Credits : Facebook (do we ) connect – by Christian Scholz @Flickr
Any FB user will be aware of the old good saying “ All your FB friends are NOT necessarily your actual friends”
However, FB is a social network and its keyword is “sharing”. In other words when you are on FB, you interact in a way or another with people. And those people, your FB friends (FBF), can be very diverse, and you do not maintain the same kind of relationship with everyone.
It might sound quite silly to write such obvious things. But, I have found out that people tend to forget about these basics and I have thought it could be useful to remind them of some functions of mighty FB.
FB is the kingdom of happiness, and that makes it a potential smooth and positive tool. However it seems that the more time you spend on FB, the more depressed you are likely to become. How is that ?
Indeed, FB can be very enjoyable. You can see some pictures of your best friend’s children, read recommended articles from an old acquaintance, share your favourite video with a group of friends, get back in touch with an old buddy, or send some jokes. That’s the spirit !
Despite this, I would guess some use of FB can be very violent and would make people sad.
I am pregnant, maybe some FBF’s who are desperately trying to have a child for some years would not like to see a close-up of my round belly.
You are getting married, maybe one of your FBF’s who has just been dumped after a 5 year relationship would not like to see so many pictures of your happy and kissing couple.
He could afford a nice relaxing holiday in the Bahamas, maybe his FBF who has just lost his job would not want to be aware that he is having mojito’s everyday on his sunny private beach.
We have just split up, maybe you don’t want to see the face of my new boyfriend.
Mind you, there is nothing wrong in sharing all those good moments with people who are happy to share with you ! So what is the trick ?
First be polite and considerate towards those who might not be ready to share everything with you. This just requires a bit of education, decency, sense and sensibility. Think about the group of people who might be ready to interact with you on what you want to post and those persons who might not be.
Then FB helps a lot. Google+ has this function where you can classify people according to what they mean for you, friends, acquaintances… FB has the same function, and you can use it. You can be even subtler with FB and create lists of people with whom you want to share your posts.
So say you are having a nice romantic moment with your girlfriend, and you take some pictures. You might just want to share those pictures with her, and make sure your colleagues are not aware of your private life. How is that possible ?
Upload your picture, and go to the “custom privacy” button ( it should be placed on the corner at the right-hand side) and this will allow you to make your post visible to some people only… or to hide it from some people as well!
Then you can choose the field ‘specific people or list” and pick up who you want to show your picture to (in this case your GF), you click on her name, and that is it.
Now say you want to share the picture with a circle of very good friends. You can just add several names in the field.
But you can also create and register a tailored list so that you don’t have to pick up the same friends each time you want to show them something you don’t want to share with anyone else.
This is very simple as well. On the homepage of FB, you will find a block called “friends” on the left hand side. You may have to expand the columns by clicking on “more”. Click on the word “friends”. You are then directed to a page where you can create a list of friends and which shows you all your lists already existing. Just click on the “create list” button, give a name to your list and choose who you want to add in this list. It is as simple as that !
And if you want to hide you post from your colleagues, create a list with all your colleagues in it, and follow the same process, you click on the privacy button, go to “custom” and add the list “colleagues” in the second field (“hide this from”)… etc …
You can also find the privacy button once your picture or your posts in general is uploaded. It comes just besides the date of your post.
Think about this little trick when using FB. A social network is not as virtual as some may believe. There are real people behind their screens and you don’t want to interact with everyone in the same fashion.
For those who sometimes feel sad when using FB because they see too much happiness out there, for those who start feeling annoyed by a FB user whose posts are just too much in your face, I would advise you share these guidelines with them.
And in due course if you realise your FB community is just polluted by a tactless person, who is definitely not able to follow these lines, you may just want to push the “Unfriend” button.