I could say that Facebook is evil and a waste of time (few would disagree). But I won’t.
I love Facebook, and I love to share things with my Facebook friends.
And of course I’m aware that social media websites can hand all my “personal” information to the CIA or to whoever’s wants data on my behavior when I go to the bathroom.
But will they, really? Am I that important?
Anyway, what matters to me is to make a meaningful use of Facebook, which I manage to do by applying three simple laws. I hope they help you as much as me:
You shall not be brain-dead
When I don’t have a clear purpose for using Facebook, I end up watching a cover of Gangnam style on polka music (I might even like it and share it if I’m drunk).
It’s easy to be led astray by online junk, whether stupid quotes wrongly attributed to Einstein or undocumented conspirationist videos, so before landing on a social media I try to ask myself:
“What brought me here?”
The answer is always:
- I came here to learn something new and strengthen my connection with people
That immediately helps me skip the bulk of useless memes smeared on my timeline, and the embarrassment of sharing them.
You shall not be a spammer
Facebook’s currency is attention, that’s why I pay attention to what my friends post, and I try to add comments that prove that I care.
I might not be fascinated by the latest picture of their nephews’ drawing, but I’ll give it a like on FB since I know what it means to them. There’s no such thing as tiny acts of kindness.
Sounds like common decency, right? Yet some FB friends completely ignore my messages and then “invite” me to like their page or come at their commercial events.
You probably know what it feels like.
That kind of spammy behavior is rewarded by silence, probably the worst response you can get.
In short: giving attention boosts positive connections, demanding it makes you obnoxious, on Facebook or anywhere else :)
You shall not offend everyone
“You can make fun of anything, just not with anybody.” – Pierre Desproges
I have a doubtful sense of humor and I’d lose most of my friends if I “shared” my trashy jokes with them. Especially as I have friends in over 30 countries.
Luckily on FB you don’t have to share everything with everyone, it’s possible to publish things that only selected friends will see, that way you don’t generate huge misunderstandings due to the cultural gaps.
If you want to make sure you address your posts to the right target, just create lists of friends:
- those who speak your language
- your workmates
- those you only met online
- your family
To do that, go to your home page to the left menu, select “Friends”, then on the the top of the page select “create a list”.
In those lists, put whoever can be the right recipient for specific kinds posts.
Now when you’ll post something, you’ll have the option to select who should see your particular post (on the example below, I selected the “Unshockables”, the ones that will never be deterred by my bad taste.)
That won’t prevent the CIA from checking out everything you do, but I’m sure you know that already :)
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