Facebook Etiquette: The Unwritten Rules, Written

For a long time, I was under the impression that everyone understood the unspoken rules of Facebook. I was convinced that only weirdos I went to high school with remained blissfully unaware of proper Facebook etiquette. Much to my dismay, I’ve been forced to come to terms with the harsh reality that even the normal people…even my sisters are embarrassing themselves on the reg with their poor usage of the social media site that you pretend isn’t important, but actually is. Saying that I judge people based on how they use Facebook is an understatement. Adults get a free pass, because moms are retarded at the ‘book, but the rest of you grew up on this, and don’t have an excuse. Shame on you. I’m going to put it out there once and for all what the rules are, and if you’re breaking them, you’re wrong.


There are a number of things to discuss regarding pictures. I know I’ve said this before, but apparently my message is yet to resonate with the entire female populace. STOP. WITH. THE SELFIES. No selfie Sunday, no outfit of the day, no “don’t judge me, I just really like this picture.” No. Stop. Discontinue. Delete. You are embarrassing yourself. Literally every person you know is talking about it behind your back.

“I LOVE her, but what’s with all the selfies?”

I promise, they are. They don’t know how to tell you, so I’m doing it for them. Stop.

While we’re on the topic of pics, let me mention that the untag button is your friend. I know that we’re in the era of a two-click untag process, and it’s a lot of effort to exert, but it really might be worth your while to take a look at your tagged photos, and realize that this is how the people who don’t ever see you, see you. You can’t delete your bad angles in real life, but you can do it on the internet, so do it. If you look fat, even though it’s obviously just the lighting, because you’re super skinny, untag it! You’re just handing ammo to your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend.

I’d also like to mention that profile pictures have an expiration date, especially those that were obviously taken at a themed event or holiday. The shelf life of your profile picture is between one month (minimum) and four months (max). Just enough time for everyone to see it, but not so much time that you’re giving off the vibe that you’re mega-unsocial. And I’ve seen you bitches who repost old profile pictures for more likes. I’ll allow it, but I don’t like it. Your cover photo, on the other hand, can remain the same for much longer, because people will only see it when they’re creeping on you. I urge you to put a little thought behind it for this reason. It’s not just a simple “omg I look gorg,” like your prof pic. It needs to be a little more meaningful: your pledge class, you and your roomies dancing “candidly,” some throwage of what you knowage, or if you really can’t come up with a great pic, some Instagrammed pic of your city’s skyline or something should suffice.

What’s On Your Mind?

Some of the most depressing personal faux pas include bad statuses. (Stati? Unsure.) You get ONE status per day. If you want to bore people with your every thought, join Twitter. Since we’re on a once-per-day cycle here, quality is important. If “I love my boyfriend” ever appears on your page, then I hate you, and so does everyone else. I can’t even begin to describe how absolutely outraged I am by the fact that Facebook prompted “What’s on your mind?” and the only thing you could come up with was your love for your boyfriend, who bought you a cheap bouquet of carnations that day. Tell him you love his drug store flowers, not me. I also don’t want to hear how depressed you are because boys don’t love you, how mad you are that the barista at Starbs got your order wrong, the fact that you think “some bitches really need to mind their own business because he’s with me now, haha get over it,” or how funny your inside joke is with whomever you tagged. I do not care. Try to be clever ON YOUR OWN, meaning keep the meme posting to a minimum. Just abide by the oldest adage: if you don’t have anything nice that anyone else will give a shit about to say, don’t say anything at all. And for heaven’s sake, don’t like your own status.

Relationship Status

Your Facebook relationship really shouldn’t be that complex, yet people still manage to screw it up. It should reflect your real life relationship status. This means you should not be declaring that you are in an open relationship with your little. If you haven’t seen your little’s vagina…you know, because you wanted to, not because she was peeing or because she just likes to get drunk and naked, you are not in a relationship with her. I really can’t stand people who are so pathetic that they can’t just be single on Facebook. You are single in real life! IT’S OKAY! Furthermore, I don’t think it’s necessary to be FBO with your boy, like, immediately. In fact, it’s weird. We get it, clingy, he’s taken. Once you start to get a little more serious, it’s fine to publicly display your “love,” or something, for one another, but otherwise…nay. Conversely, please don’t advertise how not in love you and your boy are by saying “it’s complicated.” I’ll un-complicate things for you: he doesn’t like you.


Just like in real life, there are proper ways to handle yourself when interacting with people on Faceboook. Comments should be kept to a minimum. Do not have a conversation on someone’s status. You can, and should, reply to a comment once (or if you have nothing to say, a “like” will suffice as a courteous acknowledgment), but don’t keep it going on too long. No one wants to read your conversation, because nobody else knows what the fuck you’re talking about. There are tons of social outlets for you to maintain private conversations: text, phone, Skype, FB chat, email, carrier pigeon, or you could just go somewhere and actually talk to a person in person. Do one of those. This is a public forum. Which, by the way, even though you know and I know, and everyone else knows, you still have to pretend is not one. Don’t comment on people’s statuses, pictures, etc. unless you actually know them. It’s weird. And do NOT tell them you saw something about them on Facebook. Yes, it’s right there out in the open, but admitting that you saw it makes you an obsessive creeper, and is grounds for hitting the eff you un-friend button on a person.


A different set of rules exists for you completely, and I think it has an undertone of “don’t give a shit, ever” with a side of “don’t make your profile picture your car.” It’s definitely okay for you to like my status (if I like you), since that’s obviously a sign that you’re in love with me, and I’ll accept that in lieu of a ring for the time being, but all the other stuff is weird.

Don’t poke me. It’s not “cute” to start a little poke war. It’s ridiculous, it’s embarrassing, and the second you poke me on Facebook is the second you lose your chance of ever doing so in real life.

Don’t chat me if we don’t talk in real life. I don’t know why every guy thinks that Facebook is his “in.” It isn’t. Never in history has a pretty girl started hooking up with the guy she took Italian with three years ago that said “hey” to her in a Facebook message. If there is a chance you are only still connected to this person because she forgot to un-friend you, it’s pretty safe to assume that you don’t have a shot with her. People say it’s creepy, but it’s not. It’s pathetic, and we’re laughing at you. Get a clue.

I hope this has been a helpful tutorial. I’ve said what there is to say, and I have one final word of advice: stop playing games. Don’t invite me to be your neighbor in Farmville, because Facebook is really here for one reason, and one reason only: to stalk.


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Veronica Ruckh

Veronica (@VeronicaRuckh) is the Director of Total Sorority Move for Grandex, Inc. After having spent her undergraduate years drinking $4 double LITs on a patio and drunk texting away potential suitors, she managed to graduate with an impressive GPA and an unimpressive engagement ring -- so unimpressive, in fact, some might say it's not there at all. Veronica has since been fulfilling her duties as "America's big," a title she gave to herself with the help of her giant ego. She has recently switched from vodka to wine on weekdays. Email her at

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