Sunday, April 26, 2009

Etiquette Tips for using the Electric Friendship Generator

The speed and distance with which we can now broadcast facets (at least) of our identities raises questions about Internet etiquette. Facebook, Twitter, and your standard issue blog pose and perform problems concerning the ethical dimensions of representation. Who, anymore, is speaking for whom? As someone recently put it to me: "Stuff gains a different kind of potency when it gets reproduced and linked into larger networks." And maybe it even loses something, too.

But at last we have some excellent etiquette advice, specifically for using Facebook, the "electric friendship generator." I found this video courtesy of Dr. Debby Herbenick, also known as My Sex Professor. It's worth a trip to her site to see the way she fleshes out this topic (so to speak), asking insightful questions about sex, love, and stalking on Facebook and Twitter.

Herbenick is a research scientist at The Kinsey Institute for Research on Sex, Gender, and Reproduction here in Bloomington, Indiana, where she provides answers for the syndicated column Kinsey Confidential. She is also associate director of the Indiana University Center for Sexual Health Promotion. I appreciate her comfortable, knowledgeable approach to sex information, and love the illustrated banner for her blog, by Rama Hughes.

Before you get distracted by Dr. Debby and the many fascinating issues she explores, take a moment for some practical Facebook advice – from Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo, the Gadget Blog. Thank you, Jesus! I needed that.

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