10 Facebook FAQs - dummies

By Carolyn Abram

Facebook is a complex tool with a ton of social nuances, many of which have yet to be standardized. There are a lot of different features, and Facebook changes a lot. To keep up with Facebook, like the official Facebook Page, and you’ll get updates straight from the horse’s mouth.

Do people know when I look at their Facebook timelines?

No. When people see stories about their friends pop up on their Home page, they sometimes get a little anxious that this means Facebook is tracking everything everyone does and publishing it to everyone else. That’s not true. Unless someone is looking over your shoulder as you browse, your searches are strictly private. No one is ever directly notified about them.

I Friended Too Many People and Now I Don’t Like Sharing Stuff — What Can I Do?

You can fix this problem by using Friend Lists. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Hover your mouse over the left sidebar to expand it.

  2. Click the lock icon next to your name at the top of the list.

  3. Click See More Settings at the bottom of the menu.

  4. On the left side of the Privacy Settings and Tools page, click Blocking.

  5. Click Edit List across from the Restricted List.

  6. In the upper-left corner of the pop-up window, click to change the display from On This list to Friends.

  7. Click the faces of people you don’t want to see your posts.

  8. Click Finish.

What’s with the New Facebook — Can I Change It Back?

No matter how much you hate it, Facebook rarely goes back on a redesign like that. You won’t be able to change it back, and the best thing you can do is try to figure out the new site. Check out the Help Center or Facebook’s Page to read about the layout changes and how the site works.

Short answer: No; you can’t change it back.

I Have a Problem with my Account — Can You Help Me?

Sometimes the problems are Facebook’s fault, and sometimes they are user errors. Most account problems can be resolved only by Facebook employees with special access to the specific tool required to fix an account.

What Do I Do with Friend Requests I Don’t Want to Accept?

There isn’t exactly a social convention for this yet. Just know that there are a number of actions you can take:

  • Many people just leave the request sitting there forever. This action clutters up your account.

  • Click Not Now. It sends the request to the hidden requests section of the Friends page, where you won’t see it anymore.

  • If you don’t want to accept because you don’t want that person having access to your Timeline, you can accept the request and add him to a special restricted Friend List. Go into your Privacy settings and exclude that Friend List from seeing your Timeline.

  • If you don’t want to accept because you don’t want to read about that person in your News Feed, no problem! The first time she shows up in News Feed, hover over the story and click the caron at the upper-right of the story. Choose Hide.

Why Can’t I Find my Friend?

You won’t be able to find a friend for the following few reasons:

  • She hasn’t joined Facebook. You can always invite her to join.

  • She goes by a different name on Facebook to protect her privacy. Search for her by e-mail address or phone number.

  • She has a common name. Facebook Search looks at things like friends in common and shared hometowns, but sometimes it comes up empty.

  • She doesn’t have much information filled out on her Timeline. If you’re looking for a high school friend but she never entered her high school information, you may not find her.

  • She blocked you. Enough said.

Will Facebook Start Charging Me to Use the Site?

Another simple answer: No.

This rumor makes the rounds every now and again via people’s statuses. There are several variations, but they always seem to involve asking you to repost the status that Facebook is shutting down/going to start charging/running out of names. Don’t fall victim to this. Facebook has long maintained that it will always be free to users. Unless you’re advertising, Facebook will always have space for you for free.

How Do I Convince my Friends to Join Facebook?

Most methods for persuasion involve showing your friend the value by sending him links to the photos you post on Facebook, putting his e-mail address on the invite of event and group invitations, or even sending him links and messages from the Facebook Inbox.

One common complaint from people who haven’t joined is that they “don’t have time for another computer thing.” To this concern, one common response is that Facebook is an efficiency tool that often saves a person time compared to using old-school methods.

What If I Don’t Want Everyone Knowing my Business?

You can be an extremely private person and still derive nearly all the same value out of Facebook as anyone else. All you have to do is learn how to use the Privacy controls and lock down all your information and access to your Timeline, ensuring that only those you trust can see your info.

Does Facebook Have a Feature That Lets Me Lock Myself Out for a Few Hours?

Short answer: Not really.

Long answer: Many people do deactivate their accounts. Deactivation is a way of shutting down your account temporarily. It means that no one will see your Timeline or be able to interact with you on Facebook. The benefit of such an action is that you’re guaranteed not to get notifications about messages, picture tags, Timeline posts, or anything else.

The reason it’s not a real solution is because all you have to do to reactivate at any time is to enter your password, and you’re completely back to normal.