OK, I caved. I’m back on Facebook, as of Monday. I know, I know… But still, I don’t know if caved is the right word. It definitely was not spurred by a dying-t0-reconnect impulse; I just decided I’d been way long enough for it not to be such a distraction for me. And I’ve definitely become more, shall we say, suspicious of the entire aspect of this social media tool, so I’m treading extra carefully.
I’d closed my account initially because Facebook can be one (or both) of two things: a great and terrible time waster, and an end-to-all-privacy free for all. But those things are totally manageable with a few simple rules.
The Do’s and Don’ts:
Master the Comment Response vs. Wall Post Response
If your reply to a post on your wall is no biggie to be viewed by your friends but NOT open info to the commenter’s friends, post a comment on the wall post. If non-mutual friends don’t need to be on the know of every single detail, write your response on the friend’s wall (or just send a message) instead. (Ugh, yes it’s complicated! But you really DO have to be this intricate!)
Keep Your Profile to the Minimum
Name, birthdate if you like getting birthday shoutouts, and favorite books, TV shows,whatever (you know, just to appear somewhat interesting). The more you add on to that, the more you enter into that sneaky and insidious no-more-privacy territory…
Get Email Notifications
You would think that opting for MORE emails would be a hassle, but really it has the opposite effect! I just started doing this, and it’s awesome. There’s far less temptation to be sucked in to the not-so-earth-shattering updates on your Newsfeed if you can just get friends’ wall posts and messages sent to your email. Yes, you could just tinker with your Newsfeed options, but Facebook has a sneaky way of optimizing what you pick and finding inane little tidbits to distract you. (Do I really need to know that not just one but TEN of my friends changed their profile pictures?) Trust me: keeping logins to a minimum is half the battle!!
Hit the “Unfriend” Button Unless You’re REALLY Sure
Umm, yeah, it will definitely make you feel foolish when you have to explain to someone that you unfriended them in a moment of annoyance, and will they please re-accept your friend request? Especially if they’re a member of the opposite sex, because they probably didn’t even know they annoyed you. On the same token though, don’t…
Hesitate to Unfriend People You Will Likely Never See Again
It’s pretty easy to gauge whether or not someone would even say hello to you if they ran into you on the street. Or if you’d say hello to them. If an exchange of words in person would be awkward, why keep them on your friend list?
Be Afraid to Ignore
Facebook is nothing if not one big, gigantic social pressure cesspool. Don’t you hate when you haven’t had time to get back to someone so they resort to the just-reminding-you-that-I’m-still-waiting wall post that is innocently disguised as an “oh hi” message? We’ve all done it. Don’t give in to the pressure! And if something really irks you, let it slide. Ignoring is often the best combat!
Select the “Keep Me Logged In” Option
This isn’t an Internet security or privacy issue. I mean, it CAN be, but I’ve discovered that simply logging out and logging in every time I wanna use Facebook prevents me from checking it a gazillion times a day! Who knew? Yes, sometimes laziness CAN have benefits!
Do you feel like Facebook sucks away too much time or privacy? Do you have any special preferences or keep any specific privacy settings?