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Top 5 Things to Do

You’ve finally gotten with the program and you’ve registered on Facebook. Now what? The stark white profile page can leave you wondering exactly what you’re all about and how you can let your individuality shine through. Don’t fret. Here are the five most important things you can do to start building the online—and real-world—relationships in your life.

1. Create your profile.

Think carefully about what you put in your profile—this is a virtual “you” and you should consider how the information on your Facebook profile will be interpreted. Do you want to use your profile to connect with friends or as a business networking tool? Determine what you want to get out of this site, then craft your profile accordingly. For business networking, make your profile look like a résumé and leave off your spring break photos. If you’re connecting with friends, post fun videos of your birthday party and a list of your theories on “Lost.”

2. Find your friends.

What’s a Facebook profile without some Facebook friends? First, search for people who are important in your life now, then work backward through other jobs, college and high school. You’ll be amazed who’s on Facebook. “Poke,” “friend” or message your friends and reconnect! Remember, never “friend” a person you don’t know.

3. Adjust your privacy settings.

You can never be too careful with your personal information. Familiarize yourself with the “privacy” settings on your page and adjust as frequently as you like. You can also “block” people or limit their access to your profile with the click of a button. As with any web program, don’t include too much identifying information on your profile, such as your cell phone, home address, home phone number, etc.

4. Don’t forget your real life.

It can be too easy to let a computer program stand in for your real-world relationships with your friends. Facebook is meant to supplement your relationships, not dominate them. Go for coffee or bowling with your friends, or call them up for a 90-minute chat-fest. While you’re at it, take some photos and upload them to your profile. Having an active real life will make your Facebook page more interesting!

5. Stay active on Facebook.

As with real life friendships and relationships, Facebook takes maintenance. Use Facebook in your daily routine the same way you’d check your email—view it as doing daily maintenance on your “network.” Join a college friend in the Scrabulous game application or “poke” a friend from work. These little daily messages remind your friends that you’re thinking about them, thus improving your overall relationships.

Posted: 1/21/08