Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Don't Fear the Click

First, let me say, I am not Steven Jobs. Technology has never provided me with a living. But I do dearly love the stuff, and I play with it. I've never had the fear of the click. You know, the fear that if I click on this or that it'll be similar to pressing the infamous red button and launch every nuclear missile possible at my computer rendering my pc, well, let's just say in need of Viagra.

So I'm pretty quick to click on stuff and make changes to software. And I don't think there's a platform out there that changes as often as Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg (on a side note, my spell check thinks I spelled his last name wrong and suggested Tinkerbell as a correction...just saying) is desperately in need of a chill pill. All the Facebook changes can be a bit much to keep up with and I've noticed a lot of people on Facebook with settings that I'm not sure they are aware of. Did you really mean to share with the public your frustration with your family or your job? Umm, maybe not. How about your location? Do you really want your teenage daughter posting showing that she's sitting in Timbuktoo, Wisconsin? Are you aware that your cover photo on the new Timeline is public and there is no way to change that setting?

So I thought that I would use this blog to point out just a few settings in Facebook that I consider to be dangerous, and how to reset them. I check the Facebook settings for all four of us in our family and I change any privacy settings that concern me. These are my easy to do, top three:

First, look at your statuses. Do you see the little gray icon on the same line as the Like, and Comment? If the little gray icon shows the earth, then that's who you just shared it with...yep, anybody on planet earth who is connected to the internet...even my Momma...soon as she remembers how to turn on that &*(*& laptop. Soooo, you might want to change this before telling people that your boss is a jerk who keeps picking his nose at your desk. To change that:

At the top of Facebook, spot your name. Beside it see the word Home, beside that will be a downward facing arrow. If you click on that you will see a drop down menu. Choose Privacy Settings. Now look at the  section titled, Control Your Default Privacy. Mine is set for Friends Only. If a friend of a friend wants to see my posts, they should send me a Friend Request. Public is self explanatory. The custom one can be set for even more privacy. If you set your default, you can always change it on individual statuses. But you have now avoided the infamous, "drunk posting" going out to the world.

Let me point out something about the cover photo on the new Timeline feature on Facebook. IT'S PUBLIC and you can't change it. So if you have children on Facebook, you might want to check what they are using as their cover picture, and you might not want to use that family picture as your own cover photo. I don't want the world snagging that picture. I currently have an ECU picture. Before that it was a picture of the geese on the golf course. The world does not need another picture of my family... In particular if you are young and foolish  fun, you might not want the picture of you chugging at the bar set as your cover photo, especially if you expect your parent to continue to fund your college education.

Finally, the one that really scares me is location. If you need to know my location then you also need to be a) married to me or b) my child or c) bringing me my real, ready to spend lottery check. Other then that... So when I realized that my location was on there when I posted a status - big yuck. This one is tricky because it hides in plain sight. When you are posting a status, if you see your location in that little box at the bottom, hover over it and click the x that appears. No longer will your location post on every status. You can always add it back later...not sure why you would want to...but that's up to you.

OK - that's it for this blog. Hope it helps, and remember, don't fear the click! 


  1. I think it is really scary that you can't set the privacy on the Timeline Cover photo. The thumbnail profile picture is one thing but the timeline gives too much detail. Mine has a "vintage" grain texture on it that makes it a little harder to get a clear picture, but I may have to change it to something more generic.

  2. Thank you, Evelyn, for this post. You can keep a running column of how tos for social media. If I read enough of them, maybe I won't be scared of the click.

  3. KJ - I agree completely on that cover picture. Way too much detail, and I do not appreciate that I can't make it private. Edupreneur - it's like education, you learn more by trying! Thanks, y'all for reading!


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