Dueling online over 'Call Me Maybe'

Facebook is supposed to help you connect with people, but sometimes it's not that easy.

Story highlights

  • Your Facebook Timeline is your canvas, our Netiquette columnists say
  • For overzealous relatives on Facebook, limit ability to see your posts
  • Calling can be better than a Facebook message for conflict

You have burning questions, and we have burning answers (we really need to stop writing these columns by candlelight). That's why, this week, we decided to take a passel of queries from our friends, followers and readers. We received these queries via e-mail, Facebook and in-person conversations. We spunked up the wording a bit to keep you healthily entertained.

Please excuse the myriad "Call Me Maybe" references to come. We hate ourselves, too.

So my friend recently posted about something really big in the news -- OK, how much he likes Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," but, hey, that's big in MY world -- on Facebook. I saw this right before I was about to post something akin to, "Carly Rae Jepsen is obviously one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. It's only a matter of time until the Earth heaves its last metaphorical breath."

How can I create a post stating the exact opposite opinion to my friend's without sounding like a total tool who is passive aggressively jabbing at him "publicly"? And how can I do this WITHOUT having to be overly disclaimer-ish, state caveats, water down my thoughts, etc.?

Although we often warn y'all not to post tool-y stuff on your Facebook Timeline, what it comes down to is this: Your Timeline is your canvas on which you can post anything you please, and no one can stop you from opening the proverbial floodgates (unless, of course, you're violating Facebook's Community Standards in some way.)

Facebook: You've got new e-mail address
Facebook: You've got new e-mail address


    Facebook: You've got new e-mail address


Facebook: You've got new e-mail address 02:41
Sandberg named to Facebook board
Sandberg named to Facebook board


    Sandberg named to Facebook board


Sandberg named to Facebook board 02:31

If you are merely -- by happenstance -- sharing your disdain for the artist behind what is frighteningly deemed "the song of the summer" (can you tell that we share your derision?) at the same instance that your pal is drooling all over it, by all means, go ahead and let loose.

Only an overly sensitive (and paranoid) person would take a post on your Timeline about a (Canadian!) pop star as a direct affront to his taste.

However, if you are seeking to directly counter his point of view via your epistle, maybe include your friend in the post via tag -- in a constructive way. For example: "I am so not digging this jam. Why the eff is she throwing a wish in a well? @Kyle Franklin, what about the song gets you going so?" If your friend is cool, you might just inspire a pretty interesting dialogue.

Still, a recent study showed that those who use Facebook as an outlet to get out all their gripes are basically the bane of their "friends' " existence, so maybe you better save the rants about the Bieb's protégé for next time you consume an entire bottle of wine at your buddy's birthday party -- you know, before the tears start.

Out of politeness, I've accepted Facebook friend requests from any family members who have sent them. I didn't have the foresight to limit their ability to post on my wall, and now several of them -- namely an overzealous uncle and aunt -- have taken it over. What's the least controversial way to get them to stop?

There are a lot of fiddly ways to limit who can see what on your Wall and who can respond and blah, blah, blah.

Therefore, we can understand why you didn't safeguard your digital digs from your extended family. Luckily for you, there's a quick fix: Each time you go to post a kitten video or an inspirational quote or lyric from "Call Me Maybe" (You're totally the friend in the first letter. Admit it.) on your Timeline, click on "Friends," right next to "Post."

Scroll down to "Custom," and from there you can block specific people from seeing your Timeline post, and consequently littering it with inane comments. That should quell the tide of familial overfamiliarity for a while.

In the meantime, maybe plan a visit or pick up the phone or something. It seems like your aunt and uncle miss you. Or are shut-ins. Either/or.

Recently, a friend whom I see quite often sent me a Facebook message reading: "I think we're growing apart." I'm kind of appalled, considering we see each other every few weeks and e-mail and whatever a lot during the day -- also, Facebook message? Are we 14 here?

Maybe he's pissed because I finally have a girlfriend? Who knows. Anyway, how do I answer this? Via Facebook message? E-mail? Phone? Carrier pigeon?

Wow, your friend is lame. Or just really, really cowardly. If -- with the knowledge that your friend is lame and cowardly -- you still want to keep the friendship alive and high-steppin', might we suggest, and this is crazy, pulling up his number and calling him maybe?