TribLIVE

| Business

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

How to keep Facebook on 'like' list

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Tali Arbel
Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, 8:04 p.m.
 

NEW YORK — A woman I haven't spoken to in six years is pregnant with her second son. Another college acquaintance reads the Bible a lot. A high school classmate likes to rant about politics. A college dormmate thinks he works too much.

On Facebook, I'm connected to a lot of people who are not my friends. Over the years, as my Facebook friend list grows, it's made me increasingly uncomfortable that I seem to know so much about people that I don't actually know.

So as the new year approached, I decided to review my Facebook life. I took a four-week break — a “Facebook Fast” — from the world's biggest online social network.

What did I learn? Sure, there are sleazy and annoying aspects to Facebook. It connects us to each other like tabloids connect readers to celebrities, and it compels us to gossip. It often makes us voyeurs accidentally immersed in the intimate lives of people we barely know. But after eight years on the network, I rely on it for pictures and news of faraway friends and relatives. I can't quit. Like it or not, Facebook is an important part of my life.

Facebook Inc. is in the midst of trying to make its privacy policies more intuitive for users. It has added a little padlock icon at the top right of the website. When you click on it, Facebook walks you through how to change who sees what you post, who can contact you and how to review what others are writing about you.

If you're trying to curate your Facebook life, there are more steps you need to take.

Cut back on time spent

The goal: Read less and write more.

First, I disabled the app on my phone. Then I enabled email notifications for whenever someone sends me a message, tags me in a photo, or posts on my profile or in one of my groups. If someone's trying to get in touch with me, I want to know and be able to respond. Because I get the notifications, I don't need to keep Facebook open at work or check it constantly at home.

Restrict access

I hate it when people send me personal messages by broadcasting it on my profile page, or timeline, for everyone to see. I'd rather that person send me an email or a private Facebook message that I alone could see. But many people still insist on posting such messages on my timeline anyway.

To address that, I effectively turned off my timeline. Someone can still post on it, but I've adjusted the settings so that person and I are the only ones who can see that note. I can still publicly share things that I want seen broadly, like a post I wrote promoting my sister's new yoga business.

Tali Arbel writes for the Associated Press.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Shell shovels $30M into proposed Beaver County plant site
  2. Bond funds hold onto cash
  3. Extended oil slump takes toll
  4. Tech Q&A: Why you should test your router
  5. Of Caitlyn Jenner and workplace restrooms
  6. Small business hangs on fate of Export-Import Bank
  7. Off-duty but on call: Suits seek overtime
  8. Muni bond funds stressed
  9. Companies hand out perks, benefits instead of pay raises
  10. When it comes to home ownership, Hispanics finding locked doors
  11. $2-per-gallon gas expected by year’s end, but not in Western Pa.