I have a Facebook Friend, he sent me a Friend Request several years ago, and because I was still at the “new and impressed” stage of my Facebook history I thought to myself “Why not?” He looked interesting enough. I was there after all to make new friends and discover the Facebook world.
It was only after we had been Friends for a while, and had some pretty good conversations, that I checked out his ‘Friends’ list, and discovered he was a ‘collector’. You know the ones…. Guys that send out Friend Requests to women they like the look of, lots of them, and gather the ones that actually accept his Friend Request, into their harem.
These ‘collectors’ usually respond to the sorts of women whose pictures are a little bit saucy. Bikini shots, provocative facial expressions, semi-nude, or sexily dressed, or even just attractive and nice. These guys troll Groups and Pages, and worse, their Friend’s Friend Lists for new ‘conquests’. Why they do this should not be such a mystery, I’m guessing it’s for the pictures; we all know how visual guys are. And judging by some of the pictures I see being posted on Facebook, they are getting lots and lots of satisfaction.
Anyway, I’m not telling you this little anecdote as an indictment on my Friend, I’m describing it because his activity on Facebook highlighted a possible area of weakness on Facebook. Through his Likes of the pictures posted by his harem, I have been able to discern exactly what his ‘tastes’ are. You see, when you Like a picture on Facebook, if the person posting that picture has left the Privacy setting on it as ‘Public’ , or as “Friends of Friends’, then everyone on your Friend list will see your Like in their News Feed, providing they are looking at their News Feed at the time your Like is posted, or for the duration it is visible for above the line.
Now, not everyone spends as much time on Facebook as I do (it is my job after all), so not everyone is so acutely aware of what their Friends are up to as I am, but it was just one of his Likes that piqued my attention and caused me to somewhat subconsciously look out for him in my News Feed. And soon I was discovering all sorts of things about his tastes in women, clothing styles, poses and tattoo placement.
Perhaps I should mention here that I have used the Facebook ‘Lists’ functionality to segregate all my Friends into different Lists:
- Close Friends
- Work Friends
- Stalkers (kidding)
- Watch List (people who are ‘helping’ me with my work)
I’m not spending the whole day viewing what every single one of my Friends is up to. I usually check in with my Family and Close Friends Lists in the morning, and throughout the day, then, if I have time I might browse some of my other Lists.
I have noticed that I can learn quite a lot about my Friends by what they. For instance, I have a Friend in the USA who likes French cooking sites. She Likes a lot of pictures of cassoulet and rabbit stew, and cheese.
Another Friend likes polar bears, so you can guess the type of pictures she Likes a lot.
But then there are those Friends, usually male, whose Likes make me look again and say “Really?”
Which led me to the question “What do your Likes say about you?”
As a Socially Secure Individual, you want to know exactly what it is you are putting out there in the digital domain. This means being familiar with all the privacy settings on the social media applications you use. Some of these applications change their privacy setting often, and often without notification, so you need to check them regularly and thoroughly.
Here’s one tip for today:
Before you Like a photo, or an article or anything else on Facebook, check what the privacy setting is. If it is Public, then ask yourself if you want the whole of your Facebook world to know that you Like it?
You can also ask all your Friends to unsubscribe from your Likes and other actions on Facebook like this:
“As you all know I like to keep my FB private except to those I am friends with. So if you all would do the following, I’d appreciate it. With the new FB timeline on its way this week for EVERYONE. . . please do both of us a favour: Hover over my name above. In a few seconds you’ll see a box that says “Subscribed”. Hover over that, then go to “Comments and Likes” and unclick it. That will stop my posts and yours to me from showing up on the side bar for everyone to see, but most importantly it limits hackers from invading our profiles. If you repost this I will do the same for you. You’ll know I’ve acknowledged you because if you tell me that you’ve done it I’ll “Like” it.
And yes, the best way is still to just think about what you are doing, and be a present and aware content creator.