Everyone uses Facebook differently. For your reference, here’s my personal policy.
- Welcome everyone. Conservative or liberal, religious or not, Stormcloak or Imperial, normative or awesome, we can be friends as long as we can be polite—on Facebook. In real life if all we can be is real polite then we’re not real friends. But (even though you can skim your page while you sit on the toilet) Facebook is a public place, a place where God Almighty and Big Brother are both watching. So be nice or be quiet.
- Aim for family-friendly. As a general rule, nowadays I try to remember that my mother and a majority of her friends can see most of the things I stick on Facebook. This means that even hilarious, insightful, or profound memes with even just a tiny bit of profanity or coarse language won’t typically get my Like (but I may sneak in a comment to let you know I was there), and if something slips through I’ll probably Unlike it just to be safe (nothing personal). Unless it’s really funny. Then maybe Mom and her friends can just pretend they didn’t see it.
- “Like” liberally. Some people use the like button very rarely, like an emperor bestowing trophies upon the best comment. I use the Like button constantly to let people know that I appreciated their Share, or that I saw and appreciated their comments. And—usually but not always—if I didn’t Like it, I didn’t like it. So now you know. Even if you don’t have something substantive to add, clicking that Like button is a good way to signal (and with minimal effort!) that other people matter.
- “Block” occasionally.
- Keep moving. Sometimes while wandering the halls of Facebook you too may stumble onto something so arrestingly ludicrous, so unintentionally hilarious, so factually erroneous that you find yourself suddenly sucked into conflict with someone being dumb. “Constructive discourse and Facebook postery is a difficult mixture,” I tell myself. “Unless there is a really good reason to spend your time correcting friends in front of strangers on the internet—don’t.” But still sometimes I do. Sorry.
Finally, while I hope it is useful, my Facebook posting policy is a rubric under perpetual revision, as new experiences provide new insights into the mistakes I’m currently making.