Before Social Media I considered myself a fairly private person, only my close friends knew my loves, hates etc. I was definitely not a “wear my heart on my sleeve” kind of person. Along comes Facebook and slowly over time this changed; I found myself putting up pictures of my family, home, pets, hobbies and work-life and chatting to everyone I’d ever met about myself. I have since decided that actually I am still a very private person but do love to share the inner workings of my life with a select group of people. I also like to share some stuff with people I see sometimes and know to say hi and shoot the breeze with if I meet them in town. I also quite like to share publicly information I think is of value to everyone who may stumble across it. I am also trying to become more social media marketing savvy and use Facebook to promote our business.
I figured there must be a way to manage my interaction and get the best of all worlds, after a bit of researching I discovered a way. When you add friends to Facebook they default set as friends however you can have close friends, friends, family, acquaintances, custom lists, and public status updates.
If you go to your profile page by clicking on your picture on the top bar then click on friends you will see next to each friend they have a box with *friend and a drop down list.
If you click onto the arrow you get the option to select what type of friend they are.. I have some self imposed rules on this –
Family – As described they are my immediate family, this gives me the ability to share family and children photo from family events without upsetting my mother
Close friend – If I was passing their house I could call in unannounced and have coffee
Friend – They know most of what is going on in my life because I either see them or speak to them fairly regularly. The exception is people who I may have only met once or twice but we really clicked and I’d like to get to know them better.
Acquaintance – I know them maybe from school, playgroup, work, networking but it’s likely that I don’t know where they live and probably only accidentally bump into them rather than plan to meet up.
Public – The rest of the world who isn’t in the categories above.
You can set up new groups maybe School, gym, work if you wanted, I find the 5 above adequate for me though without being hideously hard to manage.
The initial sorting out of your friends may be a little time consuming and it can be tricky for some people in your list who are maybe just between two groups. Once it is done you can go in once a month or so and just look at recently added friends and update them accordingly.
To get the first box up you hover over their name then click on the friends drop-down, if you haven’t added your own lists then you can add them into this list here by clicking add to another list.
Now when you put up a status update you can select who sees your post.
These settings work best if you have also set up your other privacy settings to avoid the post being shared through friends tagging their friends thereby enabling their friends to see your post. Look out for further posts around social media privacy.