For those of you who, like me, use social media mostly for following friends, keeping in the loop on family or for work, but seldom post or share, Here’s a short blog on making your Social Media – Anti Social.
Firstly, disclaimers – I work in Social Media, so its my job to be online. This also gives me time to make informed decisions about how I run my social accounts.
In the age of Internet privacy breaches, If you have a social media account, chances are you have already handed over countless GB of data to a private company to sell to advertisers for their gain. I think most of us accept this is the new norm in the internet age.
Most of us, by now have at very least – a Facebook account. Getting your settings right on Facebook can be a constant battle to keep up with their ever changing process and tweaks (read; Improvements)
Facebook’s entire business model is to get you to share publicly. Getting you settings so that you share with just those who you want, can be a protracted and ongoing battle.
Friend Lists. They do take some time to set up but you can be as targeted as you want.
This way, when sharing a facebook post, you can toggle which lists you want to share with. If you’re like me, mists posts you will want shared to the same groups, and occasionally you want them public or in a wider audience.
Now facebook automatically creates “smart lists” which try to categorise everyone by whatever data point they match, if you accept someone as a friend who has the same home town as you, or has visited etc etc, they will be added to this smart list.
Smart Lists are garbage and I think facebook should fuck them off TBH. But they may save some people time (I doubt it)
I find, having Facebook friends sorted into 6 custom lists is sufficient, my lists are as follows:
- Shit List (I don’t like you but accepted your friend request anyway)
- Work colleagues (everyone that I work with, irrespective of working relationship)
- Good friends (People I want to share with, or spend my time IRL with)
- Acquaintances (We met one time, or you’re a friend of a friend)
- Restricted (Not really a custom sharing list, but anyone on this list can only see posts you make public. I could just remove you as a friend but this is way more passive aggressive)
Now my default sharing status for all posts (facebook sets the new default every time you change a post’s audience) is friends, except Acquaintances, Work Colleagues & Shit List
Effectively, this ensures my posts are only aired with a select group of people most of the time.
The beauty putting people onto lists, is you can control what people see when the look at your Facebook profile. For example, someone who I work with may only see a few public, apolitical posts, whereas a close friend might see all of my posts about love and life etc. Further to this, people on the sShit list are treated to basically a blank facebook profile.
While this might seem a little drastic in this day of internet overshare, mainlining some modicum of private life is now almost a luxury.
This also affords me the ability to keep my professional relationships and interactions, strictly professional without the stigma of sharing my private life and feelings to colleagues.
You should also give some consideration into what you deem shareable to work colleagues. Do you really want your conservative boss to see you drizzly posting a photo of you and your 3 friends slut dropping at a girlfriends hens party? Didn’t think so.
Keep your private life out of your work life.
Just remover that each time you change the audience for a post, this becomes the new default. So if you ant to share say a nice photo of you and your partner with everyone, changing the audience to public will set all future posts to public until you change it back. It’s worth noting you can also change the privacy of individual posts after the fact if you’ve forgotten to sent this back (can speak from experience)
To put friends onto lists, you need to go into your profile, then select friends.
Hover over each friend button and add to another list like below:
Side note: how hot are my friends! 😍
Add everyone to a list. (or multiple)
Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to ensure you go into settings, privacy and limit your past posts as well as the next step which is IMPORTANT
In your facebook settings under Timeline & Tagging you need to set your timeline up as shown in the below image. Note: Custom should exclude most of the people who you by default don’t want to share with, in my case, custom is Friends, except Acquaintances, Shit List & Work colleagues.
To check that you’ve set this up properly, click on View as, and enter the name of someone on one of your lists and you get to view your facebook page as them.
From here on you ca tweak these settings to your need.
Finally, my other advice is to consider friend requests more closely.
Don’t blindly accept everyone. Take a few days, consider whether you want this person on your (whichever list?) or public feed. Decide which friends list to place them on and really give your brain time to make a decision, rather than accepting based on impulse.
Facebook privacy settings can be really confusing and contradictory, and it took me some time to get the settings just how I wanted them, but moving forward, this saves me countless hours and worry about sharing. I’m confident that the posts I share, go to the audience who I want them to go to.
IMO its worth investing some time at the start to save you time in the future.
This post has turned out a bit bigger than intended, so if you have Twitter and or an Instagram, I’ll do separate posts for lists and privacy at at later time.
For now, I’m off to enjoy this beautiful sunny day.