The Facebook Guide

I know I've posted this before. Sorry. It just tickles the hell outta me.
Click on it.

I was talking to an old friend tonight who just opened a Facebook account. I started giving him some pointers – what to do, what not to do, that sort of thing – and it occurred to me “This would make a good article for the site.”

It didn’t, but I decided to post it anyway.
The Official Guide For The New Facebook User
Facebook can actually be a lot of fun. Remember all those people who were big-time shitheads in high school and college? They are all middle-aged, bitter, miserable shitheads now, and Facebook gives you the chance to kind of revel in their misery without getting involved on a personal level. Plus, many of them have gotten fat, bald and added wrinkles – which shouldn’t be a big deal, we all lost some hair, gained a few pounds, and puckered up – but they’re really, really insecure about it, and that’s always fun to watch.

All jokes aside though, there are people in your past that you genuinely liked, but just didn’t like enough to maintain contact with. Most of them are on Facebook now wondering why you aren’t. In fact, so many people have Facebook accounts now that if you’re not on there, people tend to assume you died and they just didn’t hear about it. It’s a great way to maintain a superficial level of contact that is easy to turn off when it gets obnoxious.

And don’t get all freaked out by the constant media barrage of “Facebook privacy concerns!” They blow that stuff way out of proportion. What’s the worst that could happen? Someone could see your private information and learn your name, address and phone number? For heaven’s sake. When we were growing up, every bit of that was in the phone book.

There are however, a few rules you need to keep in mind…

Rule 1: All of the content on Facebook is generated by people on your Friends list. If you find Facebook boring, it’s because your Friends list is full of boring people. Don’t complain about it – get more interesting friends.

Rule 2: Never put anything on your Facebook profile that you wouldn’t be willing to have printed in a newspaper, so anyone could see it.

Rule 3: Never post a comment, status update, or photo that you wouldn’t be willing to have printed in a newspaper, so anyone could see it.

Rule 4: Don’t spend a lot of time worrying about accepting Friend requests. If you followed Rule 2 and Rule 3, then why would you care who can see your full profile?

Rule 5: Don’t spend a lot of time worrying about sending Friend requests. “Oh, I don’t know if I’m really that good of a friend with such-and-such.” Who gives a damn? The single most important criteria for inclusion on your Friends list should be “Will this person provide entertainment?”

The Hide button is your best friend on Facebook.
Use it often, and with great enthusiasm.

Rule 6: Don’t be a snob about your Friends list. You want at least a dozen people on there who are just utter human train wrecks. You know what I’m talking about. Complete, ongoing, rolling disasters. Because, hey – everybody likes watching a good train wreck.

Rule 7: If there’s someone on your Friends list who is consistently obnoxious or irritating, there’s no reason to get strung out about whether you should “unfriend’ them – just Hide their posts so they don’t show up in your News Feed. It’s easy and simple to do, and they won’t know you’ve done it.

Rule 8: Learn how to use the Hide button. Use it a lot. See, there are going to be people on your Friends list who play Facebook games, use Facebook apps for Astrology and finding out “how sexy their name is” – all kinds of stupid crap. For some reason, they think you need to see updates about all of this garbage, and if you don’t Hide it, it will literally be all that you ever see.

Rule 9: For The Love Of God, turn off Facebook chat. (Chat/Options/Go Offline) Your second cousin’s Aunt is lurking on Facebook chat, and she’s waiting for you. She’s 87 years old, she types so slowly that watching paint dry seems positively riveting by comparison, and she has nothing else to do but chat with you for hours.
That was about all the New User tips I could come up with in one sitting. If you’ve got any other suggestions for someone trying Facebook for the first time, put ’em in the comments. I’d love to see what you come up with.



4 comments to The Facebook Guide

  • Janet Cornwell

    Thanks to you, Ken…those trainwreck posts have now been nicknamed “boxcars”.

    I have a few precious souls who might meet that description on my list, but I love them all. Life would be pretty boring without ’em.

  • Roy Hendrix

    If you are on an unsecured wireless connection or using a laptop or other portable device on any public wireless connection, make sure you are using a secure connection (https:)to log in. The default login that FB uses is unsecured (http:). FB is supposed to be making secure browsing available, but so far I have not found that option in Account Settings.

  • Brilliant. And I had no idea I could turn off chat. I hate the damned thing.

  • I truly appreciate this blog article.Much thanks again. Really Cool.