEtiquette

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Sonya said...

Thank you for starting the discussion! I love the respect you demonstrate for others and for children with these etiquette tips. I think it's also important to be mindful of your intentions when posting something, and to consider how you feel when you're scrolling through your feed. Also, I try to limit my time on Facebook and not to use it to procrastinate!

Ladylike said...

Hi Jennifer,
I agree with you completely. I also have something to add, which is that in some cases, people are not simply uninformed about etiquette, they may actually have an emotional disturbance. As a preface, I will say I have a Masters degree in psychology. I've noticed that Facebook seems to draw narcissistic people like a magnet. These are the people who continually crave the attention of others. You can spot them on Facebook because they are those people who are constantly updating their status. They may also disregard the feelings of others with their posts and their comments. Facebook is the perfect platform for these people. For this reason, I am not a big fan of Facebook and only participate to a minimal extent.
Warm best,

Mrs. St.P said...

Thank you for starting this thread. I chose to close my Facebook and other online accounts (including a blog!) when I realized that I was becoming way too narcissistic and concerned about my image, as if I were a celebrity. So inflated by my own importance, I found that I could hardly be out and about with my family without taking a bazillion photos, only one or two of which I would later deem Facebook-worthy.

I'm an extreme case, and I'm not saying that my path would be right for most people, but for me, logging off brought me more inner peace and increased gratitude.

Any relationships that mattered followed me offline. We now happily communicate by text, email, phone, and face-to-face. It turns out that three very good friends more than make up for 350 Facebook "friends".

About a year ago, one of my (real life) friends said, "You know, people need to think about how posting things makes other people feel. If you're always posting about your perfect life, you're making a mom who's struggling feel really badly when she least needs to."

I think that we have to start thinking about how we're spending our limited time on earth. Is it to just make ourselves look good? To push our opinions on others? To use our children to garner a laugh? I am ashamed to admit that I've done all of the above.

I'm all for social media when it's done in the true spirit of sharing, not showing off. Which is where The Daily Connoisseur comes in. Because you, Jennifer, are judicious in what you share, you are only an inspiration, never a show-off.

Thank you for starting this discussion. In our age of Twitter rants, five-minute news cycles, anonymous Internet trolls, etc. it's more important than ever that we set a standard.

It's not all about us. How we need to be reminded!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer, I just discovered you have an Anonymous option for commenting. I'm so glad, because I like to keep my privacy that way! This is my first time commenting on your blog, even though I've been visiting your blog for years. I must tell you I am so appreciative of your "mission" to bring back dignity and respect into the norm. I believe society needs it desperately.

As far as social media, like some of the other commenters have said, I avoid it. I prefer being discreet. This may be the only mode of social media I interact with: commenting on my favorite blogs!


Gigi said...

I recently had a run in with a family member because of some of the offensive things he was posting. I just couldn't take it anymore and had to say something - so I sent him a text, so as to keep the disagreement out of the public eye. I'm almost tempted to send him a link to bolster my argument with "what if your boss saw this?" But I won't because, sadly, it wouldn't make a difference with this person, of this I am sadly certain.

All that to say, if people would just take a moment to stop and think about what they are doing, social media would be a kinder place.

Robyn said...

I agree with with some of the above comments. I had a Facebook account for a month then canceled it. It is not healthy for children or adults to think that everything they do should be chronicled.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I have had more pictures posted of me which I do not like and have asked people not to do it. Which did not matter to certain family members.
I finally told my husband no more family events for me. Its rude, an invasion of ones privacy and the children should not be posted until they can give their consent. They are born to us but do not belong to us.

Joy said...

I think this was a great video. You addressed the key points very well. I can't remember if I've said this before, but one girl I know actually posted the contents of the potty while she was potty-training her daughter. 1) I almost threw up. 2) As the mother of two teens now (plus three others) I can guarantee there will come a time when her daughter won't appreciate that..

For myself, I try to make my blog and social media about putting good into the world. I wrote a post about my sort of "mission statement" last year. http://jumbledupjoy.blogspot.kr/2015/10/my-memo-manifesto-mission-statement.html
I try to consider all the things you talked about in this video when I post.

One thought, though: I would much rather see photos of what my friends are up to (especially since I live in Korea now), photos of their kids, etc., than the constant sharing of political rants and articles that just seem to pit us more and more against each other that are so prevalent right now. My husband, who is definitely not into social media much, was just lamenting to me that he misses the days when Facebook was photos of friends or their kids or even the smoothies someone ate for breakfast rather than an angry political platform.

Also, as someone who moves a lot to far-flung places, I find that it's so much more difficult to stay in touch with friends who are not on Facebook. I have a dear older friend who doesn't even own a computer, and while I love her so much and strive to keep her up to date via "snail mail", I'm afraid a lot falls through the cracks and when I do see or talk to her on the phone, there is never enough time to feel "caught up". I really admire my grandmother who bought her first computer and learned how to email at 80 and had Facebook till she passed away, just so she could keep up with her kids and grandkids in all their locales. She did it just because she loved us.

Anyway. Thanks for approaching the subject. It's extra timely right now!

Rachele said...

I do not have a Facebook account, nor do I have any children.

In an attempt to reconnect with childhood friends, I opened a Facebook account. This was probably about 7 years ago. Here were my observations:

1. I realized that it fed a side of myself that I did not wish to cultivate. I found myself making comparisons to others and caring entirely too much about popularity. It did not spark joy. I closed my account.

2. It disturbs the natural ebb and flow of relationships. People enter and leave our lives for many reasons. Some friendships suited us well when we were children, but as adults, we no longer share a connection. While it is nice to check in and see how and what these people are doing, I think that Facebook gives unrealistic expectations of "friendship". I also think that, often, it is less about seeing how people are doing, and more about spying on them or comparing lives. Also, If we don't care for who our childhood friends have become, it may cloud our good memories of them from the past.

3. It wastes time. It takes away time from things I need to do, and also the people in my life that are in it for the long haul and gives it to people that are not invested in my true life.

4. As others have stated, above, NARCISSISM. Not a chic trait in my humble opinion!

Finally, my thought on posting pictures of children. If you don't think that your child would want the picture reshared later in life by their tech savvy friends that know how to dig up online records, don't share it. Think of how mortified we have all been when our moms have pulled out the baby albums...it's easy to forget that the WWW. Stands for World Wide Web. If they are embarrassed on a small scale, imagine what can happen when the world has access. Or their frat brothers/sorority sisters, teammates, etc.

Lori @ inmykitcheninmylife.com said...

My husband and three young adult children are all volunteer firefighters/EMTs. Beyond your excellent examples of weddings and births, their roles as emergency responders mean they are frequent witnesses to accidents, tragedy, death, and, yes, very odd and funny situations in which people can find themselves. If they cared to, they'd have ample opportunity to "be the first" to report these things on Facebook, but our family has a saying: "That's not your story."

"That's not your story" informs our Facebook behavior and our face-to-face encounters as well. The wedding is the bride's and groom's story. The birth is the parents' story. The sudden death is the grieving family's story. We have to recognize our place in the story -- a minor character and not the protagonist.

Thank you for your reasonable advice, as always.

Luciana Erregue said...

I really enjoyed your posting on FB/social media etiquette, I am by now a regular and interested reader of your print and online material. I am wondering if you would have further advice or insights for those of your readers who are also fellow bloggers (I am not, having only done blogging on specific, academic blogs while studying for my MA in Art History). In particular, I am curious to know how did you build and maintain the interest and support of your readership/audience, and how do you maintain the interest in your own blogging activities yourself. Have you or do you still receive marketing/social media advice yourself from other bloggers/social media personalities/companies? What are the challenges someone as established as you may face to move forward, and what new goals do you have in regards to your online presence?


Unknown said...

HI Jennifer ,
I was hoping you could do a Skin Care update. I'm looking for a new cleanser and serum and would LOVE your advice!
Thank you!!

boat people said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michele said...

I am an avid Facebook user, although I try very hard to be courteous and discreet. Your well-said thoughts have given me lots to think about. Thank you.

Michele said...

So many good comments. Lots to consider!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post and very thought provoking comments. I absolutely agree Facebook, Twitter and such encourage an unhealthy level of comparison and competition. People are so fascinating and quirky. Given a public platform many people do seem to start thinking and acting as though they are stars. Ultimately, probably not very healthy.

Deanna said...

I absolutely agree with you about posting embarrassing photos of children. I also hate those posts where parents "discipline" their children in humiliating ways. Children are people, too.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Thank you to everyone for reading and commenting. There is so much more to be said and your stories have given me more to talk about in a follow-up video. As always, I appreciate your input on the blog. Love, Jennifer xx

F0706 said...

Hi Jennifer ,
I hope this email finds you well :)
I have your three books and love the life lessons and advices you give to women to inspire them through being classy and kind.
But iam actually writing to you because I have been finding myself pretty upset lately about the terrible messages sent to women about "nudity empowering them" . I keep arguing on social media and stating the same point : we women are not inspired or empowered though nudity, we are inspired by accomplishments , by acts of kindness , etc . However , all I get is iam sexualising them , when in fact the ones that are doing that are the women that show their private parts everywhere (most celebrities these days). As a result , I feel that the message being sent is " if you are really secure of your self you will wear a see-through t shirt " what crazy times ! What happened to the Audrey Hepburns ? Who inspired others using their brains and their kind hearts ?

I am deeply bothered by these superficial and sexist messages being sent to our younger generation . We must do something about it because it gets worse everyday . How can I help ? Besides arguing with people on social media ? 😬

I thank you for a being a light that's inspires women to be more than their bodies and setting up a great example !

Please continue to spread that empowering message !


Kgirl said...

Thank you so much, Jennifer. I think your comments about children's privacy on social media are long overdue. I have always respected that you do not show your children's faces to the wider world before they can form their own identity and decide what kind of presence they would like to live online forever. I will never understand parents who use (yes 'use') their children in their own profile pics or even use their child's picture for their profile instead of their own profile photo. They are not you. They are your children. Stop living through them. They will grow up one day and wish you had never decided to post their entire life online to people they don't know or don't wish to know before they were capable of making a choice. I am saying this because I have the kind of mother who would have live-tweeted the hell out of me and I am so glad the internet was not around when I was a child. SO grateful. I have had a choice in how I want to present myself to the world of strangers. Stop and think about how you are robbing your children of this choice.

Also, I echo what another reader said earlier about appreciating the 'Anonymous' option for commenting, as I have never had a Facebook account, due to privacy concerns. Though I'm not 100% sure how the anonymous option works here (I have just ticked 'Google account' but not the 'email follow-up comments' with my email address, so since you have moderation enabled, could you please ensure I only appear here as anonymous. Like you've said, we all have professional profiles to consider and I work with people who (unfortunately) do all of the above.

Thank you, Jennifer.