Your Essential Guide for How to Facebook

By Grace Per Lee

Dear Facebook Member,

Thank you for joining the world’s best social networking forum. Here are a few hints to help you be successful:

Be happy, but not too happy. 

By all means, let us know when good things happen. But if a lot of good things happen to you, then try to tone it down. A good rule of thumb is to model after one of your more popular friends. Don’t post good things any more often than he or she does. And keep in mind that people are more tolerant of good things happening to attractive people. If you’re unsure of how attractive you are, our face appraisal plug-in app can help.

Be vulnerable, but not pitiful. 

Hey, this is a real community and we want to know about the bad stuff along with the good, but use your head. We want to feel like, “Oh, man… looks like Greg got his car towed. Again!” Not, “Oh, man… I guess Greg lost his job. Again.” Keep the upsetting stuff to yourself. If your post will elicit a groan or a chuckle – go for it. If it will make us uncomfortable or feel like we need to do something to help, keep it to yourself.

Sickness: How much is too much? 

Get the occasional cough or flu? It’s okay to post it, especially if you need to legitimize your day off to a boss or colleagues. We get that. But are you sick a lot? Or, worse, do you have a chronic condition or disease? Better to leave that off the book entirely. See #2.

Kids: Asset or Achilles heel? 

If you have kids, then go ahead and mention them on Facebook. It looks weird if you don’t! But, as cute as they may be (which, remember, is subjective), it’s best to be very sparing with these posts*. What we’ve learned from decades of data mining is that most people do not actually like children. They may humor you with likes, and even loves, but they will resent you for it, which will affect your overall popularity ranking.

*Note: If you are willing to make of fun of your children (pictures of them crying, a video of them saying something stupid, etc.), great. Just be sure it’s not a poorly executed humble brag.

The humble brag: learn it, use it, don’t abuse it. 


  • “Oh, man, how are we going to fit all these presents under the tree?!”
  • “So embarrassed when this giant bouquet of flowers was delivered to work today!”

Not acceptable:

  • “There’s just no shelf space left for little Karen’s latest trophy!”
  • “Ugh, I hate it when people tell me I’m beautiful. So weird!”

Liking, loving, and commenting: What’s the deal? 

Remember, you are not on Facebook just to share YOUR thoughts. You’re also here to listen. Or at least that’s the ruse, and we all benefit from keeping it up.

A good rule of thumb: like 30-50% of what your friends post**. Too little and you appear uncaring. Too much = stalker. Keep comments brief and on-topic. “Awww” for anything cute. “No way!” for anything surprising. “” for sad posts (unless they’re pitiful – in which case please do not encourage them).

Do not attempt to be funny. Only 17% of people can execute humor, and only 28% of Facebook users are receptive to it. It’s best to leave this minefield alone.

**Note for Baby Boomers: Do not like or comment on posts by people who are not your friends. Do not send friend requests to people you do not know.

Sponsored content

We ask that you regularly click on, and react to, sponsored content. Please share at least 10 sponsored posts a week. What that content is (recipes, “news” items, makeup tutorials, etc.) is irrelevant. Sharing is what matters. It’s the only thing that matters.

That should do it! Thank you for joining the world’s best social networking forum. Have fun out there, and keep it tasteful. We’ll be here watching you!

Your friends at Facebook


About the Author

Grace Per Lee is a writer/copywriter and content strategist based out of Burlington, Vermont. Her work has appeared in Kids VT, Adirondack Life, and The Mary Sue, and on airwaves and buses throughout Vermont and Washington, D.C.. Follow her at @graceperlee for rare but brilliant bits of commentary.