Eric Kuhn is a 20-year-old summer intern here at CBS, and something of a Facebook expert. We asked him to blog about this web phenomenon that has now gotten Rudy Giuliani's daughter in hot water.
(Getty Images/Matthew Peyton)
Everyone and their mothers these days seem to want a Facebook profile. For those out of the loop, a Facebook profile is a page on the internet where you talk about yourself, your interests, favorite music, movies, books, your relationship status (single, dating, married…), and anything else you want to share, including your address, telephone number, and what classes you are taking for the semester.
The older people I know want profiles on Facebook for reasons ranging from keeping "cool" to keeping tabs on their kids. Unless you have Facebook, you cannot see anyone's profile.
Whatever the reason may be, Rudy Giuliani's daughter broke the number one rule of Facebook when she joined a "Barack Obama" group. See, you NEVER have something on your Facebook profile that you don't want to appear on the front page of the New York Times (or Slate)! It should have been obvious to her as a college student (not to mention as the daughter of a presidential candidate), but I am sure that the older generation has no clue of the dos and don'ts of Facebook.
See, in college and high school, there are the unwritten rules of Facebook. Someone over the age of 21 probably wouldn't know what they might be, so to shed some light on this set of laws, I thought I'd blog about a few of them:
- Never become friends with someone you don't know. (For example, I really wanted to become friends with Howard Kurtz, but did not. I thought it would be awkward since we have never met.) For the uninitiated: becoming someone's friend means that there is a little icon on your other friend's profile that shows you two are buds.
- Don't friend someone the second you meet them. Wait a few days, because you don't want to seem too eager. Chill.
- Never poke anyone. What does "to poke" mean? Don't worry about it, just don't do it.
- Don't become friends with your mom or any of her friends. Do I need to explain more?
- Don't change your relationship status on Facebook before telling your significant other. People take these relationships on line very seriously. Thus, if you are going to break up with someone, do it in person and then run to your computer.
- On the same note, do not friend your friend's significant other if you don't know that person. Nothing is more awkward than you wanting to peek into the life of your friend's girlfriend.
- Don't put up self-incriminating pictures. Bad, bad, bad because the New York Post will find them without question. Also, don't post pictures of others that you would not want to see of yourself.
- Don't have more than 500 friends. Otherwise you cross a line and become a loser.
- Becoming part of a "Facebook Group" can clearly be a problem. However, having too many groups on Facebook is another sign of a loser. You don't want to seem like you spend all day in Facebook. A Facebook group is built around a common interest; joining that group means that you are in support of the idea.
- Facebook stalking is horrible. You never want to be caught dead saying, "Oh, I saw on Facebook last night that you were at that concert." Also, don't call someone whose cell you only found on Facebook. Just plain creepy.
- Lingo is important! When you are in conversation with someone and talking about "Facebooking them," the expression is "to Facebook you" or "to friend you." The lingo is not "to Facebook friend you." That is redundant.
So there you have it. See, Facebook rules are not as simple as "Don't support your father's opponent!"
Oh and mom: if you really want, you can Facebook me now because I just joined the "I love my mom" group. Just kidding.