I remember when I signed up for The Facebook..yes it was known as THE Facebook back then. It was right around the same time I signed up for Myspace, may it rest in peace. Back then status updates were few and far between, I had a manageable 10 friends, no parents or professors to stalk me, and our lives were not defined by our “relationship statuses.” Ah yes, it was a much tamer time.
And then in a flash it became the hugest thing since slice bread. Literally everyone had a Facebook account and I was being bombarded by friend requests left and right. Now, I can’t lie, I sent out a huge amount of requests myself. I especially liked that I could add classmates, friends of friends (some of which have now become my good friends) and listen to what people were saying about the world.
Fastforward to 2010 and the ye old Facebook, only 6 and a half years old, now has over 500 million “friends.” He’s quite a popular kid. He even has a movie about him starring Justin Timerlake (note: movies starring Justin Timberlake are by no means an indiciation of greatness). And yet I still find people asking me, “How do you use this thing Facebook?” And I still see status updates, photos and posts that make me cringe.
So I have decided to write a blog on Facebook 101. This is for the new Facebook friends or the tried and trusted older user, it is something for the high school senior and the super senior receiving AARP benefits. I do not intend myself to be any kind of Facebook guru but I am here to lend a hand. Please feel free to add to this in your comments below!
1. Understand Your Privacy
Recently Mark Zuckerburg, a name you might be familiar with by now, said that privacy was a thing of the past. Now I am going to have to disagree with him because I still believe some things are better left private.
My mother once said, “You don’t need to tell everyone everything” and this is something I have had to learn the hard way.
Whenever you go to post on Facebook you should first think to yourself, “does everyone need to know this? My mother, my boss, my third cousin twice removed, my friend’s, friend’s, friend who lives in Anchorage, Alaska?” If the answer to that is yes- then by all means go ahead.If the answer to that is no then take a look at your privacy settings.
You can post things to one group and not the other, you can limit your wall posts, you can make sure that only certain people can see a tagged picture of you and yes, you can untag them.
Please for your own safety never publish your home address, email or phone number on Facebook. This is really an unsafe thing to do and can lead to all kind of terrible things. If you wouldn’t scrawl your phone number on a bathroom wall then you shouldn’t post this on your page.
Every now and then get online and see what Mark Zuckerberg is up to with our privacy settings. He loves to change them up on us every now and then and these are your rights. Check this page frequently: http://www.facebook.com/policy.php.
2. DON’T YELL!!
I hate, hate, hate when people TYPE LIKE THIS ON FACEBOOK!
Ok, yes, hi, how are you? I will for sure pay attention to you now that you are SCREAMING AT ME…not.
Also- for the love of all things holy, please write in a legible normal manner. No-1 cun aunderstund u when u iz tlkng like dis. People find this incredibly irritating. You don’t have to write in the Queens English, but don’t give her a bad name either.
3. That Passed Out Bathroom Pic is So 2005
So we all have our share of drunken pictures but in this modern world of little to no privacy you never know where that drunken picture is going to land. It’s ok to have some tipsy shots but be careful of the 4 a.m. drunken taco bell on your belly shots, sprawled on the floor of a Frat house bathroom. Yeah um, you might want to make that one super, duper private.
Also- please, be considerate of others! If you do have a picture of your friend that is ridiculously hilarious but you know is also really embarassing- don’t post it and then tag them. That is just rude and unneccessary. If it really is funny you can just show them in private or send them an email. But the 500 million users of facebook don’t need to pee their pants looking at your friend with whip cream on his chest and marker on his face.
5. Stop the Advertising
Everyone on Facebook understands that social networking is all the rage amongst advertisers. There are entire conferences dedicated to reaching YOU- the Facebook user. But if you have a personal account with your friends on it, please do not use Facebook as your free advertising kit. People tire of that easily.
Examples of Lame, Terrible Advertising Spam on Facebook Statuses:
John S. Smith: Yo- this hamburger from John Smith’s Restaurant is amazing! I can’t believe it was only 99 cents. You should stop by and try one!
John S. Smith: My cousin Franky D. has an amazing Auto Repair business on Main Street. He says to stop in for $20 oil changes. WOW that rocks!
John S. Smith: So my wife and I just got a coupon in the mail for Uncle Bob’s Carpentry. My Uncle Bob is amazing with that stuff- give him a call at 555-2945.
…STOP it John Smith, daammnn. Can I block you already? Because your facebook statuses have the fail, fail, fail written all over them.
If you are truly interested in Facebook (or Social Media) advertising visit http://www.facebook.com/advertising/?campaign_id=402047449186&placement=pflo&extra_1=0. Or, you could attend one of those conferences I was talking about.
6. If People Do Not Respond to Your Facebook Status in .45 Seconds You Are Not Unpopular
“Oh my God, no one responded, I must be so lame!”
“Uh oh, no one said anything- everyone hates me.”
No- homeslice, chill out.
If no one responds you should think one of three things:
A. People are busy
B. People don’t care but not neccessarily don’t care about me.
C. People are busy.
We are living in a world of instant gratification and I find this to be a little scary. What will our kids be like? “Mommy, you didn’t respond to my Facebook update I think I will go kill myself?” I hope not. But seriously, chill out people! Don’t text all your friends instantaneously to let them know they have to respond to your post that was put up 27 seconds ago. If people will like it- they will comment…in due time!
7. Changing Your Relationship Status
Only YOU define YOU. Though its a nice gesture to tell all your “friends” that you are with your significant other, it shouldn’t be your be all and end all. Having said that, if your significant other refuses to accept the “in the relationship” request I do have to question his or her motives.
But changing your relationship status every three days is really annoying and serves to plop all of us on your terbulant relationship bandwagon. You two decide amongst yourselves, have a civil discussion and then go ahead and change it.
The same goes for the “engaged” status or the “married” status. If one of you want to post but the other doesn’t want to blast the news yet, then you must respect his or her wishes.
And seriously do not break up with someone on Facebook and then do this:
And so this concludes my first attempt at Facebook 101. I could go on but I think I will stop there, so as not to sound too matronly.
But please feel free to take all my suggestions with a grain of salt. Do as you please with them and remember- Happy Facebooking!