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Posted by on Sep 19, 2022 in Essays, Personal | 0 comments

Social Media is Always the Proper Time and the Right Place




I’d like to comment on proper etiquette on Facebook and the broader social media platforms. Don’t laugh, I’m serious about trying to define parameters, though it may be akin to herding cats.

Here’s the best guideline I can think of: The golden rule is — *YOU* can post just about anything you want on *YOUR* page. And, *I* can post just about anything *I* want on *MY* page. Got it? Such a simple concept.

Of course, Facebook has rules and guidelines, and we must all follow them. But you lecturing me on *what* opinions should be shared and *when* I should post them is not something I’m willing to accept. In fact, that’s not going to happen. This will never happen.

This past week with the death of Queen Elizabeth II (did anyone else catch that news?), I’ve seen several posts from friends who chastized those of us who hold a critical view of monarchies and the trappings of superiority by birthright. The gist of these critical posts was something to the effect of (1) respecting the dead, (2) letting others mourn, (3) staying out of the affairs of another nation, and (4) calling for me to silence myself out of some perverted obsession with strangers who inexplicably are popularly referred to as “royals.”

Nope. Not happening. Not on “MY” Facebook page. Silence is not golden here. I’ll post what I want when I want. And, you have that same right. See how this works?

Etiquette is all about territory and boundaries, and mutual respect thereof. I should respect *YOUR* space. And, I do respect your space. If you’re posting fawning adoration of a dead monarch on your Facebook page, and that brings you comfort, I’m not invading your territory and calling you out, though I may believe such sycophancy is ridiculous. If it gives you some illusion of peace to mourn or you simply enjoy the pageantry of medieval traditions, that’s perfectly your right. And I’m not here to threaten that. Nor will I question it — certainly not on YOUR page. I’ll probably glance at your post, and scroll on. No harm, no foul.

So, I wonder then why anyone would enter *MY* territory, come onto *MY* Facebook page, and then lecture *ME* (LECTURE ME!) on what precisely to believe and when and where to post my opinions? If you don’t like my subject matter or you disagree with a point I’m making, by all means, let’s have a discussion about it. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? But don’t tell me a topic is taboo. Don’t try to impose to phantom mourning period on my emotional schedule. I run by a different emotional and philosophical time clock. If you are offended by my posts, my opinions, or the time frame when I post criticism ON MY PAGE bothers you, then perhaps you should UNFRIEND and UNFOLLOW now. I’m not here to please you. I’m not here to pacify. This is not a comfort blanket or a squeak toy.

Perhaps the best ongoing example I can think of to help conceptualize my views on Facebook etiquette according to space and time is on the subjects of religion and all matters of faith. When someone falls sick or dies, and prayers are requested publicly here on Facebook, I’d never go onto someone else page and ridicule that pain, that need, or that faith. Everyone is entitled (and should be encouraged) to share what’s important to them. If quoting Bible verses makes you feel good, then do it. Those of us who do not share your religion or your outlook on diety won’t invade your comfort zone and to do so would be callous and even downright cruel.

However, my page (or my website) is a different territory. Another space in time. It often exposes a very different view of religion, religious traditions, and the absurdity of faith without fact-based evidence. Fortunately, on most occasions, we will engage in a civil discussion and debate on these subjects, which many people find interesting based on the number of comments. But please don’t expect silence here. I do not observe mourning periods. Sharing ideas and engagement is what social media platforms are for. I often post critical questions of faith. I question lots of things. I even question myself at times. Hopefully, when we ask questions, we will get some answers. My page. My opinions. Take them or leave them.

Yes, etiquette is all about territory and boundaries, and mutual respect thereof. I respect your space and you respect mine.




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