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BG Guide: Facebook Etiquette 101

by Trisha SakhujaStony Brook University

I’ve recently come to a conclusion that I might not be too proud to admit: I am addicted to all sorts of social media, whether it be the new timeline of Facebook, random Tweets on Twitter, or the recently bought, billion-dollar Instagram by Mark Zuckerberg. I am using all three 24/7! Not only do I love to stay connected with my friends and family, but also love to keep myself aware of all kinds of social, political, world, and entertainment news. Every morning I wake up to notifications, pictures, tweets, and posts of interest, and every night I sleep to the same bizarre world simply through the use of my phone, the Internet, and my fingertips.

It’s very easy to become engulfed by the never-ending updates and notifications, as well as, become too public for your own good. Regardless of my obsession of being in the midst of social haven, I have always kept my guard up about the kind of identity I portray on such sites. You can never be too cautious about the kinds of statuses and pictures you post or are tagged in because you never know who may be checking your wall or searching for your page. Not only do I bear in my mind of my daily activity, but also stay considerate of what I tag my friends and family in. Since, I am constantly the one to post or tag a picture from our night-out or check-in where and whom I am with, I always think twice before clicking enter.

As if we all aren’t already concerned with what strangers or our boss’s can see on our profiles, but now we have to keep a careful eye on what our aunties and uncles will see. Friend request from older family relatives is very common nowadays, especially from our parents. It can be challenging to stay parent-friendly, but the best approach is to keep your postings limited and add/accept those friends you actually have met. It may not always be acceptable to share every petty thought and rant as tweets, or post five-different statuses commenting on the various weather conditions throughout the day and take pictures of all the outfits you tried on. I know I am guilty of posting up more than I should at times, but I take into consideration that I may be of annoyance to others and could bring unwanted attention to my page. But, if you want a page where you can post and tag all day, create a private group with your friends, where you have the liberty to chat away. I am fortunate enough to share and brainstorm great ideas with my girls at Brown Girl Magazine on our private page all day!

With all the social media websites, especially Facebook, always updating their settings it’s highly imperative you continuously check your privacy settings. It’s very simple to make your tags private, and limit who can add you as a friend or message you. Facebook has advanced so much that you can control who sees what you are sharing by using the inline audience selector, which is custom setting on each individual post, and can be found as the small star shaped circle on the side of the box. This gives you the freedom to make lists of people you’d like to keep restricted from your timeline as opposed to your close friends. It allows you to select how public or limited you’d like a certain post. The new timeline setting also gives you the option to limit past posts from your pool of friends by clicking on Privacy Settings: Limit the Audience for past posts. Better yet, if you have ever wondered how your profile previews to a certain individual, go to Edit Profile at top right corner, then click view as, and simply type in the specific person’s name. To read more on how Facebook can help you keep your page more stranger/family/work friendly, click on Privacy Settings: How you Connect: Learn More.