Some of my Facebook friends are people I added specifically because they engage in lively conversation and debates. Most of the time people on their threads make their point with manners and facts – and sometimes humor.
When I have a lively discussion, I enforce a few basic rules. No name calling, no threats, and no vulgar words. That can be hard to do when you are in a heated exchange with someone, and especially hard when you don’t know the other person/people beyond a profile photo or avatar. It is easy to hide behind the anonymity of the internet.
Humor can be tricky, especially when you are typing and not talking. There is no sarcasm font. You can’t tell by someone’s tone of voice or facial expression if they are kidding or seriously, upset or just jerking your chain. I try to be careful in using humor, because it is all fun and games until somebody gets mad. And I don’t really want to have someone mad at me over a Facebook post.
One of my gripes about Facebook is that they insisted that you use your real name when you created a free account. That has it’s upside and it’s downside. It was easy to find people that I really do know and wanted to reconnect with. But there are some people who I don’t really want to associate with anymore – like a couple of former employers and ex-girlfriends. But I see names all day long that I know are fake or adulterated. I don’t understand why they feel they have to alter their names to be on Facebook. If they want to play anonymously, there are plenty of forums and chat rooms where they can go and use a screen name.
Facebook is supposed to be real – why ruin it?