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The ultimate guide to proper Facebooking

By Simcha Whitehill, The Frisky
Keep your Facebook both fun to use and appropriate for family to read.
Keep your Facebook both fun to use and appropriate for family to read.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Maintain your Facebook by deleting incriminating photos and posts
  • Don't update too frequently -- once a day is more than enough
  • If you've had a bad breakup, don't delete an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend from your page
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(The Frisky) -- Social networking on the Internet is the easiest way to keep in touch with your pals, tell people what you're up to without, you know, talking to them, promote your parties, and bask in your buddies' love.

Back in the day, MySpace was like the Wild West -- you could post, do, and say anything you wanted. Heck, it turned hussies like Tila Tequila into "stars" with their own TV shows.

But now everyone -- including our parents -- has jumped on the Facebook bandwagon. (It's so mainstream there's already a scripted movie about the start of Facebook, "The Social Network," which opened last week.)

So how do you keep your page fun to use yet still appropriate for your family and co-workers to read? Here are 8 important tips:

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1. Tag, you're it!

Every time someone posts a picture of me with my eyes closed, a chubby double chin, sweat stains, and a face full of runny mascara, I want to die and/or kill them. But, luckily, it's easy to do some easy damage control. Simply click on the offensive pic, then remove the tag.

2. Don't drink and type

After a fun-filled party night, you're all amped! Then you come home and surf the Internet because you're not ready to go to bed. It's only natural. But beware! Perusing Facebook is one thing; trying to drunkenly express yourself in a comment or befriending someone you wouldn't if you were sober is another.

So look but don't touch your page or your friends' pages when you're loaded. You don't want to wake up with a hangover and a rude awakening from something stupid you wrote.

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3. Do not delete exes

Sure, you want to get rid of them from your life physically, but unfriending them after you've established Internet friendship makes you look pathetic and bitter. Besides, if they're obsessed enough with you to check your page, let them stalk away.

After all, it's as close to you as they'll ever get again. And if you manage your page right, you'll always be there looking good -- the best revenge you could possibly have. But there IS an exception to every rule, so of course, if your ex is like OJ Simpson, you should for sure delete him.

4. Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Everyone modifies their interests, hobbies, and headlines. And sure, updating your status is a great way to draw attention to your page, but you don't want negative attention.

Never click update more than once in a day. Nothing makes you look more like a paranoid, obsessed loser than changing your info multiple times in the stretch of mere hours -- nothing is private on Facebook, including the frequency of your activity. So commit to your changes and let them go, at least a little while, before you change them again.

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5. Manage your image

Don't empty your camera memory card onto your page. Your photo album shouldn't have 200 snapshots of you from last Halloween in a barely there costume.

Edit the way you want to be seen, especially now that many employers dig into their potential hires' personal info by looking them up online. Keep your sexy self-portraits a secret. A couple shots with cleavage are OK, but, overall, keep it pretty low-key and tame.

6. Keep it classy

You have the right to choose what is printed about you on the Internet. If someone posts a comment about something wild you did back in college, you can and should erase it!

Save that stuff in your memory bank for reunions, because those are inside jokes; otherwise, the joke will be on you when it hits the public domain. And, in turn, when you write on someone's page about something crazy they did, it's guilt by association -- so don't incriminate yourself!

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7. Post-personality

Your page should look and sound like you. Post a couple pics with cool cultural references, fill in your faves, and don't be afraid to be funny. It's cool to see what music, TV shows, and YouTube videos you have in common with your friends.

But, reading your interests shouldn't take as long as War and Peace. Trim down your likes to the essentials. With everyone from potential bosses to potential boyfriends scouring the web for dirt, why not broadcast the best version of yourself; they have plenty of time down the road to see your dark side.

8. Stay away from strangers

The Internet is a great matchmaker. And, sure, that hot guy who friend-requested you may seem totally cool, but if you don't know him or his band, it's best not to accept him into your inner Facebook circle. Who knows what he'll do once he has carte blanche on your page!

Granted, these people will probably just spam you, but still, why give them the access? And just because you have friends in common doesn't mean you have to accept them. Don't give in to peer pressure! If you don't know them, you don't know them. Be more discriminating than the "friends" you have in common.

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