The Essential Guide To Digital Etiquette

Presenting the FWD IRL FAQ: quick links to your most pressing Internet- and phone-related concerns. And apparently you guys are REALLY WORRIED about Facebook.


Click the questions to be linked to the column where this question was originally answered. We've selected MANY, but not all, of the original questions answered, representing the 122 questions answered over the past year. (You may have to scroll down a question or two, but it'll be there!)


Getting Acquainted

How do I introduce people over email?

Is the way I text making everyone think I hate them?

Can I MAKE someone follow me on Twitter?

How do I use #FF in the best, most friendly way?

To Be Friends or Not to Be Friends

How do I turn down friendly Facebook requests from people I don't really know?

Is it OK to ignore Facebook friend requests from older relatives and/or coworkers?

How long do I have to tweet back and forth with someone I’m “Twitter friends” with before it's appropriate for me to Facebook friend him/her?

Help, my mom followed me on Twitter!

Can I add random people as connections on LinkedIn?

Well Wishes

Somebody I know, but only kind of know, is having a birthday. What’s the best way to wish them a happy birthday?

How should I respond (if at all) to a Facebook or Tumblr post about a death in the family?

About That Party Invite

What's the proper etiquette for turning down Facebook invites?

Is it completely inappropriate to ask my best friend to stop inviting people I don't ever want to see to her parties?

What's up with people sending emails to groups of friends using bcc?

Responding in a Timely Fashion

Am I responding TOO quickly?

What’s the appropriate response time for Facebook messages?

My friend takes ages to respond to texts I sent in reply to HER texts.

Can I Admit to Using the Internet?

When I run into friends with whom I haven't spoken in a while, but whose lives I've kept track of via Facebook, how much can I say I know?

People keep bringing up my tweets in in-person conversations. Is that awkward?

I ran into someone I don't know well, but whose Twitter I follow. I brought up a tweet of hers and things WERE awkward. Why?

What's Mine Is Not Yours

Is it OK to ask for my roommate’s Netflix password?

What are the rules of giving my older gadgets away as presents?

I have a coworker who, twice now, has asked to borrow my iPhone earbuds. How do I escape this?

Do I Have to Get Off My Butt?

Can I just text my friends when I'm picking them up, or do I have to actually get them at the door?


Can I Get a Date Out of This?

Can I use the Internet to LEARN about my crush?

Can I send a Facebook message to a crush I don't know?

How long do I have to wait before I respond to a text message from a person I’m trying to date?

How do I get a Twitter flirtation to transition into a potential IRL romance?

I don’t know what to say in messages to cute girls on the dating site I’m on.

How long should I message back and forth with someone on a dating site before going on a date?

I dislike talking on the phone and prefer texting. What's the proper way to convey my preference when I give my number to someone on a dating site?

What's the proper protocol for making somebody a playlist or mix in the age of Spotify everything? HOW DO I EXPRESS AFFECTION WITH MUSIC?

They Love You...

Can you give a brief overview guide to Facebook flirting?!

Is it weird to text "good night" to a cute stranger you just met?

They Love You Not.

A guy I'd been messaging with on OKCupid for a while has stopped responding to me. Do I just move on?

A person I like seems flirty in person, but she sometimes won’t respond to my texts. Is this a SIGN?

A friend has texted me asking to hook up and I'm not interested. Is there a polite way to return his text and go back to being platonic friends?

My new boyfriend has started sending me sexts. They're grossing me out. How do I address this with him?

How do I cancel a date I made on OKCupid?

Relationship Maintenance

iMessage read notifications with a person you like. GOOD OR BAD?

Can I follow someone I just started dating on Twitter?

How do I know when to end a back-and-forth text conversation with someone I’m starting to see?

I have a "friend with benefits." Should I text him once or twice during the week to say hi, so he doesn't feel...used?

How do you introduce a girl/guy you are dating to video games?

Don't Be Gross

Do you think couples should be allowed to write relationship-y, lovey-type things on each other’s Facebook walls?

My friend and her BF will not stop posting cutesy photos of themselves on Instagram.

Abandon Your Exes

Should I defriend and unfollow my ex?

No, really: Can I refriend my ex on Facebook?

What should you do if you find out your friend's ex is engaged (via Facebook) and you know that she isn't Facebook friends with him anymore?

FWD: Halp! is a weekly advice column on how to behave like a person when using technology. Would you like EVEN MORE of said advice? Email your questions to Katie.

Katie Heaney is a contributing editor at BuzzFeed FWD. She thinks you should have good manners, even on the Internet.

Illustrations by Cara Vandermey

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