Stop Telling People How to Use Facebook

You know who you are.

The people that are constantly telling others what they should and should not post on Facebook, and how they should post it. Some object to discussions of food, babies or politics. Others don’t like too many pictures or memes. Still others complain about Facebook users who post only about their business.

Here’s some shocking news: There is no right way to use Facebook. Marketers may claim there are certain rules for engaging in business promotion on the social network, but there are certainly no rules for personal use of Facebook. You may not want to know what your friend has eaten for lunch but others may be genuinely interested.

Facebook provides myriad ways for you to avoid content you don’t want to see. You can hide posts from a specific friend or even – gasp – unfriend them. You can hide a specific post in your newsfeed and you can set up lists to see the content you do want. The easiest method is, of course, to skim through the newsfeed and pay attention only to the things you care about.

What makes Facebook (or indeed any social network) interesting is the variety of styles, opinions and lifestyles you encounter. Trying to impose uniformity will take all the fun out of it. Can you imagine a Facebook where controversial opinions are not welcome? Where only pre-approved pictures are posted and all videos are limited to 30 seconds? How about a Facebook which mandates one post per person per day?

Social media is about people bringing their personalities to their online communities. If your friend talks about her baby all day on Facebook, chances are she does it in person too. If he argues politics constantly online, this is probably his main topic of conversation in real life. So choose your Facebook friends the same way you choose your real friends: hang out with people that interest you and ignore the rest. Just as you have close friends and peripheral friends in real life, choose to interact more with the people you connect with and keep the others at arm’s length.

And for God’s sake, stop preaching. I guarantee there are people who don’t like your Facebook posts just as much as you don’t like theirs.

About the Author
Hadassah Levy is a partner at i-Point Media Group, which specializes in social media, SEO and content writing. She has been living in Israel for 20 years.