Metro-East Living

Mind your Facebook manners after this tumultuous election


Q. I cannot believe how ill-mannered some people in our country have been on Facebook since the presidential election. Some of the posts have been actually appalling. I grew up with my parents telling me that when a decision was made, even though I may not like it, I was to act like a lady or gentleman. That included not saying bad things, not complaining or whining and not attempting to undermine the decision. Would you please provide some reminders about post-presidential election proper manners for face book users.

A. Yes, unfortunately, I have also seen some very unkind and improper Facebook posts since the election. Facebook itself has rules regarding inappropriate posts that can result in various penalties and user restrictions, but here are some etiquette rules for Facebook users whether the posts pertain to personal comments regarding the results of a presidential election, an office party, a high school football game, a wedding, or a televised NFL football game.

First of all, Facebook is a form of socializing — a way to communicate in writing rather than a face-to-face verbal conversation, but have it be visible to the public. That “public” forum can be very large or rather small, but none-the-less visible. While everyone should think before speaking in any situation, Facebook users need to remember to think and reread before posting. They should determine whether their post:

1. is over-the-top emotional

2. is unkind or might hurt someone’s feelings

3. might be detrimental to another person's image or career

4. could be used against you later or could hurt your own career and image

5. is disrespectful

6. is totally negative

7. projects you in a negative or improper light so that some friends may not want to be associated with you

8. contains inappropriate language

9. makes an impossible or ridiculous promise

10. contains unverified facts and erroneous information

11. is vindictive

12. might be regretted later

As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day this week, hopefully everyone will concentrate on the bountiful positive aspects of this wonderful country in which we live, and not the negative. Happy Thanksgiving.

Dianne Isbell is a local contributing writer. Send your etiquette questions to Suzanne Boyle, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427, or email them to