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The tale of Friends turning Fiends on a Facebook Wall invasion and tips to tackle it

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Angry Facebook Friend confronting Friend turned Fiend

Face The Monster

Sometime back at an art show I ran into a photographer friend and his 2 young guests who were introduced as models. One of them was an outright exhibitionist who insisted on showing his bare- chest photographs to every lady present whether she wanted to see it or not. Ladies were running in every direction to avoid him. The other was an aspiring model with a day job at a multinational firm and for all intents and purposes appeared decent.

So when I was invited to become friends on Facebook, I accepted.

That was the beginning of my first and last Facebook Wall invasion. The young executive started to post his ‘model’ pictures on my Wall. He was posting faster than I could delete. A chat with my friend revealed that the wannabe model had tagged along with the exhibitionist. He did not know him from Adam.

My time is a valued commodity and I spend only 12 minutes on social media a day. I started having concerns about the impression that a semi-nude guy with chains and whips would make on friends, some of whom I have known since elementary school and who know me. Tired of hitting the delete button, I Unfriended him in what had to be the shortest friendship ever. Friend had turned into Fiend and I was not having my Wall subjected to a narcissist invasion. Thank God Facebook allows such safety measures!

Now Facebook does not inform people when they have been Unfriended and I guess Fiend in the disguise of Friend found out when he tried to load the next batch of portfolio photographs. There were a few sheepish text messages which I ignored. I was furious and counting to 100 did not help.

One’s social network page is similar to your living room; it is your sacred space. Visitors are allowed in only by invitation. I was not taking on stress when I had power to control and be rid of the ill-mannered guest!

I thought I was a one-off case but recently learned of much worse invasions of Facebook Walls of friends with posts that really should not have been there, third party friends passing rude comments on their Walls and even marketing their products without the friend’s permission.

We are all in control mode now and reviewing and revising our privacy settings as a precautionary measure. There is enough going on in the world to create stress and social networking is meant to make us happy, not create angst.

There is something called Internet Etiquette and while one might forgive spammers, one does not forgive friends or connections.

For Facebook, in addition to the privacy, terms and conditions sections,  I highly recommend going through the details in their Help Center. There used to be an Official Facebook Etiquette page which has now been changed.

It is quite easy to block people and forget about the nuisance but here are two tips that can help avoid getting to the point, where blocking and reporting SPAM become the only way out.

First things first, remember that it is your Wall

The bottom line is that your Facebook Wall is YOUR WALL which means that you control the content. It means that you have the right to delete messages, pictures and anything else that you find inappropriate or offensive.  It is your sacred space, keep it that way.

Try simple deletes and a private message/phone call to the poster explaining your position and if the poster does not understand what you are saying, go ahead and block them or at least put in controls where your approval is required before a post is loaded on your Wall. Check your account settings and establish necessary controls.

You may not want to go to the extreme of Unfriend someone  or blocking the Fiend invasion but yet want to control the content on your Wall in which case, you can block the person from posting on your Wall. Here is a great how –to –do-it link:

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/block-person-posting-facebook-wall-unfriending-28404.html.

Think twice before accepting Friend Requests from strangers

The second tip is a no-brainer but yes, it happens and then what?

You might have inappropriate photographs on your Wall, you may find posts that are really not you and again, what would your friends think?

It is a sad fact that there are people out there that have the idea that their status and popularity depends upon how many friends they have on Facebook.  They may not necessarily know many of their friends in real life. That is their self-esteem issue, not yours.

While it is possible to make new friends on Facebook especially if you belong to a group, try to find some common ground.  I have done that with great success and yes, we all took time to get to know each other and learn about our new friend’s boundaries.  We use the Inbox when required and do not air private matters on Walls.

Some people have this idea that the number of ‘friends’ you have in Facebook is a status indicator of your popularity in real-life. That may be true if these ‘friends’ are people whom one knows offline, and not strangers whom one randomly adds while browsing through the Facebook network.

Treat Facebook for what it is – a social networking site with a purpose, not a mail order catalog where if you like a photograph, you befriend.

You can also accept requests through introductions from existing and real friends.

The Facebook experience should be fun and engaging but not in a manner that can upset or embarrass others.

Be aware at all times of the public nature of Facebook, take appropriate measures to protect your privacy and engage with friends to be a valuable part of their Facebook experience and yours too!

Remember, if you take the ‘r’ out of Friend, you get a Fiend.

 

Do you have an invasion story that you would like to share? Do tell us about it and how you solved the problem.

Written By: Vatsala Shukla

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23 Responses to “The tale of Friends turning Fiends on a Facebook Wall invasion and tips to tackle it”

  1. Uday says:

    Vatsala, similar is the case of Linkedin HR placement contacts who post job openings on unrelated posts just to get access to the audience of their contacts. I remove such contacts without any more ado.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Hi Uday! Thanks for visiting my blog and for bringing up the issue of LinkedIn HR placement contacts. I’ve seen it happen in two groups which I subsequently left because there was a deluge of unrelated job openings and the Group Managers were not willing to do anything about it. In such situations, there is a fine line between self-promotion and SPAMMING. It all comes back to one’s sacred space and how friends and contacts conduct themselves. Removing such contacts is sometimes required if they do not get the message. Did any of them follow up with you on removal? An apology, perhaps? There is a post coming up on this subject in the coming weeks and I look forward to sharing your views!

  2. Prema Jasmine Camp says:

    Hi Coco,

    When I read your post today, I felt further affirmed by my personal choice to close my Facebook page months ago. Your last line made me laugh—“friend without the ‘r’ becoming fiend,” but before that I found information needed by people who do less research than you and are without your writing ability to succinctly offer instruction, as in the case of a “wall invasion.” I continue my commitment to your growing success for one-to-one coaching and sharing informative posts on Karmic Ally.

    Caring, Prema

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Hi Prema!

      Thanks for dropping by. Very often, when we know in our hearts that we have done what is right for us, we still need validation. Glad my post provided that validation for you. ‘Wall invasion’ is not nice and it is the right of every Facebook member to protect their sacred space. Thanks for dropping by! I feel my post and efforts to provide information validated!

  3. Robin Strohmaier says:

    Vatsala, excellent article. I have never had an invasion on my Facebook wall, but if I do, I will definitely follow your suggestions. You are absolutely right. Our social networking pages are similar to our living rooms. I love your closing line, too!

  4. So agree. We need to be in charge and in control of our biz pages. It’s like our living quarters, we decide what topics are shared there. And, absolutely pay a lot of attention to who I let in my house! You hit this article spot on. 🙂

  5. Really good tips to keep your private wall your own! Thanks for sharing them!

  6. Kathy Robinson says:

    This reminded me of a few years ago when I did a course (every expensive) through a well known membership site and we were told to friend everyone else on the course. We had to use a 'secret code' to friend each other so we'd know who they were. Result is I have around 700 friends that I don't know and have never met. I'm slowly unfriending them. I'd much prefer them to join my page which is work related

    • Karmic Ally says:

      When you say someone is a friend, you are actually endorsing them to others who trust you. Wise decision, Kathy, to transfer such friends to the Page which is where you would all mutually benefit.

  7. Lisa Wells says:

    I haven’t had that type of experience but I’m glad you shared and you shared how you dealt with it. Now I’ll know what to do. It’s amazing how people take advantage of others without thought.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I don’t think they mean harm but bringing your agenda to another person’s Wall without their consent is most inappropriate.

  8. Karmic Ally says:

    Thank you for endorsing the rules of internet etiquette, Lorii. Facebook has benefited me the most by helping me to get back in touch with friends in the different countries where I lived from childhood or during the course of my international career and had lost contact. It also helps me to connect with new people whom I would never otherwise meet but who color the fabric of my life with their perspectives and support, just like you!

  9. Some very helpful and insightful advice Vatsala. I regularly check my facebook pages, especially for The Hurt Healer as it so important that it reflects my own views and beliefs.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you, Carolyn. Both Facebook Wall and Page are sacred places. Its like inviting friends to a party at your home and then having to handle a rowdy guest. Most people respect the sanctity of the Wall and Page and those who don’t get their knuckles rapped, sooner or later.

  10. Liz Bigger says:

    This is one of my most feared things! Thanks so much for the advice…I am going to keep it close just in case!

  11. Sharon O'Day says:

    Apparently I’ve been lucky, Vatsala, and have avoided such an attack. With Facebook’s ever-changing rules, even those who think they have massive lists (and hence massive influence) would be surprised to see how few are actually receiving their postings …

  12. Tom Holmberg says:

    I agree with you “your wall is your wall” and you have the right to block, unfriend or hide posts that you don’t like. I am sure my friends have throttled my blog posts on facebook and that is o.k. with me

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I have noticed over the past 1 year that quite a few of my friends have implemented a screening process before allowing others to post on their Wall. I did the same after the Fiend posted his photos. The onus of protecting our privacy rests with us.

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