It’s common to see someone on Facebook having 500+ people they consider as their friends. They share pictures, status updates and occasionally post on their walls. But realistically, how many of these 500+ people do you really care to share with? Or even care what they have to say? The term “Facebook Friends” is a completely different meaning then actually being friends.
In fact, I would like to define Facebook Friends as someone you know, once knew, might know soon, or never even met but have heard of. Facebook Friends are people you were friends with in kindergarten, your cousin’s ex-girlfriends’ brother, your neighbour’s friend from New Zealand.
As funny as it seems, Facebook Friends are somehow important, and now relevant, to your life. Learning about what people do in their spare time or what they have to say, without actually talking to them or seeing them in years is now possible. Facebook has allowed people to keep in contact and stay updated with someone they once considered an acquaintance, without actually doing any of the work to maintain the relationship except clicking the little “Add Friend” button. Not to mention, “facestalking” someone you once knew a million years ago is always fun.
Now that Facebook offers different security measures such as lists or limited profiles, it’s easy to limit who can see what. But with Facebook constantly changing around their privacy settings, make sure you keep up-to-date and always double check your personal settings. It would be pretty embarrassing showing up to work on Monday with all of your colleagues knowing you got crazy at a party over the weekend and saw the pictures to prove it.
With new changes on Facebook come new things to protect yourself from. For starters, Facebook check-ins tells people where you are, except your friends can also check you in without your permission. If you’re not interested in anyone knowing your whereabouts, disable check-ins. Remove yourself from Google searches if you don’t want your Facebook profile coming up every time someone types your name on Google. And don’t let all of your information be available to applications you use so turn on secure browsing that encrypts all of your Facebook activity. Keep yourself protected and happy facestalking!