If you saw The Social Network movie, you know Facebook was created for college students. Now everyone can join and enjoy being in touch with others. However, there are unwritten rules in social media. To avoid making a Facebook faux pas, learn how best to use it and consider these “Do’s” and “Don’ts”:
1) The STATUS option on Facebook allows you to post any update or message that you’d like all of your friends to see. The NEWS FEED is the first screen you see when you log into Facebook’s HOME page. On the news feed, you see the most recent posts from your Facebook friends, whether it is a status or picture that they’ve uploaded. Note: These posts are not being sent directly to YOU – anyone on their friends list will be able to see it.
- DON’T make announcements that you’re going to delete people in your status. If there is a Facebook “friend” that isn’t really a friend or who posts way too many status updates, simply “weed” them out of your friends list by deleting them and be done with it. No need to post up a status saying “Deleting annoying people today. If you’re lucky, you won’t be one of them!”
- DO avoid having to read too many statuses in your news feed by using the option to “hide” certain friends from your news feed so you don’t have to read their status updates – that is, if you want to keep certain users as Facebook friends without actually deleting them.
2) There is an ongoing joke about people using Facebook as an online journal rather than a social media page.
- DON’T post too many statuses. You don’t want to bombard your friends’ news feeds with updates that are unlikely to add any value to their lives. Quite often, people post vague messages, constant complaints, or what they plan to eat for dinner. They have turned Facebook into a personal diary – and not the good kind of diary that might be fun to sneak in and read.
- DO ask yourself the following questions before posting a new status: 1) Is it relevant to at least some people on my friends list?, 2) Is this something that is actually worth sharing?, 3) Would I be annoyed if I saw these posts from someone else in my news feed?, and 4) Is my status really interesting?
3) Avoid “Facebook overshare”. That is TMI – too much information.
- DON’T post photos or statuses that your friends would rather not see. From unflattering pictures of first-time mothers in labor, to your dog’s poop moment, we’ve all seen photos of things we would rather not have seared into our memories. This creates the question… “WHY???” Why would anyone want to look at any of that?
- DO post photos that you would want to share with your friends back in the day when people actually used a camera, with film, and developed pictures to pass around. However, do be aware that there may be a limit to how many similar photos of your grandchildren or your last vacation others will have the patience to see
4) TAGGING a photo refers to linking a picture to any Facebook friend’s name so the photo will also automatically appear in their own Facebook profile under “photos”, even though they did not upload the picture. This is a way to share a picture with someone specific – especially if they are in the photograph. There is an option to “un-tag” a photo if you don’t want it on your profile – but it will still appear on your friend’s Facebook page unless they delete it completely.
- DON’T tag someone in a picture if they do not look all that great. Would you be happy if your friend tagged you in a picture with your eyes half-shut and your muffin top sticking out? Leave unflattering photos of people untagged or, better yet, crop them out of the picture entirely or don’t upload it at all.
- DO be thoughtful with your tagging. If you have a fantastic picture of yourself and a former classmate at a high school reunion, feel free to share.
5) POSTING on someone else’s status allows you to comment on what they have said, and create an ongoing conversation between them and any of their friends who have also written a comment on a specific post. If other people have posted a comment before you, they will also receive a notification that you have added a comment to that post. Facebook will e-mail you notifications about comments and other history, but you can scroll to the bottom of the e-mail in order to unsubscribe from e-mail updates.
- DON’T bicker or get into online debates on politics or religion on a friend’s Facebook page. Things can get nasty. (Don’t forget – other people can read what you’ve written on a friend’s page!).
- DO message someone privately if you have something you really need to get off your chest. By clicking on someone’s Facebook page, you will see a “MESSAGE” button. This will allow you to send them a private message so that nobody else on Facebook can read it.
What else do you want to know about Facebook? What drives you crazy on Facebook pages? Post your comments below!
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