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Social Networking Basics

How social network platforms are used depends on the users, not necessarily the designers. Social network sites are dynamic, constantly changing environments and each community develops its own standards, rules, and best practices.

Choosing a Site

  • All social network sites are not equal. Each one has its own rules so try to notice the norms and use patterns of a community before jumping in.
  • Learn a little about the nature and reach of the social network before you set up an account and go live.
  • Ask a more experienced user about things you should know.
  • Keep it clean and civil.

Managing Your Space

  • Learn how to use privacy settings to limit the content others can see and share on your site.
  • You don’t have to accept everyone who requests to be your friend, especially strangers. They can be as dangerous in the virtual world as they are in the real world.
  • If you want to friend someone you don’t know, explain why you’re contacting them so you have a better chance of having him or her accept your request.
  • Don’t post comments, photos, videos, or links that would be embarrassing to yourself or others.
  • Reply to emails only from people you know.

Unfriending, Unfollowing, and Ignoring

On some sites, you may end up friending a person who you later want to unfriend. It is definitely okay to actively unfriend someone you no longer feel comfortable being connected with. Most sites don’t send a person a message if you unfriend them but check the FAQs first to be sure that your technology matches your intent.

It’s Your Page

It’s okay to:
  • Ignore a friend request.
  • Untag yourself from a photo or ask someone to remove a photo of you from their page.
  • Delete a friend’s comment on your page.
  • Unfriend someone whose presence on your page makes you uncomfortable.
  • Ignore quizzes, groups, and widely marketed event requests.
  • Use privacy settings to restrict access to your page.