If you use Facebook, you have a Facebook Philosophy
Yesterday’s post introduced twelve common Facebook philosophies to help you identify your own Facebook flare. Today I want to unpack four important implications. (Let’s use FBP as shorthand for Facebook Philosophy). Embracing these concepts can change the way you use Facebook.
For the better. First, remember that…
1. Everyone else has a Facebook Philosophy, too
Let that sink in. Obvious, right? But how about this:
2. Everyone has a different Facebook Philosophy than you have
But think about what this means. This explains why you get so annoyed by the Photo album FBP people. “That’s not what Facebook is for,” you mutter. Why? Because you’re a community person.
Or how about your frustration with the acquaintance who’s a diary FBP person. “I don’t need to know you drove to Superstore to buy milk,” you exclaim, after reading their hundredth inane post of the day.
Or why you hate getting Farmville updates from friends. Or friend requests from people you hardly know. The list goes on. Why don’t these people understand?
3. I am Facebook
Because everyone can decide what Facebook is… for them.
The magical thing about being a Facebook user is, when you type in www.facebook.com, it re-routes you to your personal profile, your unique homepage. Facebook may boast 955 Million users, but if you created one of those “Mall Maps” to help locate yourself in the Facebook landscape, the red dot that says “You Are Here” would always be smack dab in the middle. In other words, you are Facebook. But so is everyone else who uses it.
4. The Nation of Facebook
Facebook isn’t just a social network, it’s a society all it’s own. Which means we need to stop thinking of ourselves as Facebook users and start thinking of ourselves as Facebook citizens.
A society needs it’s citizens to move beyond using to contributing. This has always been the cardinal rule of social media: Try to give more than you get. But what if we added two more guiding principles to that mantra:
- Tolerance. I will let others define and use Facebook the way they want, without insisting they hold my exact Facebook Philosophy. Which means I will let “photo album Bob” live another day.
- Temperance. It’s one thing for non-photo album people to give the photo-album people grace. It’s quite another for the photo-album people to wake up and realize that not everyone sees Facebook as a photo album like they do.
As a mere Facebook user, I might be tempted to think, “I am Facebook. Deal with it.” As a Facebook citizen, though, I realize there is a word for unwanted communication: Spam. Do I really want to be a spammer in this burgeoning society?
Nope. At least, I hope not.
So Facebook gives me the freedom of self expression. But it also gives me the responsibility to express myself in ways that benefit the community. Diary people, no posting about bowel movements and how many times you blink in a day. Photo people, I do not want to see fifty pictures of you walking down the street. Marketing people, try giving a little. You get the idea.
What do you think about about this balance between tolerance and temperance? Do you agree with my philosophy of Facebook Philosophies? Help me out!
So obvious and yet I’ve never seen this expressed before, in years of FB and S~M~ research. Brilliant. Great job. Thanks.
Thanks Suzanne. It’s helping me re-think some stuff too.