Top Tips for Social Networking

Ensure that you are a popular player online, and that you can contemplate your own profile without recoiling. Our Coming of Age course tells you how to get the most out of social networking.

Here are some other useful tips:

You don't have to make friends with people you don't know.  It's not a competition to see how many friends you can get.

Always wait 24 hours before accepting or removing someone as a friend.  The delay will help you gather your thoughts.

Birthdays, engagements and weddings are not 'virtual' events.  Always send birthday cards or call your friends when there's important news.

Consider your friends' feelings before posting pictures.  Put yourself in their shoes before clicking 'upload.'

Think carefully about your profile picture - if you don't want to see it in your local newspaper, don't put it online.

Don't post a glamour, vintage or re-touched photo on Facebook; your narcissism will be nakedly obvious. Opt for a recent, unposed snapshot.

Don't post minute-by-minute updates to your relationship status. Out in the real world, relationships are subtle, complex and dynamic; a 'single' update could be a sledgehammer blow to any rapprochement. It's probably safer to remove the relationship status line.

Do some housekeeping on your Facebook wall. If old friends are posting embarrassing jokes or incriminating pictures, remove them, or even ask friends if they would consider doing so. It might be awkward, but you don't want your profile to be dogged by the detritus of your past.

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