If you are a Facebook user, I don’t have to tell you that it is filled with posts that cover the gamut from good to bad, sane to wacky, believable to unbelievable, and pure to filthy. In my feeble attempt to tilt Facebook toward the good, sane, believable, and pure side, here are five of my principles for posting in Facebook:
- When posting quotes from other sources, provide attribution. To do otherwise is plagiarism and less than ethical behavior. The lack of attribution indicates it is your original quote. Adding the name of the person you are quoting is not a difficult task as shown in the following example: He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. – Jim Elliot. If you do not know who the original source is, simply use – Anonymous.
- Do not accept everything on Facebook at face value, no matter how much it aligns with your worldview. For example: Michele Bachmann did not say that solar energy drains heat from the sun, Michael Jordan is not reducing the price of his Air Jordans to $19.95, and Mark Zuckerberg is not/did not give away $4.5 million to Facebook users who shared a “thank you.” Before re-posting, check it out on a site like snopes.comor www.truthorfiction.com. Also, please check the source. There are several satirical news sites on the web that posts fallacious articles never claiming them to be true. They often appear authentic. For a list of web based satirical sources click here.
- If it is nothing more than clickbait, do not post it. You know clickbait as those phrases that are there to pique your curiosity. One of the most ubiquitous is, “You won’t believe what happens next,” or some variation thereof. Well, I know I won’t believe what happens next. During my telecom days I managed a training video group. It was amazing what we could do with editing and other tools. Once we made a video of our Vice President walking to center stage down a large laser beam with other laser beams flashing in the background. She never saw the lasers until we showed her the final cut. We had an Avid audio editing system that allowed us to make people say things they really didn’t say in context. That was 25+ years ago. The technology has not only gotten much better but is now available and usable by even a novice. So most of this stuff is fake, I choose to not go there and I simply don’t re-post. By the way, there is a simple way to check images to see if they are faked. If you would like to know email me.
- Avoid re-posting the cutesy graphics usually with hearts or flowers that say “Share if you have daughter (son, mother, father, grandchild, dog, ferret, etc.) you love with all your heart,” or anything similar. This is highly self-serving. In essence this is not so much about your loved one but about you. If you feel that way about any or all of the above, tell them, show them, love on them. Even if you want to use Facebook, private message them. But don’t use some chintzy graphic developed by someone else to convey that message. The same would apply to an appeal to share or type Amen to religious quotes and graphics. A typed quote with a note of your personal feelings about the quote will be a lot more credible and effective than the “canned” one. Example: This quote by C. S. Lewis was especially meaningful to me this morning, “The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not.” Take the sincere route.
- Do not post anything that contains vile or vulgar material or may be offensive no matter how funny or on point it may be. I may be a bit prudish here but why would I accept people as Facebook friends or ask them to confirm our Facebook friendship and then post material that may assault their sensibilities? Choose the high road.
I love Facebook. Through it I am able to keep up with family, friends (some of whom I haven’t seen since high school), and I even use it to conduct business from time to time. These principles, though not all I apply, are my attempt to keep it good, sane, believable, and pure. What about you? What would you add or take away from my list?