Facebook. Most of us can’t live without it, even while we dismiss it as a serious time-suck. Make sure you’re using Facebook to its full potential and avoid the 10 biggest Facebook faux pas.
Facebook Faux Pas #1: Accepting everyone as your Facebook friend.
It’s far better to be a discerning user and only accept friend requests from real friends than to start deleting people from a too-long list of strangers and people you don’t like.
Facebook Faux Pas #2: Poking.
If you’re thinking of someone, send them a message. Poking can be a little creepy, and because many don’t use this feature, it can be easily misinterpreted.
Related: Don’t “like” everything just because you can. Show a little selectivity.
Facebook Faux Pas #3: Having zero privacy settings enabled.
Be careful about how much identifying information you make available online. Even the most careful users should explore the privacy settings to ensure their photos and status updates are only accessible to the people they want reading them.
Facebook Faux Pas #4: Flooding your network with status updates.
Yes, your friends want to know about the important things going on in your life. They don’t want to see you post a play-by-play of your day. (If you must, head to Twitter.)
Related: Don’t repost and share every single image of a cat and/or baby with a witty caption. Your friends will start hiding your feed.
Facebook Faux Pas #5: Venting and oversharing.
Your Facebook wall is not your journal or your best friend. If you need a sounding board after an emotional day, call your mom. Oversharing, venting, or posting cryptic and open-ended statuses will only alienate your friends. If you post something every time someone lets you down, your friends may distance themselves for fear of experiencing your unfair, very public wrath.
Facebook Faux Pas #6: Neglecting to engage others.
Facebook is a social network, not a narcissism network. (To be fair, sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between the two.) Don’t just expect friends to like your statuses and offer compliments on pics of your new haircut. Engage with your friends. Comment on their statuses. Send them quick messages of encouragement.
Facebook Faux Pas #7: Constantly changing your relationship status.
If you’re the king or queen of super-short relationships, maybe it’s best that you keep your relationship status invisible. Constant changes from “single” to “in a relationship” to “it’s complicated” can turn your wall into an annoying — or alarming, or, sadly, amusing — soap opera for your friends who stalk your profile.
Facebook Faux Pas #8: Posting embarrassing photos of others.
This is a huge faux pas. If you Photoshopped your own profile pic, surely you can offer the courtesy of at least uploading only flattering photos of your friends and family. If someone ever asks you to take down a photo or untag them, do so immediately. Photo drama is never worth it.
Related: Don’t upload incriminating photos of yourself, either. If you don’t want your boss, co-workers, parents and/or hypothetical future spouse seeing the photos, don’t put them on Facebook.
Facebook Faux Pas #9: Complaining about employers, co-workers, family or professors.
Even with security measures in place, complaining about others is rarely worth the risk, especially when those individuals’ opinions of you are important personally or professionally. If you need to gripe about an unreasonable boss, call a friend and vent without the digital trail.
Facebook Faux Pas #10: Breaking up with someone over Facebook.
Don’t do it. Ever.
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