Facebook Etiquette: Photo Tags

The Techy Tuesdays forum is reserved for discussions about some of the applications and technologies that make our lives a little easier and a little more interesting. 

I joined Facebook at the end of last year.  My husband joined first at the behest of his family and friends.  It was a good way for him to maintain contact with a lot of his family and friends in Puerto Rico and in other parts of the United States.  Soon after I joined, I got lost in the consistent rewards that come with finding and reuniting with long lost friends and relatives.  First, I reconnected with friends from college.  Soon after, I reconnected with friends from elementary and junior high school.  I also reconnected with many of my friends from law school. 

What a thrill to have all of these areas of my life converge in one place – my computer screen.  But, it can also be a little unnerving.  I have likened it to time travel and the theory that you can venture out into times in the past and in the future, but if you ever encounter yourself in another time period, stay away.  For you will be destroyed if ever your present self locks eyes with your past or future self or…. Anyway… I digress.  My point is that when people from your past start merging with the people from your present, sometimes it can feel a little uncomfortable.   

What is the etiquette on Facebook for dealing with the past and the present?  My query involves Facebook users who are perhaps a little more settled and a little more mature.  This group will be somewhere beyond their twenties and will likely have married and settled in with a family of their own.   These users will have a few more life chapters and there is a real possibility that most past acquaintances were pre-Facebook. 

Be Mindful

Its great to post photos from previous life chapters, but be mindful of how you are tagging photos.  For example, you may have a friend from graduate school that is married now.  Should you post photos of that friend with an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend?  Remember, once tagged, the photo will update not only to your friend’s page, but also’ to all of that friend’s Facebook friends’ pages as well, which could include his or her spouse, in-laws and present-day friends.  That could be very awkward for your friend. 

Ask First

Before tagging photos that could be awkward, give your friend a heads up by saying “look, I have this photo of you and such-and-such, you mind if I post it with a tag?” Your friend could say… “idiot, just post the photo.”  But, he or she could also say “I’d rather that you didn’t.”  Case closed.  Either way, you’ve done damage control and no one is left feeling awkward. 

If Tagged

If you are the married friend that is tagged in an awkward photo, what should your reaction be?  Well, it is possible in Facebook to just go and un-tag yourself from the photo.   You could also follow up with a message stating that you have un-tagged yourself because you didn’t feel comfortable.  But, it is probably not worth getting angry about it (unless you think sabotage was the purpose).  Use a neutral tone when communicating your reaction. 

Survey

1.     Would you tag a married friend in a photo with an ex?

2.     What would your reaction be if you were so tagged?

3.     What is the best way to go about sharing your memorial photos while still being mindful of other people’s present-day lives? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Comments

Filed under Techy Tuesday

4 responses to “Facebook Etiquette: Photo Tags

    • suprieta

      A photo tag is assigned to a person or thing in a photo so that when you place the cursor over the designation, it is identified. If someone from Facebook is tagged in a photo, it updates to that person’s page as well as to the pages of that person’s friends on Facebook.

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