Ah Facebook… Love it or hate it, majority of us have (or had) a profile on Facebook, and you have to admit it, we just love having a nose at other people’s updates and photos. It’s human nature to be nosy and there’s no cure for it unfortunately.
I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook and I could write a dedicated blog post why, but I won’t do that today. Today’s blog post is all about taking a step back and reviewing your own activity on Facebook, especially if you’re newly engaged or in the process of planning your wedding.
It is easy to get carried away in the excitement of planning a wedding and update your status or upload a photo on FB, especially via your smartphone. Sometimes, you can get too carried away and put too much information on FB, without thinking of possible consequences.
Your latest update about finding the perfect wedding venue might be the most important news of the day and get a few ‘Likes’, but for others, they probably don’t care, not interested or fall asleep. Do this on a daily basis and your FB friends will eventually get bored or, dare I say it, ‘Unfriend’ you.
I’ve witnessed too many shocking, questionable and ‘too much information’ updates from other friends and friend of friends on FB in the run up to their wedding day. I’ve often questioned myself ‘Why would you share that on FB?’ or ‘They are going to regret saying that‘.
I’m not innocent either – I’ve slipped up and posted something silly on Facebook about my wedding planning one or twice, but I’ve learn’t my lesson and here to share my experience and advice.
So before you hit ‘Send’ on your latest update about your wedding planning, here are some pointers to consider.
1. Check your privacy settings on Facebook – this is something you should do regularly, regardless if you’re getting married or not. Facebook changes the layouts, features and settings on a regular basis and they don’t usually highlight these to their users. Review your settings and take control who can see your updates, photos and check-ins.
2. Check and double check your Facebook friends – it’s healthy to do a ‘friend-cull’ on FB and now is the perfect time in doing this. Sit down, go through all of your FB friends and ‘unfriend’ anyone you haven’t spoken to in years, don’t want to know any more, anyone you don’t want them knowing about you getting married and any past boyfriends and girlfriends, especially the trouble makers!
If you’re not ruthless enough to hit ‘Unfriend’, well ask yourself this – ‘If I saw them in the street, would I say Hi to them?’. If the answer is no, Unfriend them.
Remember, FB is not a popularity contest. You are not ranked by the number of friends you have.
3. Do all of your 489 friends need to know about your latest wedding dress fitting? – Or any other details about your wedding planning? Majority of your friends will be very happy about your engagement and looking forwards in attending your wedding (if they are invited). However, not everyone will appreciate an hourly update about your wedding planning.
Try keep your status updates about your wedding planning to a minimum or be selective what information you put on FB. It’s ok to share key milestones like confirmation of your wedding date, six month countdown and hen and stag weekends. It’s an exciting time and you want to share it with everyone. You’re only going to get married once (we hope!).
But, don’t update your profile with every little detail like your wedding diet or latest argument with your bridesmaids. There are some updates that shouldn’t be published on FB like:
Don’t post anything like ‘Yay! Picking up wedding rings today‘ or ‘I’ve got my Jenny Packham wedding dress‘ or anything of high value – it’s just an open invitation for a FB ‘friend’ with a criminal mind to break into your home and steal your expensive wedding items and gifts.
Don’t put every little detail of your big day like you’ve booked a certain band to perform at your wedding party, hog roast as your wedding breakfast or have a photo-booth for the guests. Keep things ‘offline’ until the big day and leave a few surprises for your guests on the day. Your guests are more likely to remember and talk about your wedding afterwards if you had surprises in store for them. Announcing what you have booked for the wedding on FB just kills your guests’ wedding excitement.
Updates on the guest list and wedding invitations can be a political subject to put on FB, especially if you’ve decided not to invite a certain friend, someone is expecting an invite or you simply can’t invite everyone to your wedding. Puting a status about your wedding invites being delivered can cause unpredictable reactions within your circle of friends, so best keep this ‘offline’.
And lastly, don’t put details of any arguments or opinions of family or friends (no matter how vague) on FB. Not even people that are not on FB. They will find out from someone what you ‘said’ on FB and it will come back round and bite you on the bum. It is very easy, too easy, to upset people online, especially when status updates are mis-read or ‘read between the lines’. Any delicate wedding matters, family politics or arguments with your bridesmaids should be kept off-line. Pick up the phone or go and visit them and discuss the problem like adults.
Remember, it only takes one status update, check-in or photo upload to make someone to unfollow, block or unfriend you on Facebook.
4. Talk your your fiancé – before you update your status for all of your FB friends about your latest wedding hiccup. I’m not saying ask for their permission before updating your status – if you have some news or update on your wedding plans that you simply have to tell the whole world, talk to your fiancé first.
Remember, there are two of you in a marriage not one. Your fiancé should be the first to know about any changes or developments in your wedding arrangements, not your FB friends. There are some things you wished you didn’t find out on FB and would prefer being told in person or by email for example a close friend is pregnant.
Talk to them first, then decide if its worthy of a Facebook update.
5. Don’t make your wedding a Facebook Event – your wedding day is going to be one of your important days of your life, it deserves something far more superior than a digital invite. There are some special occasions that shouldn’t never, ever become a FB event, and a Wedding Day is one of them. Not even a Group! A big NO NO in my book.
When an event is not created properly on FB i.e not selecting the correct privacy tick box, it can easily been viewed by friends of friends, or appear in search results for everyone to see. By everyone, I don’t mean all of your friends, but the WHOLE Facebook universe. With details of the wedding church, chapel, venue and/or reception on display with timings for the day, you’re making it easy for potential wedding crashers to turn up. Including any unwanted guests, stalkers or obsessed exes.
Also, organised criminals and burglars search FB for open events like this to find out when you’re out or away for the day(s) and find opportunities to break into your home. Sorry to scare you but it happens regularly in the USA and a few cases have been reported by police in the UK. Here’s an article on how burglars use Facebook to target people away or on holiday.
What about other social media?
This common sense approach can be applied to other social media platforms, not just on Facebook. I’ve focused on Facebook for this blog post as majority of people have a profile here and familiar with the layout.
If you use other social media platforms, here’s things to consider:
Twitter – you can either limit how much you’re tweeting about your wedding arrangements or protect your tweets. End of the day, it is down to your followers.
Instagram – not every photo you take needs to have the Instagram treatment and posted here. Any photos you take on your smartphone as part of your wedding research should be kept offline. Same thought as Facebook – you can give away too much information about your wedding on Instagram, so keep those pics for your eyes only.
Pinterest – if you’re pinning your whole wedding here as part of your wedding research, you probably need to decide if you want to make your boards secret or not. You’ll probably decide to leave your boards public and for everyone to view as it’s highly likely not many of your friends are aware of Pinterest and what it is. If you do have nosy friends or a competitive bride to be who’s desperate to snoop on your plans, it might be worth setting your boards to private.
Hope this post has made you think about how much information you put up on social media and ensure you keep friends on Facebook (or followers on Twitter) during the months, weeks and days leading up to your big day.
Have a good weekend!