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Courtesy in a Facebook group

If you've ever joined a group on Facebook, you know that some people just don't know how to behave. These people have no interest in courtesy. And it isn't just on Facebook. These are the people who throw garbage out of their car, talk loudly on their cellphones at the library, etc. You know them. But that's not you. If you want to show courtesy on Facebook, here are some tips.

• Don't advertise. Don't even hint at it. A Facebook group is like going to a picnic with friends and friends of friends. Leave your briefcase with the life insurance contracts back home. Yes, you can mention that you sell life insurance, but only in passing. And watch out for little things that can make you look like you're advertising. Don't post that picture of you standing in front of XYZ Life Insurance. And take off the XYZ Life Insurance hat.

By the way, if you feel that you must advertise, or talk about life insurance, post that on your own wall, so that people can hide it, or unfriend you.

• Be friendly. Facebook is a place for friends. If you can't think of anything nice to say, then be quiet. Just click "Like". But saying something like, "that looks great" would be even better.

• Lead by example. Avoid squabbles, leave the moderating to the person who manages the page. People who don't know how to behave are used to being told that they're doing something wrong, and are quick to come back with accusations of being "pushed around", oddly enough, by "fascists".

Facebook, like the internet itself, is "Real Life". You are interacting with real people. The vast majority of people in the world want to show courtesy. The small percentage of people who don't know how to "play nice with the other kids" have always been around, and always will be. Luckily, that's not you. Go join a Facebook group, and show everyone how it's done.