I am writing to warn your readers about their use of Facebook. I realize
that most people use it and that it is very popular for communication with
family members and friends and that for many, not using it is not really an
option anymore. I have friends that use it for storing data (ie in notes)
which I think is probably not a good idea and friends that use it for
messaging, forgoing emails and all other forms of messaging (also probably
not a really good idea).
Given how many people share the (false) information that their information
is public via the ticker it would appear that there are quite a few people
who don’t understand how to set their Facebook privacy settings. I hope you
don’t mind if I step up on my soapbox and inform people about Facebook?
First of all, if you think by asking your friends to hide you on their
ticker will hide them from others you are mistaken. All you are doing is
asking them to hide you from them. Your privacy settings are your
responsibility and have nothing to do with what is visible to others. If you
do not want your posts or photos to be visible to non-friends then set your
privacy settings that way.
Do not ever have your posts set to public unless you want the world to see
Another alternative is to create groups of friends; for example
acquaintances, friends and good friends. You can then add friends to each
group and then set each post or photo or album to be visible in each group.
So, for example, let’s say you have 500 friends but really only 50 that you
want to see everything, another 200 that you don’t mind seeing more things
and then 250 people that you don’t really know that well and prefer that
they see very little.
Set the final 250 to “Acquaintance”, the 200 to “Friends” and the 50 to
“Good Friends”. Then, click on the little gear next to your name in the
upper right hand corner of Facebook and pick “Privacy Settings”. Click on
the “Who Can see your future posts” button and click on the drop down menu.
From there you can click “Custom” and exclude people or include people.
Alternatively, just use the “Good Friends” option for most of your posts.
Adding people to a group is easy enough; hover over the person’s name and
their profile will come up, there will be a box for “Friends” click on the
drop down menu and click on “Add to another list”. This will give you the
option to create the group. It’s a bit time consuming to set up but once you
have it any new friends can be easily added to whatever group you feel
Alternatively, do not accept friend requests from people who are not close
When you post a photo and tag a friend in it you can choose who can see that
tag. Most people allow friends of friends to see the tag (so that the
person’s friends can see the photo too) but you can set it so it cannot be
seen by anyone other than your friends and the tagged person as well.
Finally, Emma, one last plea to Facebook users. Do not share these endless
photos saying if you like this Facebook or Microsoft will donate $1 to the
cancer victim. It simply is not true. Snopes.com is a great resource for
this kind of thing and if you see something check there first before
sharing. There is no need to pass on misinformation or false information. I
often will post the link to the Snopes article to my friend’s shared posts
like this. Perhaps it is a bit annoying but honestly, their posts are even
I hope this has not been too long or too boring but I hope it helps your
readers to be more Facebook savvy.
Social media geek
Thank you so much for that comprehensive guide. I will leave it in full and
hope our readers take heed. If they have any questions or wish to find out
more I will ask them to please email our editor and she can pass them on to
you. Emma respects the need for privacy, either on Facebook or the internet
or out in the “real” world as well.
As a woman perhaps you can explain to me “woman thinking” as a mate of
mine puts it. My girlfriend overthinks everything. Everything I do must
have some ulterior motive. It doesn’t matter if it is buying her flowers
or liking someone else’s post on Facebook. She seems to think there is a
deep and often sinister reason behind it all.
She isn’t actually jealous of other women but she does think that if I
like a friend’s post on Facebook then I must like her, or if don’t
answer her message right away I am ignoring her and the relationship is
I talked to some mates of mine and they said women think this way. It
must be exhausting if it is true. What do I need to do to make my
girlfriend realize there is usually no motive at all behind my actions
other than just what I am doing?
Yes, women do tend to overthink and ascribe motives to things that
appear motiveless. But, Emma must be honest here, that is often because
when something does happen and we discount our intuition and convince
ourselves that it is motiveless is when there really is a motive after
Emma realizes men think women are confusing but women also think the
same. Men are oftentimes not as honest as they could or should be,
either to their partner or to themselves. So, before assuming your
girlfriend is a paranoid wreck Emma asks that you take a good hard look
at your own behaviour and if there is anything there that is sending the
wrong signals or if you are acting in an ambiguous way that would give
your girlfriend cause to question what you are really doing.
If you feel that you are being open and totally honest with your
girlfriend (and do remember to be totally honest with yourself first)
then you should consider sitting down with your girlfriend and talking
about the things that triggers these reactions. It could be something as
simple as a previous boyfriend cheated on her and she believed the lies
and now has a hard time trusting again. A little empathy and really
listening can go a long way towards making a relationship truly happy