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The 8 Golden Rules of Social Networking

Social Networking :: John Nuutinen :: 13th Sep, 2010

Keywords: Twitter,Facebook,The Guardian,Social Networking

The Guardian ( has just published the 8 Golden Rules of Social Networking.  Are you guilty of breaking any of them?

Don't be a Twitter chugger

Refrain from sending out endless identical tweets @ing people you haven't even bothered to follow, urging them sign your petition/donate to your pet good cause/retweet your latest uttering. I don't care how good the cause is!

Don't overshare

Most of the world does not care about your cat's latest slaughtered fluffy toy mouse or your baby's enchanting gurgle.

Remember who your friends are – and aren't

Is that person you're about to send a Facebook friend request to really your friend? Or is it your boss, or a work colleague? Would you hang out in the pub with them? It's awkward getting a request from someone you work with but don't like. And while we're on the subject, don't whine or wheedle at someone on Twitter to follow you.

Be careful with tagging and posting pictures

You might think that picture of your best mate vomiting into a pint glass is hilarious and very much in keeping with his personality. However, his boss might take a dim view. If you want to keep your friends – and help them keep their jobs – keep those dodgy pictures well away from the internet.

Cringemaking updates

Don't spread witless drivel. I can't put it any better than another friend of mine, who says of those horrendous cut-and-paste status updates that litter Facebook: " 'If you are a mother/support our troops/like cute kittens then post this otherwise you're a heartless bastard'.

Passive-aggressive updates

Having a row with someone? For God's sake, keep it off the internet. Your friends will roll their eyes if you post crap such as: "Lucie-Ann is amazed at the nerve of some people." And if you're Lucie-Ann's mate, don't indulge her with comments like "What's up hun?", as it just prolongs the agony.

Keep on top of your inbox

Reply to your @s on Twitter. It's polite. And anyway, isn't the whole point of social networking to, well, talk to people? Endless unanswered @s and Facebook messages just make you look rude.

Be appropriate

Please don't tweet me – or indeed anyone over the age of about 15 – using the barely comprehensible quasi-words of textspeak. It is possible to be articulate and even witty in a 140-character tweet.   

Author: John Nuutinen