I went on a run to the rocket last night and I posted some pictures of that run, and of a friend who went with me, to Facebook. I can do that because I’ve made sure when I’ve accepted friend requests from people that I know them in real life or that we’ve been online contacts through blog stuff for years. In other words? Facebook is my safe place.
There are a lot of bloggers who don’t do that. They treat Facebook like their blog. Their photo albums are public and they accept friend requests openly. And that’s great if you just want it to be like your blog.
But – somewhere along the way – my real world friends and family started keeping up with me through Facebook. Very few of them read my blog. So, I decided to keep Facebook more personal and real. I can post race pictures with friends in them and not worry about who is seeing them. I can post pictures of my nephew…of my brother and his wife. I can be much more personal on Facebook because I know the people seeing it.
I say this because not everyone does this. Bloggers or otherwise. Some people keep a lot of their stuff public on Facebook, and as a blogger with an actual blog? That’s not a big deal if you are posting the same stuff to your blog. But – for normal people who don’t document their lives online? I doubt they think of it much.
When you go to the settings to view my Facebook page as it appears to the public, you don’t see anything from my wall and you only see 3 photo albums. My cover photos and my profile photo albums – so that people who are trying to see if they know me can see pictures of me. And then my Easter Toss album. That’s it. You wouldn’t believe I was as active on Facebook as I was if you viewed it as a non-Friend.
But some people? Show EVERYTHING. Their check-ins at the restaurant down the street, photos from that birthday party they went to, their complaints about their job…EVERYTHING. This always amazes me. Do they not KNOW their stuff is public or do they just not worry about it?
So…I wanted to mention it here. Just in case you didn’t know! Here are the Facebook FAQs about doing just that. This is not about being more secure, this is about realizing that those pictures you post of other people’s kids may be viewable to the entire world. And while I’m of the school of thought that we are past the age of expecting certain levels of privacy, I still like to err on the side of cautious when posting pictures of other people’s kids.
Even adults! Some people have very professional careers and don’t necessarily want the pictures you took of them at that pool party viewable to the entire universe. It’s just good to know, before you post pictures of your kid’s awards ceremony, what the world can see on your Facebook profile page. I’ve got my pictures set up so that only my friends can see them, unless I’ve tagged someone else, and then their friends can see them too. Then, I’m leaving it up to my friend to just trust whomever they’ve befriended.
But…if I didn’t know want people I didn’t know seeing pictures of me? I would never tag people in my photos. Because I don’t know their friends. But – for me? I live my life online. I’m not too worried about MY face on Facebook. I just worry about the other people in my photos. And the more and more I notice people with 500+ friends (I’m almost at 500 and that stresses me out. THAT’S TOO MANY FRIENDS.) the more I wonder how it’s possible to know them all. Maybe you do! Maybe you have a church with 600 members, or you graduated from a class of 800, but maybe you don’t know them. Maybe you accepted the request in a shuffle one day, not paying too much attention. And if you do that, that’s fine! Just know that you did it when you are posting pictures of other people to your timeline.
How do YOU deal with Facebook?
(ADDENDUM: Another thing…I found myself unfriending big name bloggers who have 1,000+ plus friends because I read their blogs! And if they have that many friends then they’re probably using their Facebook to help promote their blogs and I already read the blog so…you know…redundant! I have nothing against using Facebook as a marketing tool, but if I read your blog it seems silly to follow your FB posts. NOW…there are some bloggers who use Facebook like I do with smaller quantities of friends…that’s different. I just don’t need to friend you on Facebook if you’re just using it to help promote the blog I already read every day. Does that make sense?