Tagging vs. Sharing on Facebook

Tagging and sharing are great ways to reach out to your Facebook friends, but I feel that most people are not using these features correctly.  There is a distinct difference between the two actions.  For those sticklers like me who appreciate folks who follow the rules of proper internet etiquette, knowing how to properly use these features is essential.

Recently, I had an incident where I was tagged in a Facebook comment about a “cool” crafting project.  I did not create the project, nor was I pictured in the attached photo.  So in Facebook theory I should not be associated with the post as I had nothing to do with it.  Rather than sharing the post so I may decide for myself if I wish to acknowledge and interact, my name is now permanently associated with the post.

Even though Facebook allows you to manage the posts you are tagged in, there is no way to untag yourself from a comment that was made on a post.  In researching how to remove the tag I discovered that many other people are of like mind.  And though my situation was just a minor inconvenience, several people expressed concern over being tagged in a comment that was harmful to them in one way or another.  For example, imagine being tagged in a comment of a posted article about the proper way to butcher a deer while you are an avid vegetarian!  There is also the possibility that your Facebook presence could be used for nefarious purposes which go against your personality.  And with some employers snooping on their employees’ presence on social media, this may not end up well.

This could lead me to another topic of  “fly-by” social media conversations.  But I will save that for another post.  Rather, I am going to explain the difference between the two actions and hopefully, you will be able to avoid this serious gaffe.

Tagging

Just as the word implies, there is a “tag” being placed somewhere that has your name on it.

If you are in the picture that was taken at Great Aunt Sophie’s 95th birthday, then your name can be tagged to that photo.  You were there (however reluctantly) at the gathering.

And that ongoing Facebook conversation about how Great Aunt Sophie’s niece, Brigette. had the audacity to wear lime green sneakers with that purple polka dotted mini skirt?  You can be tagged there since you are voicing your opinion on the outfit.

Even the article that Cousin Maggie wrote in her local newspaper mentions you as standing by Brigette, can be tagged to your name.  You are a part of what Maggie has written.  Though perhaps sharing might be a better alternative in this case.  You are now the black sheep of the family and Uncle Ted  has threatened to do horrible things to your rabbits if he ever finds you because, “No one!  Ever!  In there right mind!  Wears lime green and purple polka dots!   And the hem line!  Too darn short!  She’s asking for trouble!”  (Drastic, I know.  I’m trying to make a point here.)

Sharing

Sharing is passing on something to someone else (ie, knowledge, photos, a cookie recipe, etc.).  They think you might be interested it what they are showing you.  You can choose whether or not you want to read the post or look at the picture.  It’s up to you.

Cousin Maggie can share the article that was featured in the local newspaper with a comment such as, “Here’s what I wrote about Great Aunt Sophie’s 95th birthday party.  Wish you could have been there!  We missed you!”  You can scroll past it because who gives a hoot about Great Aunt Sophie.  She hates your rabbits.  So you hate her.  Hmph!

Uncle Chester can even share the brownie recipe he used to make those delectable morsels he brought to the party.  Isn’t he a great guy?

In conclusion…

Be aware of what you are doing when using Facebook.  It might seem harmless enough, but Brigette is really trying to get that job at the paint shop in town.  Do they really need to be suspicious that she might be colorblind?

**All names and family ties are strictly fictional and any ties to anyone’s family (alive or dead) is purely coincidental.  I mean who’s family is so messed up?  Besides, I’m a writer so I am entitled to make up stuff for entertainment.  😉

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