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And there are some things you might want to do if you are a Facebook user.  Many Kenyans will access the web through a public space – internet cafe or library or borrowed laptop.

Log Off – Could you do yourself a favour and remember to log off your account?  It is pretty dangerous to leave your Facebook page open.  You wouldn’t do that with your email.  Don’t expect the person using a public computer after you to log you off.  They may decide to post something seditious, like hate speech, or something inappropriate and you will have to spend lots of time trying to get out of a legal mess or lost friends.

Keep it Civil – Facebook and other such spaces, I hear, are moving to a situation where they will keep all information ever posted on file FOR GOOD.  It’s exciting news.  For them.  For us, it means be very careful.  Anything you say will be kept and if you delete it, there will be a record that you deleted it.  We post lots of things on the spur of the moment when gripped by strong emotions like extreme happiness, anger, jealousy and the pain of a losing soccer team.  Then we post without thinking.  By tomorrow, it is regrettable that we mentioned in Facebook that the boyfriend who just dumped us has E.D., we regret saying how diluting juice has upped our profits this quarter and we regret the picture we sent of ourselves in beach wear.  Now it has been shared and you can no longer trace it.  It’s not that we will in future run for the presidency.  We would.  But right now, we have jobs, reputations and loved ones to protect.

Use the DM – Direct messages can be used and should be used as email.  Private spaces where two people can exchange conversation.  The wall is for public messages like Happy Birthday.

Remember your friend’s list – How many people do you have on your Facebook Friend list?  1’000.  Who are they?  Silence.  Remember who they are.  If you will rant and rave about office matters, remember that some of your workmates are in your list.

Block – This is a most helpful tool in Facebook.  Block people who are not serving you on Facebook.  People who lay out your dirty laundry for you on Facebook by including your private stuff on walls.  People who take your photos and use photoshop to make you look naked, fat or in wrong company, people who repeat private conversations on walls, people who approach your friends by using your name…I’m Anna’s friend, can we chat?  People who always seem to copy everyone in emails “mistake”, stalkers, etc, etc.  Anyone who becomes a pain in the ass on Facebook can and should be blocked.

Remember Tomorrow – Facebook is a tool that now has a timeline.  It means that tomorrow, when you’re dead and gone, people may use your posts and pictures to remember you.  At the end of the day, the big question is: How do you want to be remembered?

 

 

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