I totally live in a bubble. The good thing is I know this and take steps to peek outside that bubble as early and often as possible. In my bubble people spend more time on Twitter than Facebook so I often forget that so many folks spend so much time there and might have some questions about it that need addressing, like “how do I keep certain people from seeing certain things I post on Facebook?”
In any case, what with all the press of late about employers asking potential employees to login to Facebook so they can have a peek (not ok, BTW) I thought it would be a good idea to revisit some specifics about how to control who sees what on Facebook.
There might be folks out there who don’t use some features they either may want to or should but don’t know how.
For me, all this took too much work, so I just have all the people I’m friends with on Facebook in one big group and if it can’t be said to all of them I don’t say it.
After all – everything on Facebook is ultimately seen at least by Facebook and so therefore never really private, but more on that in my next post.
The first thing you have to do is group all of your “friends” into lists.
This is not as easy as it seems.
First you go to your timeline page. See that box under your big new photo with all the little pictures of your friends in it? Click that.
It should load a page full of your friends. From here, you have to click on each individual friend and adjust the setting for the list they are a part of.
You can create new lists here like “dudesthatotallygetit” or “llamas” or “whatever” – or whatever.
Anyway, after that you can adjust some more settings if you select “settings” like how much of their stuff shows up in your feed – a handy feature if there’s someone you can’t “unfriend” but who drives you nuts with all their farmville requests, for example.
Now when you go to make a post, you should have those lists show up in the dropdown menu on the bottom right that sets the view permissions for each post.
What your default is for posts can be adjusted in your privacy settings.
Make sure to go into your privacy settings too and apply the new default to those old posts you made public without really thinking about it first…
Trouble is, once you’ve done that, it is done for good so make sure that’s what you want to do. (Go on, just do it. The worst that happens is someone who used to be able to see something can’t now and how bad can that be, right? Unless we’re talking baby photos and grandparents, then you’ll hear about it and should have emailed them the originals instead of just posting them on Facebook anyway…)
While you are in your privacy settings, take a look around and see what else you can make more “private.”
For example, you may want to look at what appears in your timeline in terms of content that other people tag you in and adjust the default to make it so you have to approve it every time before it appears in your timeline. Trust me. After that you may be thinking – great I set all those down, right?
“But I’m still paranoid that my f-bomb will show up on my timeline when Grandma comes to see photos of my graduation…”
No problem, just take advantage of the “view as” feature next to the gear icon in the upper right of your timeline page:
When you select to “view as” you can type in the name of one of your “friends” on Facebook.
Now you’ll see the world through their eyes – or at least your timeline – through their Facebook…Remeber folks, privacy is not really privacy in a public place and the permission you give can and will be used to share your data – but with whom?
Want the short version? If you don’t want your Grandma to hear it, don’t say it on Facebook or face the consequences if you do…