It’s hard to do, but a key survival rule in the Facebook jungle is to not get tangled in the swamplands. Don’t take things personally. There are times we need to know some ways to protect ourselves and to understand when others have restricted their access as well. Here are 3 ways:
Block – If you block someone, that person cannot find your profile in search, cannot see your wall, cannot see you tagged in a photo, and cannot see our comments. It is as if you do not exist. If you have a mutual friend, you may see that person in a photograph, but the person’s name will not be tagged. If you block someone and later rethink that decision, consider carefully before unblocking. Facebook will not allow you to reblock that person for 48 hours. There are people I block, and I am sure others have blocked me. That’s their choice – I’m fine with that. The key is to not take it personally. To block someone, click on the drop down arrow in the upper right corner, Privacy Settings, and then Blocked People and Apps. This is where you type in the person’s name or email to block.
Restrict – In your smart list on the left of your Home page, there is a list called Restricted. If you have a friend you need to keep as a friend for business reasons, but you don’t want that friend to have access to all your information, then click on that restricted list. In the upper right hand corner, click on Manage List, Add Members. Add that friend to the list. After you do so, that person will still be your friend. However, the only parts of your wall’s information that will be visible are posts you make global, or public. (I don’t recommend public posts on Facebook because once you do a public post it’s easy to not reset it so all future posts are public instead of restricted to friends.) There are people on my restricted list for varied and personal reasons. There are also “friends” who have opted to restrict my access to their walls. That’s their right. It gets awkward when it was one way and they later restrict it and I realize it. The key is to not take it personally.
Hide – Some of my friends are hot heads who enjoy more drama in their lives than I do in my middle-aged years. I go to Facebook to connect and build communities. If someone continually starts fights or is angry, I will most likely hide (or unsubscribe) from that friend’s updates. We can still be friends. My friend will never know the news feed is hidden. But I can enjoy my morning coffee without a heaping spoonful of angry ranting stirred into it.
You can choose who to invite into your own home. Same for who you invite into your social media world.