Manage Facebook with Selective Transparency

Facebook has three built-in features that help people who are looking for ways to keep their lives contained to selecting smaller groups.

March 1, 2011

Transparency was the mantra of social media’s early adopters. The larger second wave of social networkers gleefully followed, but the more conservative third wave watched in dismay as minute details of their friends’ lives were posted to Facebook with abandon. Today, privacy is back in vogue. People are looking for ways to keep different aspects of their life contained to select, smaller groups. Thankfully, Facebook has three built-in features that help.

Custom privacy settings for updates. Click on the lock icon below the status box and choose "customize." You can ensure that only specific people, or lists of people, see a message. You can also exclude specific people or lists of people from seeing a message.

Private groups. Facebook Groups allow you to choose a select group of friends and keep the conversations, links, and media shared in those groups from the eyes of the rest of your friends.

The common sense key. This has been a Facebook option from the beginning. To access it, pause a moment before clicking "share" or "comment," and assess the value of your update. Then, if necessary, hit cancel. Some things just shouldn’t be shared at all.

Jeff Turner is president and chief operating officer of Zeek Interactive and in Huntington Beach, Calif.

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