September 22, 2010 | life

The Bitch Please Advice Column

Dear Bangs,

As you are my hero of straight talking and seem pretty clued up on the old social netoworking, I’d really like a bit of guidance. You see, I’m having Facebook stress – I could do with a bit of a ‘Facebook Etiquette Guide’. There’s probably a whole book right there, but there’s a couple of issues I would really love your advice on;

De-friending – when is it appropriate? Should you inform the person of the reasons or just go for the ‘de-friend and block manouvre’?
Friend requests – should I just decline or can I send an email detailing how, as this person spent the best years of my teens bullying my flat chested self, they can eff right off?
Business Page – how do i politely decline my customers who add me as a personal friend (I just find it weird)

Also, I often find myself wishing there was a ‘dislike’ button for when (insert name here) is on it like a car bonnet, or (insert name here) can’t believe her little boy just missed the potty. Is there an appropriate comment ever to be made to these people? Or does it bring me back to point one, de-friending.

As you can see, I am floundering in a cyber-sea and really need Bangs to throw me a copy of ‘Facebook for Dummies’

Much Love

Face Stuck


Dear Face Stuck,

You’ve come to the right place my friend. I should warn you though, I’m a bit ‘take no prisoners’ in the Facebook game. Now that we all spend so much of our time online, friendships are changing, morphing and there is a whole new etiquette that comes along with it.

Alright, get your pen and paper ready and we’ll begin (that was a test – of course you don’t need  a pen and paper. This is the internet. Keep up).

Defriending – When is it appropriate? Basically whenever you feel it. I take particular joy is removing all those Farmville and Mafia Wars playing mofos from my friends list. If I find people’s updates annoying, offensive, too frequent, non-sensical – they’re gone too. I don’t bother to give them an explanation. Fact is, most people won’t even notice. I’ve only had it bite me in the ass once when I deleted a guy who’d been displaying particularly douchetastic qualities – he sent me a series of messages about how petty I was being (which really only served to make him look both petty and insane). However, if you feel a bit funny about deleting your Aunty Jane from your friends list, despite the fact that she may annoy the bejesus out of you, remember you can always opt to ‘hide’ their updates – that way the person can think they’re still friends with you, without knowing you actually can’t stand their ass.

Friend requests – I decline without a second thought. Every now and then I do get the people who clearly hated me at school trying to add me. I simply say ‘bitch please’ out loud while declining said request. I wouldn’t give it any more thought than that – however tempting it may be to pen a four page letter detailing the various way in which they can go f**k themselves.

For customers who try to add you on their personal page rather than your business one – just straight up decline and if they ask, just say you use your personal page for close friends and family only. Not sure what line of work you’re in, but it’s usually best to keep the two separate.

As for a ‘dislike’ button for people’s irritating status updates, I have wished for the very same thing numerous times. Sometimes, when people do those stupid and unnecessary updates about their kid’s potty habits, I will leave a comment like ‘thank God I know the frequency of Lil James’s bowel movements – I can sleep easy tonight’ or words to that effect. But generally, those fools are the ones I don’t even think twice about defriending.

Hope that helps – for a few extras, I did a video blog a while back about Facebook etiquette. Enjoy!




If you need some no nonsense advice, email

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Smarty P. Jones

Yea, um, I have two FB accounts because of inappropriate people friending me and for former colleagues who I might need to use as a reference some day. *shrug* I, too, have taken to declining and defriending people. There is no way in hell I know that many people, nor could they be that interested in what I do nor me them.

The best way to deal with FB, don’t. Your life is richer without it, less stressful, too.

Emma B,

Fantastic. Just because we sat next to eachother at a wedding of a mutual friend for 94 minutes, doesn’t make you my friend. Nor does the fact that we temped at the same office for 2 weeks in 2002.


I don’t actually use facebook much but my personal profile is fully protected and I don’t do ‘friendship’ unless I actually know the people and they are really friends of mine. So basically, if you don’t know me, you won’t find me. There’s too much non-sense and too many weirdos out there, so I prefer it that way!

Claire Nelson

Oh I am SO glad I’m not the only one who gets friend requests from girls who were bitches at school. Sorry, just because you’re all grown up and want to hook up with everyone you ever met, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. I have nothing in common with you other than we attended the same school. I won’t accept your friend request because I am not a tragic saddo. (That would be YOU, biarch from school, who used to hide my pencil case in the teacher’s desk). In these cases I just click “ignore” without explanation and then laugh heartily for about half an hour.

If ever in doubt, my other rule is that I would only ever accept a friend request with someone I would genuinely go for a drink with. So random colleague from IT, or creepy-friend-of-a-friend-I-met-once-at-a-party… you’re out.

The only time I feel guilty about ignoring a request is when it’s a Twitter friend whom I actually like and respect. However I find I have to draw the line there, otherwise I’d have 936 effective strangers getting a glimpse into my private life. Facebook is where I converse with family and close friends, so I can’t open it up to my public social groups. But I usually explain in a DM to those people and they have always, to date, completely understood it’s not a personal thing.

Lisa Sherratt

I took to “hiding” people when I discovered that option…I then recently realised I had hidden over a quarter of my “friends” and decided it was time for a proper cull, it felt sooooo liberating! 🙂

A Thrifty Mrs

Culling is liberating. I culled my cousin after an almighty row when my suggesting that perhaps slagging her ex whilst in the middle of a custody battle was neither seemly nor a good idea, was taken as an attack on her parenting skills. Culling that particular drain on my eyes was liberating.

John Francis

Great advice Bangs. Although I don’t bother with FB, it takes me all my time just tweeting!! I hope Face Struck is happy with your response. 🙂


Excellent advice! I too have longed for a dislike button many times, not just for the potty training type things – but the next time I get a ridiculous toddler update I’m going to borrow your ‘sleep easy tonight’ diss, I love it!!


Dear Bangs, great advice and I’m kicking myself for not reading this sooner. Time to cull xx

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