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Lifestyle – Facebook, for those who came in late

Priyanka Joshi

It’s simply impossible not to have heard about Facebook. For over five years, this highly successful social networking site has become the definitive place for young adults to upload details about their day-to-day life.

As a result, and this is something that must have contributed immensely to the site becoming a smash-hit, even grown-ups now use Facebook to find out what their kids are up to!

In fact, according to latest studies, almost one in every two grown-up internet surfer (defined as anyone above the age of 18) is now using social networking sites or has social networking accounts in the country. Facebook continues to rule the roost as the fastest growing social networking site in India, a claim backed by ViziSense, an online audience measurement and analytics firm.

Today, India has nearly 12 million Facebook users. And, the fastest growing group on Facebook is infamously the 35-54 age group. Remember, if 44-year-old Aamir Khan can use a Facebook profile under the name Pucca Idiot to reach out to audiences for his forthcoming film, then why embarrass your kids or yourself by not having a social networking account?

We say this because, even after five years of existence, there are still people who do not know how to use Facebook. This orientation guide is dedicated to them…

What is it?
Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook for college students to keep in touch with each other and share information. You can, however, use it to create your profile, invite friends to view it and post countless updates to let people know that you are alive and kicking.

What do you get to do?
The process for creating a social profile is similar to that for creating an email id. You should upload a picture too, so that your acquaintances can recognise you while they interact with you online.

You get to meet a real celebrity out there
Twitter-loving celebrities also appear to be turning to Facebook as one of their resources for sending updates to fans. Vin Diesel, Ashton Kutcher, Jackie Chan, Will Smith, Demi Moore, Aamir Khan, Barack Obama and hundreds of other celebrities would be happy to add you as a friend on their Facebook pages.

Just remember that if you write a message on someone’s “wall” in Facebook, all of the recipient’s friends can see your message.

Keep this in mind when you swoon over a celebrity on his fan page.

How to behave on social networks
Just as there are rules for what you say in a roomful of people, there are rules to be followed on social networking sites too. For instance, don’t go announcing your divorce or loss of job on Facebook as you are bound to attract your Facebook friends (even random strangers) with sympathies that will be publicly posted on the “wall.”

While posting, be aware of what you post and whom you post your message to on the site. Keep it simple and tasteful, instead of ratting on people, trashing your boss, or in-laws, which is a big faux pas.

Beware of the boss…
Chances are that your boss or colleagues are on Facebook too. So, you are going to have to decide whether to accept his or her “friendship” after joining the social network. If you accept, you have to be vigilant every time you post any remark or picture concerning work or even personal updates. If you attempt to play it safe by not accepting your boss’ “friendship,” then you risk offending him or her.

You can also play safe by maintaining multiple profiles for professional and personal reasons, preferably on different sites.

Safe keeping your privacy
Remember to double check the privacy settings (for every member you add) on Facebook so that you can avoid a nasty confrontation with your boss when friends post pictures of you at a party when you were supposed to be sick at home.

You can also tweak the privacy settings to choose what information is displayed and who can see it.

You can also determine whether or not to appear in general searches on Facebook. You can select the “friends only” option and that will make you invisible to people not known to you.

Keep it simple and clean
The moment you sign up on social networks like Facebook, complete strangers or really distant cousins would want to be your “friends.”

They will pester you with fake flowers for a garden you don’t actually have (a Facebook application). If you don’t want to flood your inbox with requests like these, then politely ignore them.

There will be those who won’t accept you on their network, so be prepared for that.

Remembering birthdays
There’s no excuse to forget birthdays once you are on Facebook. The social network has a small reminder window that tells you it’s so-and-so’s birthday tomorrow. You can also get a weekly birthday reminder mail sent to your email id.

If you still miss it, it clearly says that you don’t care very much and that’s not a great trait to show off on a social network.

Managing social accounts
Visit Facebook regularly, especially if you have over 100 friends. Browsing your wall for five to10 minutes a day is usually enough to keep up with the posts and comments that matter to you.

You can even land a job with Facebook
Lastly, if you are looking out for a job, then make sure there is nothing inappropriate on your Facebook page.

Many companies, nowadays, search Facebook and other social networks before they invite you to interview

December 8, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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