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Facebook Line Crossing

Here’s something I’d like to hear your thoughts on.  A bunch of us were just discussing a specific situation about Facebook communications (someone posted something innocuous on another person’s wall and the wall owner got upset), and we ranged widely in how we handled Facebook communications.

Facebook has multiple options for sending out a message to someone.  You can privately message them, which is akin to sending an email, or you can post directly on their wall if they’ve left that option open.

So let’s start with your personal rule for how you decide which form of communication you use.  There are obvious examples — if it could be potentially embarrassing or controversial, then hose clearly would benefit from the private nature of messaging.  But what about other stuff?  How do you determine what you put on someone’s wall and what you keep private?

For instance, if you just got dinner with someone, would you privately message how much fun you had or would you post that on their wall?  What about if they recommended a restaurant to you while you were standing around the water cooler at work (do people actually do that?); would you post on their Facebook wall how much you loved it if you then went to that restaurant or would you privately message your thanks for the recommendation?

The second question is whether you always respond in the same manner in which you were contacted.  If someone privately messages you, would you ever send your response by posting on their wall?  If someone posts on your wall, do you take the conversation off-the-wall and move to private messaging?  What if the topic at hand was something as innocuous as what you’re making for dinner that night?  If the person asked for a recipe via private message, would it be okay to find the recipe and then post it on their wall?

Lastly, most of us have had to remove a wall post at one point or another because while someone else was comfortable with their comment being public, the owner of the wall was not.  So the third question is do you tell the person why you’ve removed their wall update, or do you simply remove and move on without commentary?

So how do you navigate Facebook communication?


1 Anjali { 03.21.13 at 12:46 pm }

I got rid of my wall soon after I joined Facebook. I just didn’t want to take the chance of someone posting something that was either offensive/hurtful or embarrassing. And the only thing I post on other people’s walls are happy birthday messages. Otherwise, I just leave comments to status posts.

2 Anjali { 03.21.13 at 12:53 pm }

I don’t think I have a wall, do I? I think you can comment on my wall after I’ve already posted a status update…But I don’t have just a wall, per se (or at least I didn’t think I did) where you can comment if I haven’t already posted something else, first.

3 {sue} { 03.21.13 at 12:55 pm }

I remove anything from my wall that I don’t want my mother to read – because she does read it. I also occasionally something that someone posts to be funny, but I find it offensive (political or otherwise). In general, if it’s a private conversation with no input needed from other parties, I don’t put it on the person’s wall. But if it’s a topic where others might want to chime in, I do. (Like “How did you do this first grade project?” or something.)

I try to be very sensitive to talking about gatherings because clearly not everyone was invited. I have removed posts from my wall from people who said “Great party!” or “Thanks for dinner!” because I usually agonize over guest lists and can never include everyone who might want to be included.

4 Heather { 03.21.13 at 1:14 pm }

This is the problem. People are using social media to complain, mortify, etc…rather than the reason it was invented (as a social outlet). If we all just simply lived by the Golden Rule…or just tried to be mindful of how we speak (not just on FB, but in real life too). I am sick to death of entitlement and people using their “platform” to be jerks.

End rant (for today).

5 Tigger { 03.21.13 at 1:21 pm }

I private message conversations – things I know will lead to them, anyways. I have friends I talk with there that I don’t talk with anywhere else about things that don’t belong on my wall or theirs. Vents about children, worries about dad, rants about things people have said on my wall and oh holy hell would they just think before they speak and the next person who tells me X is going to get yelled at because I can’t stand it anymore! 🙂 I very rarely post things directly on people’s walls. I will tag them in posts, though. To use your example of a restaurant or dinner, I would say “Just got done at having dinner at Y place. Thanks X for recommending it to me!” or “Just had a fabulous dinner with X. So glad I have friends I can do this with!”

Yes, I respond in the manner I was contacted in, for the most part. They chose that form of communication for a reason and I respect that. Now, if someone leaves something on my wall and things are going to be said that I don’t want others to read, I will take it to a PM.

I don’t think I’ve ever had to remove anything from my wall. Then again, people don’t directly post on my wall very often either. I had a woman ask about my dad last week and I posted back to her as innocuously as I could, knowing my dad would see it. Had she requested more information, I’d have had to take it to PM…but I left it there so dad COULD see that his friends were thinking about him.

6 Katie { 03.21.13 at 1:22 pm }

I almost never write on walls unless it’s to wish someone a happy birthday. People don’t usually write on my wall, either. But if they do, I almost always send them a message back instead of commenting on that post – unless it’s something silly, like my brother posting an article or a funny photo.

Sometimes I tell people when I take their posts down, and sometimes I don’t. A few weeks ago, my friend wrote something on my wall – asking for a photo of her and K from an event that very few close friends were invited to. I took it down and texted her to let her know that I did so as to not offend anyone who wasn’t invited to this event.

Social media is SO tricky.

7 Kitten { 03.21.13 at 1:31 pm }

Honestly, I don’t put much thought into it. It’s almost an automatic reflex. I know I have “rules” that I follow, but at this point, they are so ingrained, I don’t think I could flesh them out very well.

8 Chickenpig { 03.21.13 at 1:32 pm }

I only use FB for casual conversation and keeping in touch with friends. The only things I post on other people’s walls are happy birthday, anniversary wishes, congrats on graduation that kind of thing. For other communication I always send a personal message. I don’t think I have ever had someone post something on my wall except for birthday wishes.

9 Marisa { 03.21.13 at 1:35 pm }

Good news always travels faster than bad news… So we were matched with a baby who had just been born, but a day or so after arriving at the hospital things started to go bad. Of course all the people my mother-in-law had already told didn’t know this so we were getting “congratulations on your beautiful daughter” written on my Facebook wall as we were driving from the hospital with an empty car seat… I deleted the message and them pm’d the relative to let her know why. It was awkward.

10 a { 03.21.13 at 1:36 pm }

I haven’t ever taken anything down, although I should have. My aunt put something on my wall about some way in which my mother was misbehaving. I should have booted it, but if they want to be passive aggressive, who am I to stand in their way? I replied to that through messaging, though.

Recently, one of my SILs unfriended me, and then posted something passive aggressive about my husband. She really needs to educate herself on her FB settings. Sigh.

I only post public things that I want to be public – this year, I think it’s been pictures of our tickets to see Wicked, a note that I was at a wine class with a couple friends, and a couple thank you for visiting/thank you for the recommendations. Everything else is usually through the messaging system.

I also belong to a FB political discussion group, and have done some private messaging with a couple members about some different members who were not acting right. There is no way to address those people in an adult manner that would be well received, but they do add interesting perspectives to the group. So, sometimes, when venting is needed, other discussion participants will have private conversations. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

I’m more of a FB lurker than anything, so it’s not really a problem for me.

11 a { 03.21.13 at 1:37 pm }

To clarify – my SIL’s passive aggressive message was posted on her own wall. She hasn’t blocked me from seeing her wall.

12 serenity { 03.21.13 at 1:43 pm }

Interesting – and timely – post. I JUST had to remove a post from my wall from a person I knew in HS; it was vulgar and disgusting and not at all in good taste. I didn’t tell her I removed it – I just deleted it. My thought is that it’s my wall; my space, I own the rights to deleting something I do not like being posted. I did not see any reason to call out why I deleted it, but I would absolutely respond if she asked me.

To your first and second questions, though – I try and be kind about the messages I put up on FB. If I feel like someone would be excluded, I generally don’t post something like that publicly; I’ll use the private forum.

And in general, I will always respond to a private message privately, but if someone comments publicly on my wall and I don’t feel like it’s something I can respond to in a public forum, I’ll switch to PM.

In general I err on making things more private on FB than I would otherwise.

This is such an interesting topic; I’ve been reading a book that talks about societal norms (vs market norms, yeah, I’m boring, but the book is amazing!) and I am fascinated by how social media has changed societal norms. I cannot get enough reading material on it.


13 Shelby { 03.21.13 at 1:45 pm }

I have been in the process of a Facebook rant post for a few months now. Why a few months? Because there’s A LOT to rant about, especially regarding how people use it. (I’m sure I have misused it on occasion)

So, question 1: I’m confused by why people take to walls to have conversations so often. If I have something that I want a lot of people to see, I write on someone’s wall (which I very, very rarely do except for birthday wishes), otherwise it’s messaged. However re: question 2: I do respond in the same manner as I was contacted. So, if someone posts on my wall, I will respond by replying on that post. Luckily I have narrowed my friend’s list down so that I know that no one is very likely to post anything humiliating or insulting, so I haven’t and any issues with question 3 (thankfully). My biggest issue right now with FB are the endless preggos. 🙂

14 Rebecca { 03.21.13 at 2:04 pm }

If someone posts to my wall and I don’t like what they posted I remove it. Usually I just private message other people.

15 Another Dreamer { 03.21.13 at 2:29 pm }

For private things, I use private messages. For things I don’t mind sharing with the public, the wall. If I PM someone and they write back on my wall, it annoys the ever living fuck out of me. If someone posts something on my wall I don’t approve of, I either don’t approve it (dependent on what privacy setting it falls under) or I delete it promptly. I don’t always address deleting it, but if they email/ask or it’s questionable- I will address it with them. The way I see it, it’s my wall, plan and simple, and if I delete it they should understand that. In some cases, where the sender and I are good friends and they might not get why I don’t approve (ex: posting a satirical, possibly offensive, joke my in-laws wouldn’t get) I delete that and email them, and we have a good ole “Oh the joys of family on FB” chat.

16 Sharon { 03.21.13 at 2:35 pm }

Just about the only thing I will write on someone’s wall is a happy birthday wish or a “congratulations” if they have recently posted about a promotion, pregnancy, birth or the like. Anything else goes in a private message.

My own wall is set up so that no one can post on it but me. No one can post videos or photos to my profile without my approval either.

I’ve only had to remove one wall post from Facebook, when two friends of mine got into a back-and-forth involving profanity (in the comments section on a photo I’d posted of a puppy, of all things). In that instance, I private-messaged both friends to let them know I’d deleted their posts and why.

17 Kimberly { 03.21.13 at 2:52 pm }

First, I’m a low to moderate user on Facebook. I play those stupid games, share the occasional links, and generally treat people on Facebook the same way I would treat them in person. I use it to keep in touch with family and friends living away or who I may not see often.

That being said, if its something I would only talk about with one person, like a normal conversation, I would use the private message/chat option. If its something funny/cute or something that I could show to a crowd, I would post on their wall. But, if the person found it offensive or don’t want others to see, I have no problem with them removing it and I wouldn’t need them to tell me. If someone posts something on my wall and I don’t want it there, I remove it and rarely tell the person unless they ask me. I post at my discretion and if people don’t agree with it, I make it clear that they don’t have to agree or read and their options are simple, either hide the offending post or just ignore it.

Though an issue did happen a couple of weeks ago. I liked a picture that someone found offensive. But instead of talking to me about it, she tagged me in the comment of the original picture (owned by a person I don’t know) and went on to tell me that I should have better taste then to like something like this. It was an infertility humor picture and while I’m fairly out about our struggles to my family, friends, and the IF community, I don’t need my information linked to potential trolls looking to attack someone and cause drama. So I removed the tag, reported the tag as spam and then privately messaged the person stating what she, probably inadvertently, did and told her that if she doesn’t like it, she doesn’t have to read it and that I would appreciate her not sharing my struggles with people I didn’t ok. I reminded her that she posts many things I don’t necessarily agree with but I haven’t called her out on it, especially publicly, and would expect the same in return. I also told her that if she has a problem with something to do with me in the future to take it to me privately and not make it something public. To go about it the same way someone would go about it in person. Once she realized her error, she apologized and realized that she blew it out of proportion. But outside of situations like this, I generally reply to people in the way they originally communicate with me unless it has personal information. But that being said, about 75% of my communication back and forth is via private chat. The rest is usually funny or standard comments (i.e. “I’m so excited” on a link about something happening or “you look great” on a picture of someone.) back and forth on links and pictures that people posted to their wall.

18 Pepper { 03.21.13 at 3:11 pm }

I almost exclusively pm aside from commenting on other people’s posts. I will post innocuous funny stuff very occasionally to my sil’s wall but that is it. I delete any posts on my wall that reference something I myself wouldn’t share on FB (which is most everything – I rarely post). My nosey cousin posted something about my daughter’s birth on my wall just after she was born and I deleted it and unfriended her (probably an overreaction, but if I don’t want to tell the world we’re in the nicu, why should you?)

19 clare { 03.21.13 at 3:36 pm }

I guess I use the wall the way I would have used the dry erase board on a friend’s college dorm door… Things like “hey awesome band down stairs…. or good luck on your midterm” “hope you feel better soon” stuff went on the board

things like “sorry about last night..” “thanks for walking me home” “how was your date last night” were put on paper and slid under the door.

I guess I learned my rules back when you were seeing the reactions and subsequent drama (and sometimes you’d erase other people’s messages off other people’s door if they were just too mean/revealing) because the entire circle of the conversation was visible to an extent

20 Seriously?! { 03.21.13 at 3:46 pm }

Private message gets private message.

Public wall gets public wall…so long as it doesn’t create a long thread where other’s have posted…then switch to message as to not annoy the others.

Posting something specific to that person? Always a private message.


Interesting…curious to see how things unfolds.

21 Seriously?! { 03.21.13 at 3:47 pm }

ACK!!! NO ‘ on others!!!!

22 Geochick { 03.21.13 at 3:57 pm }

I use email or pm’ing for most communication not linked to someone’s status updates or pictures. Lately I’ve hardly used FB and its been wonderful.

23 KeAnne { 03.21.13 at 4:03 pm }

I’m a low user of FB lately, but if it’s something fairly innocuous, I’d post it on a friend’s wall. I probably would thank someone for dinner or a party on their wall. I have removed one or two posts on my wall – specifically a blog post of mine that a friend shared b/c I didn’t want my family to know about my blog! Yeah, wonder how much longer that will last LOL. I didn’t tell the person why I removed it and I probably should have.

24 Stinky { 03.21.13 at 4:38 pm }

Usually PM all the way. If people post on my wall after not much contact with a ‘hi how are you’ type message, yes, I will reply in PM, because I liken fb wall as akin to having a private conversation in a library through a megaphone. And some stuff strikes me as odd – why would you write about a shared experience on a wall, instead of flicking someone a private message to say thanks, especially if you refer to something that was discussed or happened in real life, it feels a bit “hey friends list, look at us, with our own ‘in-joke'”. I don’t put very much on fb about my life, definitely not that location-publisher thing (I think I need a mobile device for that?) or anything really specific – fb’s mainly about talking bollocks,sharing funny things and being able to chat/comment with people.

I don’t think I’ve ever removed a wall post that I can recall, think it would depend what it is. If I’m offended, I’d like to think I’d tell the person who posted it, but depends who and what.

Had a situation last night where my dad, who I have accepted as a fb friend, made some (skype) comment about my having used the ‘f’bomb on my recent status, and how my mother wasn’t impressed (being as my mum wouldn’t even know how to log on to fb, its clear the shit-stirrer purposely showed her, which is a whole new issue that I just ignored) . . . my sister has the right idea, as she wouldn’t accept his friend request, which I thought sounded a bit harsh at the time, but now I see . . . I said if he doesn’t like what he reads there then either unfriend me/don’t read it; either way – face/bovvered? Being as I speak to him personally every week face to face, there is no real ‘need’ for him to be on fb silently noting my (non)activity there, I don’t think he wants to feel like he’s missing anything (except I speak to them peronally EVERY WEEK, and don’t really write anything on fb!)
I’m not about to censor everything on fb in case my parents are reading – thats the risk they take when they stalk me on fb! I don’t use f bombs when I speak to them directly, out of respect for my mum, but on fb . . . should that change? I’m semi-selective about my friends list so no professional overlap or awkwardness there, and feel like I can express myself as I choose (within reason)
Got off topic I know, but timely/relevant for me atm – occasional sweariness on fb and norms

25 Amel { 03.21.13 at 5:29 pm }

Generally speaking I love sending messages (PMs) more than writing on other people’s walls. And after my profile went Timeline, I’ve arranged it such so that the messages or links that people leave on my wall directly can’t be seen by anyone else other than me.

Generally speaking I prefer writing PMs or sending emails if I want to tell someone that I’ve had a great time with her during lunch – but if I’ve said it to her right away after lunch, then I don’t necessarily feel the need to write a message just to say it again.

If someone writes a message to me, I always reply back right away to the message the same way – be it via email or PM in Facebook. UNLESS for some reason my reply is important and it seems that the person hasn’t got it (or if I’m waiting for the person’s reply back and it’s urgent, then I’ll try other methods to contact her again). If someone writes a comment on something I’ve posted or asks something in the comment section and I don’t feel like replying there for some reason (security or privacy), then I’ll tell her that I’ll reply via email or PM.

Because I’ve set my timeline wall in such a way, so it’s not really necessary for me to delete someone’s wall post for me, though come to think about it I once deleted a long wall post of mine due to the comment section becoming too private for my liking (but I did tell the person that I was gonna do it and why I did it).

26 Alexicographer { 03.21.13 at 5:56 pm }

Email is almost the only tool I use to communicate with people. I post status updates on FB approximately monthly as they are a way I keep in touch with extended family and distant friends and that frequency feel about right. A number of people who post frequent status updates (say more than 3/day), I have hidden from my feed. I check FB once daily and log out when I’m not checking it because it gives me the creeps.

I’d never use FB to communicate with someone except in responding to something they have posted. That I will typically do through FB (I am talking here about responding to others’ status updates), except that if it is sad news I will instead go to either email (if I want to be fast) or a written note (if formality trumps speed) to express my sorrow and/or condolences.

If someone uses FB to propose that I, specifically, do something with them or in general then I will either ignore it or respond to them privately.

I would never use FB in a public way to communicate with people. I did briefly consider posting yesterday to encourage people to write to their senators about the upcoming gun violence votes but decided against it (though I should have, and didn’t, or at least haven’t yet, emailed people. I have, however, emailed my senators).

I FB message only rarely, mostly as a way of trying to convene large family gatherings or communicate in advance of them, as I am more connected with particularly my husband’s family via FB than via email.

I wouldn’t hesitate to remove from my wall something I found inappropriate.

27 gradualchanges { 03.21.13 at 5:56 pm }

Aside from the fact that I generally avoid Facebook (ever since my miscarriage over a year ago) I’m a private message kind of person. The only wall posts I make are birthday wishes. This could be a reflection of my Internet lurker personality in general. I’m more of a “liker” and “commenter” than a “poster” I also have my wall on lockdown. I have to approve anything posted by someone else before it can go on my wall. I don’t always respond in the same mesage format, but I never take something from private to public. I may occassionally respond to wall posts but am just more comfortable with PM. As for the removal of posts, no I never tell anyone. I also never tell anyone who’s posts I don’t approve for my wall. If they wanted to know why (and had the gall to ask) I would tell them but no one ever has…

28 Mali { 03.21.13 at 6:47 pm }

Frankly, (and touching wood) I’ve never really had a problem with FB. My FB friends are friends – I don’t have old high school acquaintances on FB, but people who I genuinely care about and want to learn about their lives.

But when I see personal conversations on someone’s wall, it does make me a bit uncomfortable, so I always PM if I’m going to have any sort of a private conversation. I like Stinky’s comment that FB wall conversations are like using a megaphone in a library! I do feel that way, and I protect my privacy, so I’m very careful about what I say. Besides, I think my friends are all highly civilised and know how to behave in proper society! (I know, I’m just asking for trouble saying that).

The only thing I cringe about is the rest of my friends seeing my nieces’ spelling!!

29 Catwoman73 { 03.21.13 at 7:50 pm }

The only time I ever post on anyone’s wall is in response to something they’ve posted- a status update, a picture, etc. Thankfully, most of my friends and family are the same way. I’m a fairly private person, and feel really uncomfortable if people try to engage in personal conversations on my wall- in these rare cases, I will invariably switch to PMing. I have never had to delete anything offensive or otherwise from my wall, but I have a pretty liberal definition of ‘appropriate content,’ so that’s not overly surprising. If I did have to delete something though, I think I would only contact that person to let them know if it was a personal issue- like if I had gotten a new job, and a friend congratulated me, but I hadn’t had a chance to let my coworkers and boss know yet. In the unlikely scenario that it was something I found offensive, I would just delete it, and not say another word.

30 loribeth { 03.21.13 at 8:36 pm }

Gee, I must be dull… I don’t get much posted on my wall, and nothing that’s been a problem so far. I generally don’t carry out “conversations” on FB. I do tend to respond to FB PMs with another PM, to e-mail with e-mail, etc.

I have — twice! — had nasty words exchanged between friends in the comments on something I’ve posted. In both cases, they didn’t know each other IRL… one posted a comment that the other took exception to. In both cases, I never would have dreamed the original post would have stirred up controversy. Both times, I wondered whether I should intervene, but took a wait & see approach — neither exchange was very prolonged, & I decided not to stir the pot further.

I have yet to de-friend someone… but I have hidden people from my news feed who consistently post stuff that I dislike or disagree with — generally distant relatives who have strong opinions on religious and political matters that don’t match my own views.

The only time I can remember outright deleting a post was, memorably, around this time last year. Some of you might remember this story… I’m the moderator of a private family FB group… we’d been discussing the story of my grandparents’ unusual wedding… and I came home one night to find that, about 15 minutes earlier, a distant cousin had Googled a certain term in a newspaper article about the wedding, found a blog post I had written that mentioned the story, and posted the link on the family group for all to see!! And one of my mother’s cousins had already commented on her post.

I immediately deleted the orignal post with my blog link and the comment, and PMd both to explain why — that this was my private blog, and I’d appreciate it being kept private and not shared with the rest of the family. I then took my blog private, temporarily, in case others in the group had received e-mail notifications & were trying to access the link. I kept it down for about a week and then resurrected it, hoping things had blown over. Thankfully, I haven’t heard anything about it since then. My mother’s cousin actually began “following” my blog (!) and I blocked her. I know she could still be reading me another way, but I figured this at least signalled my disapproval. ; ) She’s a nice lady, but I just didn’t (and don’t) want her or any other relatives poking around my blog.

31 Lori Lavender Luz { 03.21.13 at 11:16 pm }

1. If it makes the other person look good to others and if it won’t make others feel bad or cause problems, I am inclined to post publicly. If not, then privately.

2. I would move from public to private but not from private to public.

3. Tell.

32 FrozenOJ { 03.21.13 at 11:30 pm }

I post things to a person’s wall if it’s something specific to them so I want them to be notified, but I think others would enjoy it too. So if I see a specific picture about Pokemon for example, I would share that on a friend who loves Pokemon’s wall. I also post a lot to my mom’s wall because anytime I tell her about something neat I read/saw online she’s always saying to post a link to her wall.

If we just had a great time I probably won’t post it to their wall because that kinda seems like bragging. Like oh we just had such a fun time together and you other Facebook denizens weren’t invited! I might make a general status update like “It was great getting to see so-and-so while they were in town!” and tag them in it though. If someone was to recommend something to me and I agreed with their recommendation I would do the same thing, recommend it to others in my status while giving thanks to the person who recommended it to me.

I’m much more likely to turn a public exchange private than the other way around. If it gets to be quite a long conversation with lots of back and forth it just makes sense, you know? Just like if I ran into someone at a party and I wanted to talk to them for a while we would migrate out of the way to a table or something. If someone asked about a recipe or something like that I would message them back, but I might also post it saying something like “I was recently asked about this recipe and thought others might like to have it too.”

On Facebook I would let them know, as they are generally someone I know and I think I owe them that. On G+ or my blog I feel more comfortable just deleting stuff if it was obviously a spammer or something.

33 St. Elsewhere { 03.22.13 at 1:37 am }

So let’s start with your personal rule for how you decide which form of communication you use.

If it’s Happy Birthday, it goes on the wall of the other person. If they have disabled their wall, I will message. All personal messages are sent via message. Funny images are sometimes shared on walls.

The second question is whether you always respond in the same manner in which you were contacted.

Usually yes. Sometimes, I will leave just a line or two and take the rest of my response off-the wall, and via mail or messaging.

So the third question is do you tell the person why you’ve removed their wall update, or do you simply remove and move on without commentary?

I have sometimes deleted comments because they referred to my blog. FB is filled with family and IRL connections. I don’t like to reveal my blog. If I remove the comment, I message the person that I did it.

There was this one time, where a blogger had phoned me and then made a FB status update (tagging me). Even though it was a compliment, I did not want to ‘reveal’, so I untagged myself promptly, and I am sure I never said anything via explanation about it. I have been bad that way.

34 ange { 03.22.13 at 4:55 am }

i disabled my wall – it works a charm. when ppl need to contact me, they can do so via PM. Although, once you update your status, ppl are free to comment so i do get unrelated comments via updates which can be confusing. i edit my wall & answer to NO-ONE!!

35 Steadfast Warrior { 03.22.13 at 6:34 am }

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. If I wasn’t o far away from friends and family, I’d probably just get rid of it. But I can’t so I deal with it. I am part of on online writing group, so I have a lot of acquaintances who I have as friends on FB.

General stuff I post as status updates, but anything that is more private and/or only concerns one (or a small group) of people, I keep to private message.

I generally reply in the same manner they contacted me with, unless it’s of a more sensitive nature and I don’t want to discuss it publicly.

I have deleted stuff before when I had a ‘friend’ being rude. Considering I unfriended them so they couldn’t harass me anymore, I didn’t bother telling them. Generally though I would have no issue deleting something and then talking to them about it.

36 Cherry { 03.22.13 at 7:40 am }

Great questions. I usually just reply wherever I was contacted, but I ignore and delete posts and unfriend where I feel a boundary was crossed, and no I don’t care to let the person know that I did that. I think they will get the message.

37 Natalie { 03.22.13 at 3:53 pm }

I never post on someone’s wall. If I want to tell them something, I private message them. The only exception would be to respond to something they have posted. I figure that if it is a topic they are comfortable posting for public consumption, they are most likely comfortable with responses to the topic being public. (that is not always the case, but I figure they are taking that risk not me) I am a pretty private person and I really think about what kind of information I broadcast to the public. I know not everyone does, and it really frustrates me when people post random things on my wall or my posts. Therefore I have no problem deleting someone’s post or comment. If it bothers me, it is gone. It is my wall after all.

38 Siochana { 03.23.13 at 11:53 am }

If someone starts a conversation on PM, I would always keep in on PM.
Sometimes I get wall posts about topics that I think are too personal for the wall conversation (i.e. nobody else has anything to gain by reading that conversation and/or I am not comfortable with it being public.) Then I will message the person and ask to talk about it privately.
I rarely remove posts, but I will if they use swear words (no no on FB for me) or (more rarely) make overly personal comments or innuendo (this is unusual but I had a friend who was doing that for a while.
I never put my phone or address information on my wall, so will always PM if the convo requires that information.
As for the question about thanking a person, I will sometimes make a very general wall post (It was great to spend time with you!) especially if they have already posted something on their wall. It’s always restricted to topics I think we would both feel comfortable discussing in front of others. If not…then not going on the wall.
To me, the FB wall is like being a big party with some people you know and others not so much. You should always assume your actions are seen and your words can be heard. FB is not about privacy for me. If you want privacy, you shouldn’t be on it. But privacy isn’t everything. It’s fun to be in a big room full of people because you have the chance to see what they are up to, hear their news, look at their photos, etc. And human observation is fun, whether it’s online or IRL. You just have to remember where you are.

39 Billy { 04.06.13 at 4:58 pm }

I only post things like “happy birthday” on other people’s walls. I am a private person and don’t like the ‘whole world’ seeing what I say..
I did have a case of someone (who I have just become friends on FB after not seeing him for about 20 yrs..) posting a hello how are you etc on my wall. I didn’t feel comfortable with it because as I said above, I am a private person. I messaged him back with an answer, but didn’t erase what he wrote on my wall (I don’t like erasing other people’s words.. )

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