I wrote this on my family blog way back when there were still young people on Facebook, and I still imagined myself one of them.
Now that only old people are on Facebook (or visit family blogs), it’s even more relevant: your boss/tenure committee/mother-in-law probably HAS found it by now.
So, with apologies to Moses, King James, and the Almighty, I offer:
The Ten Commandments of Facebooking
1. Thou shalt not post anything thou wouldn’t want thy mother-in-law, thy tenure committee, or thy grandchildren to see. Yea, though thou thinkest that thy mother-in-law knoweth not how to find facebook, or that thy grandchildren be not yet born, or that thy tenure committee wouldn’t do such a thing, thou knowest not the day nor the hour at which thine error may be discovered.
2. Thy status updates are not as obscure as thou thinkest they are. Therefore, take care that thou refrain from posting thinly-disguised insults, corrections, or mockery of persons who have friended thee, or are friends of those who have friended thee. Even to the third degree of Kevin Bacon, thy comments will be made manifest.
3. Honor thy father and mother, and thy father-in-law and mother-in-law. Speak kindly and cheerfully of them at all times, that thy Thanksgiving dinner turn not to dust in thy mouth. For if thou insult or ridicule thy parents, or even if thou should tell stories in which they come not out smelling like a rose, they shall surely hear of it, and then thou shalt hear of it likewise. Over and over and over.
4. Friend not anyone with whom thou hast a grading relationship, whether the keeper of the grades is he or thee.
5. Join no group which spammeth thy friends. It is an abomination.
6. Click not on any advertisement which promiseth the loss of weight or a prize of money. They are a snare, and deal only in falsehood and internet trickery.
7. Do not for the sake of an online amusement purchase virtual goods with actual money. Save thine actual money for actual goods, like houses and cars and yarn for thy wife.
8. If thou sufferest a grave injury or a personal catastrophe, or if thou receivest news of pregnancy or promotion or lotto prize, do not let thy status update be the first thy parents, or thy parents-in-law, or thy siblings, or thy siblings-in-law, or thine extended family, or thy network of close friends hear of it. The device on which thou accessest Facebook also makes phone calls.
9. The rules of punctuation and grammar are not suspended in cyberspace. Thou shalt conduct thyself with grammatical composure at all times.
10. The rules of civility are likewise not suspended in cyberspace. He who posteth rude comments or passeth along hate-filled political diatribe from those on the left, or hate-filled political diatribe from those on the right, or hate-filled political diatribe from equal-opportunity haters, or who insulteth the religion of those whom he hath friended, or who causeth any kind of cyber-pile-on, yea, even unintentionally, shall not escape punishment. They shall come from every corner of cyberspace, even to the fourth degree of Kevin Bacon, to castigate thee.