Controlling the Uncontrollable (cc: Facebook)

Your phone makes a noise. It’s the tell tale tone that you’ve just recieved a notification from Facebook. You get out your phone to check out the scene. ‘So and so has…’ It could be someone who has sent you a message that you maybe haven’t heard from for a while, it could be someone commenting on a picture that you’d prefer not be commented on, a poke from a perv, a new friend request from that person you met a few hours prior, the options are endless. But what happens when the person you hear from is one you’d rather not? What is the proper Facebook etiquette?

Can you…

- delete a wall post if it is written by someone you’d prefer not to be associated with?

- remove the newsfeed of the people you’ve just befriended for fear that someone else will see this newfound friendship and look into it?

- block people from seeing your wall so they don’t take a post the wrong way?

- pretend you never recieved that private message from your ex?

- delete someone in midst of a spring cleaning session without them realizing their by one reduced number of friends is you?

- not poke someone back who has poked you so you can add it to your ever-growing list of men who have poked you?

- ignore friend requests acting as if they haven’t been sitting unanswered in your inbox for the past five months or so?

- reject friend requests from kids you know or coworkers without looking like the wicked bitch of the west?

- block people from seeing your tagged pics without them realizing that they are the only ones without the luxury of seeing them, without being busted?

- ignore a Facebook chat message from a dude who likely thinks you’re single because you’re not listed as ‘in a relationship’ (nor are you listed as ‘single’), so he doesn’t get the wrong impression if you make small talk?

- delete the self advertisement others display on your wall – even if you love them – but because your page is about you and not the next ‘hottest’ event?

The problem with Facebook is that you can’t entirely control who contacts you publicly or privately. And though you can delete the public posts and communication (if you see so fit), that still doesn’t prevent these things from being sent out to friends newsfeeds and/or to your inbox. The only way we can block communication entirely is by actually ‘blocking’ someone, though that in itself is a bit dramatic. Control your settings, be aware that things are public and just might be interpretted the wrong way by some, and if you don’t want someone finding out something or taking it the wrong way, don’t allow it to get onto Facebook to begin with.

- Jenny Jen

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