Facebook 101: Do's and don'ts
If you're like most people, you visit Facebook a few times a day. You catch up on the latest gossip, “Like” cute baby or pet pictures and maybe post something. Facebook makes these things simple.
Facebook is so simple, in fact, that you might not know you're using it wrong. Here are three things you really need to stop doing on Facebook.
• Confuse public and private conversations
There are a few ways to communicate on Facebook. One is to post a message on your Timeline for everyone to see.
Another is to post a message directly to a friend's Timeline. These are the posts that show up in your Timeline labeled “Jane Doe > John Doe.”
Far too many people think the second method is a private conversation. That isn't the case. Think of it like a public speaker onstage talking to one audience member instead of the entire audience. Everyone can still hear everything they're saying.
I've seen people who don't know this ask friends very personal questions. It can be embarrassing for everyone.
To send a private message, click the Messages link to the left of your news feed. Then click the New Message button.
You can also go to your friend's profile page and click the Message button near the top right of the page. Or, just pick up a phone.
Social media sites like Facebook encourage you to post your thoughts, experiences, pictures, videos and whatever else you feel like. This can lead people to share things like what they had for breakfast. Detailed relationship woes are another favorite. How about the fact that you're out of town for a while? Thieves love that one.
But a recent study from the University of Birmingham found oversharing is more complex. It seems sharing too many photos — even if they're nice photos — can damage your real-life relationships and cost you friends.
Of course, “too many” is relative, but there are a few guidelines. If you like to post “selfies,” or shots featuring just you, dial it back to important events, like a new haircut.
Also, photos of you with certain friends tend to turn off your friends and family who weren't there. Photos of immediate family and significant others, however, seem to be OK.
• Include too much information in photos
This is similar to oversharing, but carries more risk. Smartphones and some newer standalone cameras can embed GPS information into photos.
Anyone who knows how to read this can see where your photos were taken. That means they can find your house, kids' school or other important locations.
So before you upload a photo, make sure it's clean.
In Windows, you can right-click a photo and choose Properties. In the Details tab, click the “Remove Properties and Personal Information” button. Mac users, and Windows users who want to clean a bunch of photos at once, can use a program like XnView.
Another option is to use an app like PixelGarde to check photos before you post. Don't forget to check what's in the photos. For example, a picture that shows your house number or street name isn't smart to post. Pictures of valuables aren't great either.
Email Kim Komando at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Chryst a miserable failure at Pitt
- Pouliot scores in NHL debut as Penguins tame Panthers
- Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
- Pitt players support Rudolph for job
- Pitt football fights to overcome steppingstone status
- Steelers’ Bell, Chiefs’ Charles elevating running back position in NFL
- Jeannette company’s miniature steam engines coveted for decades
- Pair of NYC officers killed in ambush shooting
- Real estate union: Howard Hanna buys Langholz Wilson Ellis
- Steelers notebook: Bell says he’s prepared to test Chiefs defense
- Westmoreland County furloughs weights and measurements director