Social Media

Here are instructions and reviews of social media sites and apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, along with general social media advice.

How to use the Facebook Acquaintances List to hide annoying updates

Friends except Acquaintances

We all have those friends – the ones that post status updates continuously throughout the day, overwhelming your news feed with pictures of their breakfast croissant, pictures of their dogs, their grocery list, and the latest viral videos. You like this friend and want to stay in touch, but you’re just not interested in every single detail of their daily life.
Here’s an updated method for keeping someone’s updates off your news feed.

Recommended Reading: It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens


Earlier this year I read It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd. boyd (she uses lower case) is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft. Her research examines the intersection between technology and society. Over the course of 10 years she interviewed over 100 teens, gathering data to better understand teenage behavior in our social media landscape. Some of her findings surprised me.

What is Nearby Friends on Facebook?

Facebook Nearby Friends allows for easy sharing of location

A few days ago I shared how your iPhone keeps tabs on where you are. Well, Facebook does too. “Nearby Friends” on Facebook mobile lets friends know that you’re nearby. If you have the Facebook app on your phone (iPhone or Android) you have this feature available. Nearby Friends is an opt-in feature; meaning, it is OFF unless you turn the feature ON. Let’s take a closer look at Nearby Friends, including what it might mean for teens.

Tag, You’re it – what does it mean to be “Tagged” on Facebook and other sites?

Untag a photo

If you’re new to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you may have heard of “tagging” but are not really sure what it means. Simply put, tagging identifies someone else in a post, photo or status update that you share. A tag may also notify that person that you have mentioned them or referred to them in a post or a photo, and provide a link back to their profile.

5 Minute Facebook Privacy Checkup

Who can see my future posts?

Facebook privacy settings can be so confusing. Facebook seems to change their settings frequently and the myriad of options can be overwhelming. Recently a friend realized that he had been sharing his Facebook posts not just with his friends, but with everyone on Facebook. When your posts are public, there is an increased chance that you will show up in Facebook search, and that your information is exposed to people you don’t know. So here is a suggested 5-minute Facebook review to make sure that you are only sharing with your friends.

How to Distance yourself from a Facebook friend without Unfriending

Facebook logo

A relative of mine asked me, “What can I do if I don’t want to see someone’s updates on Facebook, but I’d rather not unfriend or block them?” Here’s how to make it seem like you have unfriended a person. First, you will prevent their updates from showing up on your news feed (the page you see when you first log into Facebook). Then, you can prevent them from seeing your updates.

Who can see what I’ve shared from a public Facebook page?

Facebook logo

I recently received a question from a reader about Facebook privacy: “How can I be hidden in the sharing list when I share something from a public page? (By sharing list I mean the list of who has shared a post, that everyone can see.)” Only people who would have reason to see your posts in the first place would see that you have shared something from a public page. Your best bet – look for the globe! For details, read on.