You have a Friend Request!

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Image:www.facebookcraze.com
Would you accept your boss as a ‘friend’ on Facebook?  Image courtesy: FacebookCraze

As social networking sites like Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter are getting more and more complex, with their changing security settings, connecting the world wide web and shrinking the world, people are no longer adding only people they know personally or in real. Friendships are formed online with common interests, likes, business interests etc and sometimes, for no reason at all. It’s incumbent more than ever now, to be a bit vigilant about who you add and what you share. Though it’s great to have a large circle of friends, sometimes it can be counterproductive as well.

It’s exciting to find a new friend request every time you log into Facebook. Who could it be? some well-wisher or some fan? someone from work? maybe a secret admirer or old friend from high school? you pray fervently that it should definitely not be a relative, teacher or your boss!

A study by The University of Edinburgh Business School has shown that the more Facebook friends one has, the more likely they are to be stressed out. The greater the potential to cause offense, particularly if employers or parents are included. With Facebook’s growing popularity, we have found ourselves in new social situations, giving ourselves to different people. Stress rises when users present a version of themselves on Facebook that is unacceptable to some of their online “friends,” the researchers said.

More than half of employers have admitted to not hiring someone based on the applicant’s Facebook page, while, some 55 percent of parents follow their children on Facebook. “If I’m at a party or out with my friends, I don’t want that on Facebook because I don’t want my mom to see it. I don’t want my teachers to see it. I really have to keep my Facebook really nice and neat,” a student says.

So how are we, the Facebook users, supposed to deal with the exponential growth of stress from adding Facebook friends? We can become more comfortable with ourselves, and do the draining emotional work of accepting the parts of our lives that might be unseemly to SOME Facebook friends. It’s frightening, being that open with people, letting them see who you are and what you’re doing with your life.

But it can help to build lasting, important relationships with the people who care about you the most. Or you can just straight-up unfriend a bunch of people. Just boot ’em right out of your internet life. And while you’re at it, your real life too.

HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY FROM EVEN YOUR FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK : 

1. Make sure your privacy settings are fool proof.

2. You can choose your closest circle of friends and customise every post and picture and make that visible to your selected circle. You do the setting for one post, Facebook assures that this is automatically updated for your future posts.

3. Be careful of what you “Like”. Thanks to Facebook’s “Instant Personalization” all your friends and the  whole world can see what your interests are. Not just that it can give 3rd party application access to your account and use information.

4. Be extremely careful about posting your pictures. Despite your best intentions and your best privacy settings, a friend’s friend may still see your picture, if your friend chooses to comment or like it.

5. You can go to your friend’s list and click on friends whom you want to be restricted from viewing your posts. The friends on the restricted  list will no longer be able to see what you post on your page. Nor will they realize that they have been blocked from viewing. That way no one’s hurt.

6. Disable Tagging.

7. Go to privacy settings and edit “Who can see other’s posts on your page”. This way undesirable characters and gossip queens will no longer be able to view what others post on your page.

Facebook is all about navigating through its security settings and constantly updating yourself about it. Once you are familiar with that, you are the King/Queen of your Facebook Kingdom!

Below is an infographic from the folks at NM Incite outlining the various reasons for adding or removing Facebook friends and a breakdown of social media activity:

FB Friends

So, do you have your Boss on your Facebook? or, do you limit professional connections to LinkedIn? What according to you is the best thing to do? Let us know!

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