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Tips for a better personal Facebook account Tips for a better personal Facebook account
by Joseph Gatt
2019-04-08 09:20:32
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The analogy I often use is your Facebook profile is like your virtual home. When you invite someone to your real home, you don't want them to see shoes all over the place and socks all over the place and laundry all over the place and incoherent furniture and an undone bed. So why would you use a chaotic Facebook profile for everyone to see?

So here's what your Facebook profile should look like, in my opinion.

faceProfile information

That's the first thing people see when they visit your Facebook profile. What you put in your profile information such as current city, hometown, date of birth, family ties is a matter of personal choice. Facebook has changed its algorithm and no longer encourages people to click on your favorite quotes, religious and political views so most people won't go searching for that information.

Choosing your hometown is a tricky one. A lot of rural folks or immigrants choose their big city of adoption as their hometown, which can cause some people back home to raise eyebrows. Remember if you don't want to offend people, you can always choose to abstain from providing information.

Marital status is another tricky one. Some choose to mention their relationship status and the person they are in a relationship with, while others simply state their relationship status, while others refrain from doing so. Again that's a matter of personal choice, but you want to avoid a flirty profile picture if you are indeed in a relationship, without mentioning the person you are in a relationship with.

Profile picture

The best question to ask yourself when choosing a profile picture is: what picture of myself would I send my parents if there were no Internet and I was to send them a postcard. What picture would I send my siblings accompanied with a postcards? My extended family? My college friends? My colleagues? My high school friends? What picture would I choose if I were to send a postcard to all of the above?

So a profile picture merits great thought and meticulous thinking, because that's the one everyone who bumps into you will see. I would suggest a half-body picture where you look fit and relaxed, in an undisclosed location, and one with just yourself. I tend not to recommend sunglasses or props, and tend to recommend pictures where you look relaxed and natural.

Liked pages

Now this is where the house analogy kicks in. Do you want your shoes to be on the deck in near perfect order, or do you want shoes, boots, socks, slippers lying all over the place?

If you have over 100 liked pages, I suggest you unlike them all and clean up your liked pages. I tend to recommend that you like the following:

-Your friends' businesses or promotional pages
-Promotional pages of brands you really, really, really want to hear from
-Promotional pages of artists and celebrities you really, really, really want to hear from
-Media and newspapers that you actually read on a regular basis
-Books, movies, and events that really blew your mind away
-Causes you really care about, but then limit yourself to two or three liked pages, you don't want to like every single chapter of your cause.

As for the rest, groups are what you should follow


Facebook is trying to get rid of groups, and technically groups are not visible on your Facebook profile.  You can follow any group you like, and if you like chatting in groups, make sure it's worth your time.


Here's how I count. You had classrooms of thirty people in elementary, middle and high school. Let's suppose ten new students came in and ten left every year. That would mean thirty plus ten times twelve equals a hundred and fifty. Let's suppose you interacted with an additional fifty to a hundred people in school. That's two hundred and fifty people. You'll meet about a hundred and fifty people in college, about a hundred and fifty people in the military service (the figures are gross exaggerations) and a hundred and fifty people at random places like part-time jobs, parties, or friends of friends. And then there are about fifty to a hundred people in your extended family or village. All of that totals to about a thousand people.

I'm one of those who would advise for carefully selecting your friends, and not to add people who you don't have clear connections with. You shouldn't add people you've never met or met online, nor should you add people you've never talked to.

The timeline

Now just like you want a clean house and a nice place to visit, you want a clean timeline. For the timeline I suggest you updated on the following, if you want your friends to really like you.

-Publicly wishing congratulations and happy birthday to your dear ones and your loved ones. If your loved ones or dear ones pass an examination, have a birthday or a special event, include a note of appreciation on your timeline.

-Promote public family events that would otherwise end up in the newspapers, such as congratulatory notes, wedding announcements, birth announcements or obituaries.

-Sincere public notes of encouragement or congratulations to your best friends or good friends.

-Passing on and sharing information of friends who make public cries for help.


-Political commentary

-Sharing newspaper articles

-Constant pictures of yourself

-Notes about yourself

If you want to include the above, start a blog, and post a link to your blog. Political commentary or musings about life are more appropriate when shared on a blog, or perhaps on Twitter. Stand up comedians often say “thanks to Facebook I now understand why most people are not famous.”


Again use the postcard analogy. Imagine you had to send a postcards to everyone you've ever met. First of all you don't want to send a daily postcard to everyone you've ever met. You want to limit yourself to about a postcard a month or so. You want to include few pictures (unless this was a group event that lasted for like a week in which case you can post several pictures) and you don't want to include pictures of routine, mundane activities. Don't include pictures of what you had for dinner or a normal day at work. Include pictures of your job's Christmas party or your Bible study group's hike in the woods.

DOs and DON'Ts on Facebook

-DO be sincere.

-ONLY publicly congratulate for major public achievements. A birthday, a high school examination, or a gold or bronze medal at some event. DON'T post a congratulations message for your 2nd grade's son's A+ or Gold star.

-When looking for a job, use Facebook groups rather than your timeline. For any major or minor issue in life, post in adequate Facebook groups rather than on your timeline. DON'T discuss your personal issues on your timeline.

-DO use your personal blog for day to day activities, humor notes or musings. The great thing about blogs is that your friends occasionally stop by, and tend to read all the archives, so you can get an ego boost right there. But you don't want to invade people's walls with your political commentary or day to day activities.

-DO keep in mind that in many ways Facebook is a reflection of your personality. If you're a Democrat and you HATE Donald Trump and constantly post anti-Trump slogans, Trump supporters and ordinary people are not going to appreciate you. Nor will they appreciate you if you keep posting pictures of your dinner.

-If you own a business, you want to save business posts for your business page. You can advertise your business every now and then, or redirect your business page to your Facebook page, but people want to be your friend, not your business partner. Plus constantly posting about your business can be perceived as things not going so well in your business, because if the business was going well, you would have people visit your business page.

-Finally, I tend to advise against adding your co-workers on Facebook, especially if your workplace is the gossipy kind of place. Only add co-workers once you leave your job, or if you've been on the job long enough to have full guaranteed job security.


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