Facebook Tips
Facebook Tips

Facebook Tips
A Social Media Guide

In today’s world, social networking has become a major part of life, and few social networking sites are as big as Facebook. However, as fun and useful as Facebook is, it can also be full of pitfalls. Following are a few tips to help you navigate around potential issues:

1. Use your privacy settings.

Facebook offers varying privacy settings – don’t be afraid to use them! By default, your Facebook page’s privacy settings are set to the most public setting, but you can change them if you don’t want everything you post to be visible to everyone on the planet. The easiest way to fix this is to simply go to your ‘privacy settings’ page and set your default settings to ‘friends’ (you can even go in and retroactively set past posts to this setting from the same page). From there you can edit your profile and customize what non-friends do or do not see.

2. Think twice about posting embarrassing photos.

While it’s very tempting to post all of those photos of the latest post-game party, stop for a moment and think – how comfortable are you with the idea of the entire world seeing them? Even if you have your settings set to ‘friends only,’ your friends can share your photos, and when that happens, anyone who is friends with your friend can see the shared photos, regardless of whether or not you know them. So while you might not be friends with any of your professors, coaches or employers; your friends might be, and all it takes is one click of the ‘share’ button to show the world your embarrassing party photos. The same goes for tagging your friends – double-check with them before you tag them in party photos, particularly if it might embarrass them, and by the same token, never be afraid to untag yourself in your friends’ photos. Remember: just because one person might be okay sharing that part of their life with the world, doesn’t mean everyone wants to!

3. Watch what you type!

The rapid-fire nature of social networking sites makes it very easy to let people know everything that you think, do and feel. Unfortunately, this also can lead to a tendency to post before you think, and that can lead to any number of bad situations, all of which can have unwanted consequences for you. The news these days is full of employees being fired and college athletes being suspended over the things that they post on social networking sites, be it party photos or trash-talking their coach or boss. The best rule of thumb for avoiding this: assume that as with offline gossip, anything said about someone online will eventually get back to them, even if you delete it later. So next time you’re angry at your boss and ready to make a scathing status update about it, stop and consider who it will really hurt, and then step away from the keyboard.

4. Be careful who you friend.

While one of the primary purposes of social networking is to meet and connect with people, there is a tendency on Facebook to ‘friend’ almost anyone who sends a request your way. As cliché as it sounds, your mom was right: people can be anyone on the internet – at some colleges, for example, coaches were able to dig up dirt on their players by creating fake profiles that the players befriended. Once the players accepted their friend request, the coaches had access to everything that was hidden to the public. Now think, it would be bad enough for someone like a coach or professor seeing things that you didn’t want them to see, but what if it was someone who really did want to completely ruin your reputation or make you lose your job? They could be just a cover story and a fake profile picture away. The moral of the story? Next time someone you’ve never spoken to sends you a friend request, check them out first – and remember, if you turn down the friend request of the friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, you’re not being rude, you’re just keeping yourself covered.

5. Networking works!

After all the fun and games, above all, Facebook is a tool for social networking, and not only that, it’s a really effective one! These days many companies and schools have Facebook pages, and checking those out can be beneficial to you. Looking a company or school up on Facebook can give you an idea of what they’re looking for as well as whether or not they are a good match for you. School Facebook pages are an excellent way to get in touch with current and past students, even when it comes to graduate school, and sometimes you can get an edge by ‘liking’ a company’s Facebook page, as it shows both interest and that you’ve done your research. In today’s world, where who you know can count just as much as what you know, social networking is a valuable tool, so don’t be afraid to get out there and try it!

Written by Monte Jackson, Class of '12 - Marketing & Communications Intern
For more information
, contact Kyria Hoffman - 843.857.4103

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