I read a great article today about how Facebook is affecting dating relationships. And while that’s very true, I’d dare say that Facebook is affecting all of our relationships: romantic endeavors, friendship and family dynamics.
Before Facebook, defining your relationship with the person with whom you were relationing was the biggest worry you had. You’d have your DTR and then you could call all your friends and family members to let them know that you were no longer single. Facebook adds a whole new dimension to the mix.
A very real conversation couples are having now, just in the beginning stages of their relationship is, “should we make this ‘Facebook official’”? Whether you’re in junior high or established in your career, ultimately you have to make the decision whether you’ll declare your love through a Facebook relationship change, or stay off the radar completely. It’s really brought on a subculture of individuals who are defining themselves by their online profiles. Even worse, some individuals will divulge every little change in their relationship in real time… “Oh, now John’s relationship says ‘it’s complicated’”. Does this allow too many people into the personal aspects and intimate details of your life?
What I find interesting is what it says about the couple in general. Some couples will immediately decide yes we’re posting on Facebook or, no we’re not. But what I find interesting are the couples who never have the discussion at all. Eventually 1 of 2 things will happen.
What this tells me mostly is, communication may not be strong in these relationships. If you can’t have a conversation about whether or not you’re going to plaster your relationship on Facebook, I wonder if that will directly correlate with how your relationship goes in the future.
Also, Facebook brings a whole other factor into your relationship that before, you could control. Friends, family, colleagues, peers, distant cousins, anyone who is friends with you on Facebook now has instant access to your relationship (if you choose to post it online). The anonymity that couples once had and the mystery behind their relationship is no longer, and the people in their lives now feel more welcome than ever to make blatant observations or suggestions. That’s why it’s so important to decide how much your want to display about your private life on the social network.
How can you remedy this situation?
First dates are awkward, continue the awkwardness and 1. ask if they have Facebook and 2. ask how they feel about posting relationship statuses on Facebook. It’s a simple question in an already awkward situation and it will ultimately save you so much grief in the future. It sounds petty, but if you don’t know the person you’re dating very well, there’s a chance that the Facebook relationship status means the world to them.
You wouldn’t want to ruin your relationship over Facebook, how stupid would you feel if you let that happen?
Way back in April 2011 I wrote a post about Twitter and Facebook etiquette. I’ve decided to re-write that post with my thoughts from 2012.
It’s 2012 and people still call me out when I unfollow them on Twitter or unfriend them on Facebook.
I figured that at some point we’d just get over it. We’re all adults and social media is for personal enjoyment. We get that now, so we’re not going to worry about petty things like an unfollow. There’s actually real problems in this world to care about, you know?
I’m sure there are sites out there that let you know when someone unfollows you. I’m sure of it because I’ve seen those sites with my own two eyes and it makes me so sad. My timeline and newsfeed are mine, and if you’re cluttering it with stuff I don’t care about… I’ll probably unfollow/unfriend you. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t have the same interests as you, or maybe I’m tired of hearing about who you choose to vote for and why. But, why am I explaining myself? That’s the other beautiful thing about social media, I don’t have to explain myself when I decide randomly on a Thursday at 1:28pm to unfollow you on Twitter or Instagram or even unfriend you on Facebook.
I can’t stress enough that if your real life relationships are based on your online relationships, you’ll never be satisfied with your relationships in general, online or IRL. Now, there are some exceptions. If my husband unfriends me on Facebook, I can probably get mad. But if my friends unfollow me on Instragram because I post too many dog photos, I mean c’mon… I had it coming.
It’s naive of me to think that everyone will find my Twitter feed interesting enough to follow forever. I think I generate amusing content at the appropriate amount of tweets in a day, but I dunno… I could be wrong. Who am I to judge you on how you want your Twitter feed to look?
I follow lots of comedians. I almost have an even amount of comedians to people I actually know in real life on my Twitter feed. I like it that way. I get real life things and comedy things and I get the perfect amount of each. I may follow a brand here or there, or maybe a celebrity, but I mostly follow funny people because that’s what I want to see when I open up my Twitter feed.
So for example, if I open up Tweetbot on my iPhone and I see that you’ve gone on a 37 tweet rant about politics I’ll put a check mark by your name in my head. If I open up Tweetbot again, the very next day and there’s a similar situation, I’ll probably unfollow you. It’s not you, it’s me. (really!)
Here’s a challenge for those of you who take unfollowing a little too personally: don’t. First off, remove that app that allows you to see when someone unfollows you. Seriously, do it now. I’ll allow you some time……….
Good, I hope you feel better. I know I do. Stop caring enough to know who follows you and who doesn’t. In the grand scheme of things, what does it really matter? I just found out that one of my best friends has been on Instagram for like a year and I haven’t been following them. It’s nothing personal, I just didn’t realize they existed on there.
Likewise, if someone unfollows you, don’t even think twice about it. You don’t need to come up with reasons or speculations and you DEFINITELY don’t need to talk to them about it. There are so many scenarios in which someone can unfollow you, it’ll probably kill you before you figure it out.
Social media exists to partially let you stalk the people in your life and to partially keep you entertained at work. If I don’t find what you’re doing entertaining, and it’s crowding up my already small screen, I’ll want to rid myself of it.
So PLEASE stop getting all up in arms when I unfollow you. It’s gunna happen. And remember, just because I unfollowed you on Twitter doesn’t mean that I still don’t want to have a real life friendship with you.
Let’s go eat a taco and talk about our lives and forget about all this nonsense.
It’s that time again, let’s review Facebook’s Privacy settings and make sure you are not set up to fail.
We all know that Facebook changes their privacy settings often. If you don’t like it, go ahead and delete your FB account because that isn’t going to change anytime soon. Facebook is a business and Zuckerberg is constantly working his magic to ensure that he keeps us all on our toes. When it comes down to it, the service is free so we abide by their rules. It’s up to us to stay on top of it though, so here’s a fool proof lesson for those of you who want to make sure your accounts are as private as you want them to be.
To get to your privacy settings you go here:
Once inside you’ll probably find it a bit daunting but I’ll go ahead and break down the categories for you:
First off set your default settings to “friends”. If you want to spend a lot of time being weird, go ahead and create a custom list of people who can view your content, but to make it easy on yourself just let your friends see what you post. Who are your friends? Anyone you’ve become friends with on Facebook - meaning either you’ve accepted their friend request of they’ve accepted yours.
How you connect this controls who can find you on Facebook. I have mine set up like this:
It means that if a friend of a friend knows my phone number or e-mail, they can find me on the site. Likewise, anyone can ask to be my friend or send me a message. I figure this won’t make me seem inclusive, but it will give me a chance to screen people before I allow them into my Facebook world.
Timeline and Tagging this is where we control who can tag us in photos, who can post on our timeline, what others can see on your timeline, etc. This is really the meat of your Facebook page, where most of your content lies. You want to crack down on security in here. I have mine set like this:
So only my friends, the ones I’ve accepted, can see my status updates, posts I’ve received from friends and the things I’ve been tagged in on my timeline. I don’t want to have to review every photo or post I’ve been tagged in by friends (however I might change that if I live a promiscuous lifestyle, OR have friends who like to incriminate me… use this at your best discretion). I do, however, want to review the tags my friends make on my photos… just in case I didn’t want to tag it for some reason. Lastly, I’m revoking the “auto-tagging” access. This means that, in theory, Facebook will track my facial features and let people know when they’ve tagged a photo that has those same features. It’s like iPhoto. I don’t want this to happen.
Ads, Apps and Websites this is the most annoying part of Facebook. Every ad, app and website want to be posted on your timeline, and for good reason. Every time they appear on someones timeline their chances of getting noticed goes up two-fold. My least favorite thing about Facebook is seeing app updates from my friends. I couldn’t honestly care less that you’re playing a game on Facebook, couldn’t care less. This whole area is dicey and confusing but I’m going to do my best to sort it out for you:
These are the apps you use. This means that at one point you clicked on the app and allowed it access to your page. I keep track of all the apps I use and never allow access to ones I don’t trust. When you click “Edit Settings” it’ll show you a list of all your apps. Go through and make sure you recognize them all, if there’s one you don’t recognize, I’d suggest deleting it.
Here’s an example of the Buzzfeed app I use. They are required to show you the information they need in order to make their app work. As you can see they want quite a bit of information from me. If this makes you uncomfortable, just be aware that most apps require this much information from your profile. If I were to say, revoke access to “Posts in my News Feed” I’d lose the ability to use the app, it’s just the way it works. That’s why I suggest only using trusted apps. Anyways, the most important one to me is “Posts on your behalf”. This is where all those annoying updates come from on your Time Line. Be sure to always set that as “Only Me”. It locks up all the activity you have on that app and ensures that your friends won’t be bombarded every time you buy a fish on Farmville.
How people bring your info to apps they use I’m not a big fan of this one. Basically this means that people who have access to your information via an app, can share this information with people on their timeline or the app itself. Go ahead and uncheck them all, there’s no reason this should be utilized.
Instant Personalization Zuckerberg uses this tool in his grand master plan to make the Internet one huge place of shared information. In a nutshell this allows for Facebook to take your interests, likes and personal information and feed it to websites they’ve partnered with. For example: If you like Nsync on Facebook, it will automatically start playing when you open Pandora in your browser. In theory it’s a cool idea, but it just means more of your information is being shared with 3rd parties.
Public Search This means that part of your timeline will show up in search engines. Not a fan, disable that crap.
Ads Basically Facebook doesn’t share your info to 3rd party apps yet, but they might in the future. Go ahead and disable these features now so when they eventually merge to sharing your whole life story, you’ll be exempt from that process.
Limit the Audience for Past Posts This one is doosey and honestly, it confuses me as well. I read a post recently about how Facebook accidentally showed your old private messages on your timeline. With the introduction of timeline it made it easier to travel through the archives of your past years on Facebook… way back before you could control the privacy of individual posts. This meant that anything prior to 2011/10 suddenly became public info including status updates and photos. Facebook makes you go through a several step process ensuring that you know that limiting your posts can’t be undone easily:
What’s the harm? Basically anything that may have been shared with friends of friends or public a few years ago will be changed to friends. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just making sure your profile is consistent from the beginning of your Facebook adventure til now.
Blocked People and Apps Here is where you control the people and apps you’ve blocked. It’s not rocket science, if you’ve blocked ‘em, just leave it be.
So there you have it. I hope you learned something new and I hope you updated your profile to where you want it to be, privacy wise. Do you have any Facebook Privacy tips?