Is Facebook making lonely people lonelier?
After exploring the topic a bit more with Tifannie-Britannie, I learned that she had jumped on the Facebook wagon with much excitement. She had connected with a few dozen people, commented about things on their walls, and covered her page with interesting videos, links, photos, music, and other things she wanted to share. Day after day, no one commented on her status. No one hit the "like" button to give her a thumbs up. No one said anything.
She felt a bit dejected, but she persisted. She continued to engage with her "friends," reading their status updates and wall posts and leaving positive comments, but after weeks of a one-sided relationship she had finally had enough. She felt rejected and ignored. It was high school all over again. Tifannie-Britannie said she started to feel like the wallflower at the school dance; watching everyone else enjoy themselves.
I share Tifannie-Britannie's story as a reminder of good etiquette in social networking. Like all relationships, whether they be platonic, romantic, or business, a healthy dose of give and take is essential. If someone engages with you, have the courtesy to reciprocate.
As Emily Post said in her book Emily Post's Etiquette - The Blue Book of Social Usage, "Sensitive awareness of the reactions of others is a priceless gift. Inexcusably, many of us do not even note the effect that our unthinking speech or behavior is quite plainly having upon the feelings of others."
If Post were still alive today, I have no doubt that she'd update her book with a chapter on social media.