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I like having rules. These are some of my rules for using Facebook:

  1. Make a friend request only to friends or family. Friends means people I like and spend time with. Exceptionally, people who pass the first limb but not the second may be granted an exemption.
  2. Accept friendship requests from known people. This includes people who I’d make a friend request to, but, isn’t limited to them. Not all liking is reciprocal and not everyone uses Facebook the same way I do.
  3. When someone’s presence starts to irritate you don’t block them. Simply remove them from your news feed. It’s more satisfying to erase them then remove them and has the same effect.
  4. Read the news feed with a generous benefit of the doubt. It is all generated by a machine. People are used to having a context and the chance to provide an explanation. Facebook won’t give either.
  5. Be careful about your news feed. Things, once posted, cannot be undone. Especially not in a world where people will Google you and then search for your Facebook profile.
  6. On a similar note, try not to judge anyone by their Facebook profile. It’s the ultimate manifestation of judging books by their covers. This is impossible to achieve but is a worthy goal.
  7. When invited to an event, prevaricate. Nothing is gained by responding to an event early. Always wait until the last possible moment to decide what to do.
  8. Don’t invite people to an event. Anyone you want to invite is someone you already know. There’s probably a human way to get in touch with them.
  9. When reminded of a birthday by Facebook, always send your felicitations using Facebook. If you didn’t really remember the birthday don’t pretend you remembered by using another means of communication.
  10. Be generous with the like button – everyone likes a little interaction.
  11. Be sparing with comments. Things said are very hard to unsay. Especially after we’ve stopped meaning them.