Facebook has made it easy to keep up with old friends and let folks know what's going on in your world. In some cases, that second part comes a little too easily.
While Facebook is a great way to share big news or plan events, a lot of the minutiae of our lives is better kept private -- just because you can press that "share" button doesn't mean you should disclose every little detail of your day.
Your friends may love you, but seeing every excruciating detail of your weekend fridge-cleaning adventures in their newsfeeds is a bit much.
If you can't keep that impulse in check, it may be time to put down your mobile phone and step away from the Facebook account. After all, admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery.
No. 5: Posting endless status updates
A status update is meant to be a quick, often witty, comment letting your friends know what's going on in your life at a given moment. It's not supposed be a constant stream of consciousness.
Changing that status a couple times a day makes sense. After all, it's easy to jump on Facebook, browse your newsfeed, put in your two cents and jump off.
But when your updates approach, say, five times an hour, you're just spewing spam. For instance, nobody but yourself will find a play-by-play of your lunch -- from waiting in line to eating that last crumb -- intriguing.
Think of status updates as a highlight reel. Stick to one comment summing up the entire experience you want to convey. That way, your friends will look forward to your updates instead of rolling their eyes when your name pops up yet again.
No. 4: Sharing photos better left unshared
You're proud that you survived some horrific injury and the subsequent medical procedure to fix it. Let's say you were building a deck when you had a horrible accident that resulted in an emergency room visit, 20 stitches, a lot of bloody bandages and a 4-inch long nail to keep as a souvenir.
We're glad you're OK and didn't sustain a serious, permanent injury. We're even proud of you for getting through the whole ordeal with only a few brave tears. That doesn't mean we want to see photos of a nail sticking through your hand when we log onto Facebook.
And it's not just blood. Photos of you trying to look sexy for your boyfriend or girlfriend, that series of pictures of your buddy puking in the bushes after having a little too much to drink, your kid's first successful potty in the toilet -- by all means, take these photos and keep them for posterity.
Just don't force the images on your friends.
No. 3: There's a time and a place for status updates
Over sharing isn't the only symptom of a Facebook addiction. Signs of obsession are also evident when you pick completely inappropriate times to update your page.
One big Facebook faux pas is updating while driving. "Haha, I just passed a 15 mph sign and I'm going 45. Oops! Hey, are those lights?" "Just got a ticket. *&#$. So much for weekend plans. Looks like I'll be stuck in traffic school. 9"
Let's dissect this one. You're not only speeding, but you're commenting on your horrible driving online in real time -- while behind the wheel.
Don't expect too much sympathy from your friends when the actions you chronicled on Facebook prove that yes, you really did deserve that ticket. Next time, just wait to update your status and focus on the road.
No. 2: Breaking big news through Facebook posts
Getting to share big news with friends you would have otherwise lost touch with is one of Facebook's big perks. It may be the only way old friends from elementary school find out you're getting married, or having a kid, or just landed your dream job.
But while Facebook is a great way to share those things with old friends you haven't seen in a long time, it shouldn't be the way your siblings or best friends find out that news.
Could you imagine finding out your brother is engaged thanks to a Facebook relationship update? Or broadcasting to the world you're pregnant before you tell your parents they're going to have a grandchild?
By all means, share your big accomplishment with all of your Facebook friends. Just wait until you've had a chance to call your inner circle and tell them personally before it's broadcast to the wider world.
No. 1: Putting Facebook above real-life connections
Checking in on Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with old friends. Still, there is one better method to keeping those relationships intact: hanging out in real life.
Sure, it's tough to schedule time to grab lunch with every single friend you have. But when those opportunities do come along, savor them. Spend that time talking and sharing a few moments together. Don't spend it glancing at your phone every few minutes to peruse other people's latest Facebook updates.
Those old friends you keep up with on Facebook are friends for a reason: You enjoyed spending time with them before you went your separate ways and had to depend on Facebook to stay connected.
So when the chance to renew that friendship in person comes along, don't cheapen it by preferring to stay engrossed in your Facebook account the whole time. Those new updates from other people you haven't seen in a long time will still be there to read when you're done with lunch.
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