In the dawn of the 21st century the way we communicate has changed drastically thanks to networking sites like myspace and twitter. Out of all the networking sites out there, one has arisen as supreme- Facebook! Using Facebook can be beneficial to our friendships with others meanwhile at the same time just as damaging. We don’t often think of Facebook as harmful but if you don’t use Facebook properly you could easily find your world turned upside down. To find out if you are using Facebook properly or if you are on the road to self-destruction keep on reading.
Accepting Friend Requests
A “Friend Request” is the start to any cyber relationship you will have with anyone on Facebook. By clicking “Accept Friend Request” you are committing to sharing your cyber world with your new “friend”. These days Facebook allows a person to create a limited profile so your friends can’t see everything but this is just needlessly complicating the process. If you are willing to accept someone as your friend you shouldn’t be afraid to hide anything from them. Being afraid to show them your whole profile might be a good indicator you should click the “Ignore” option of the friend request.
The other important issue to take into consideration when accepting friend requests is the impact that person can have on you in the real world. Facebook use to be for college students only but is now open to everybody. You might find friend requests from administrators or professors from your school, your younger siblings, friends of your parents or even your mommy and daddy themselves! By accepting their friend requests you are giving them access to information you might not want them to know and that is the start of trouble for you. The bottom line is to think carefully before accepting any friend requests.
News Feed or Stalker Feed?
The “News Feed” feature of Facebook can be considered quite controversial; it defiantly was when first implemented. However we have grown accustom to the “News Feed” feature, getting to the point where we now accept the “News Feed” as a part of our everyday Facebook lives. The initial concern was over how “stalkerish” the “News Feed” idea seemed. After all, does Chad really need to know I commented on Lisa’s wall?
Today the reputation of the “News Feed” feature isn’t in question. Instead the reputation in question is yours- the person using the “News Feed”. Do you log into Facebook, take a quick glance at your “News Feed” and then go about your business? If so, congratulations you have kept your reputation intact. Or do you log into Facebook and spend hours on the main page looking at your “News Feed”, waiting for new posts to pop up so you can be the first to comment? Commenting on a post 30 seconds after being posted may seem cool to you but if you do it enough times you are going to get the reputation of being a Facebook stalker. Somebody who is a Facebook stalker is considered overly obsessive with no life outside the internet so don’t be surprised when people start avoiding you in real life. In order to keep yourself in the good grace of others don’t turn your “News Feed” into a “Stalker Feed”.
Comment or Message
Everybody on Facebook has a wall where their friends can leave comments. Everyone also has an inbox for messages. Distinguishing between when to write on your friend’s wall and when to send them a message is crucial. At first thought picking between a wall comment and a message may seem trivial but there is a huge difference; all your friends can see your wall comment while only the person you send a message to can view the message.
For example, if Samantha is going out with David but doesn’t want David’s crazy ex, Chelsea to find out their plans for the evening Samantha should send David a private message saying “Pick me up at 8:30 and we’ll go to Applebees” instead of writing the plans on David’s wall. By knowing when to write on your friend’s wall and when to send them a message you are helping yourself to avoid awkward situations and awkward conversations.
A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words
The above saying may be cliché but that doesn’t make it any less true. Be very careful about what pictures you post on Facebook. If you are 19 and go out to a party where there is going to be underage drinking and want to bring a camera, do so (and be safe). But don’t wake up the next day and upload the party pictures to Facebook. Underage drinking is a crime and if you are going to post pictures of you with a Bud Light Lime bottle in your hand on Facebook you might as well walk into your local police station to give yourself up. It all seems simple enough but you will be surprised at the incriminating things people post online. Don’t be one of those people, be smart.
By following the guidelines in this article you will get to enjoy all the benefits of Facebook without turning your life into a living nightmare. So log in, and have fun but also be mindful.