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Your lifestyle, your quirk
So many people have joined Facebook, it seems like the fun is getting sucked out of it. No one can post a status without distant relatives reading and commenting on it. Everyone has seen a photo of a raunchy bachelorette party before their embarrassed coworker could spot it and remove the tag linking it to her profile. Now that you’ve received a friend request from your boss, you have to scramble to find a way to hide your penchant for posting cat videos before the delayed friend acceptance creates workplace tension. With Facebook, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
For those who you don’t want to offend by de-friending but you’d rather they see as little as possible, you can add them to your Restricted list. Once on this list, friends will only see posts that you tag them in or content you post as public, which, if you’re privacy-savvy, should be very little. If someone tries to tag the restricted friend in one of your photos, you will have the option of accepting it before the restricted friend will see it. This seems to be the one option that will ensure that the friend will not see what other friends have posted on your Wall.
So let’s get restricting! On the left side of your home page, hover your cursor over the “Friends” heading and click “More” (it should appear to the right of the heading). Somewhere in your list of friend lists, you will find “Restricted” next to a symbol of a red circle with a white bar inside. Click on it and it will bring you to command central for your restricted friends. If you already have some, they will be listed there. If you wish to add someone, like someone you know in a professional capacity (or an ex), find the “On This List” heading on the right side of the page and enter the friend’s name in the “Add to This List” text box.
How about the people you want to share some things with, but not all? Say you want to post a link to a vegan recipe without having your opinionated friend Rick giving you another lecture about why you should be eating meat. Or maybe you had a party and you don’t need your parents to see the photos. When posting the link, photos, or whatever else you want to post, find the drop-down menu next to “Post” that should say “Friends.” You can select “Custom” from the list and in the box that pops up, you’ll see “Hide From,” where you can enter the name of the person or people you’d prefer didn’t see it. If you have multiple people you regularly hide things from (like coworkers), you can create a list in much the same way as you added people to your restricted list. Enter the name of the list into the “Hide From” box. You’ll be the only one who can see the name of each list, so you can name it anything you like. You can set your default privacy settings under “Privacy Settings,” which will select who will see anything you post when you don’t have the option to customize, like from a mobile device.
The reverse works as well: if you’re posting intimate family photos and would prefer to share them with only family, or you want to share those crazy party photos with your closest friends, select “Custom” from the drop-down menu next to the post box and under “Make This Visible to” and beside “These People or Lists.” Select “Specific People or Lists” and enter in the list or names of the lucky few.
If you want to set new friend request to be on a specific list once they accept (so that they can’t see everything right away), you can go to their profile and click on “Add Friend.” Once that box turns into “Friend Request Sent,” you can click on it and select the list you would like the person to be on. Alternately, if the person adds you, as soon as you accept the request you can visit the person’s profile, hover over the “Friends” button under the cover photo, and a list of lists will appear, from which you can choose the appropriate list.
Posting questionable content isn’t a good idea because you never know when Facebook will change its privacy settings. Soon enough, these techniques will be obsolete and we’ll be scrambling to hide our content in new ways, but for now, you can protect your reputation from the judgmental eyes of your acquaintances.