Update: Yes, this is a bit of an anti-social move. But it is what I needed to do to start getting more value out of Facebook personally. I am very open online and talk to people I have never met often, especially through Twitter. This is more about segmenting for me, and of course not for everybody.
More and more people are looking to make their Facebook experience more of a personal one. There is a lot of noise out there and Facebook can get pretty loud if you have not been very descerning about the friendships you have requested over the years (high school friends, coworkers, Farmville friends, etc).
If you have decided to start trimming your Facebook relationships, one of the next step possible steps is to limit who can add you as a friend in the first place.
I recently did this because most of the friend requests I get are for professional reasons. Most of these connections fall into three buckets: readers of my blog, people I meet at conferences, or people that hear me speak.
I want to keep my personal Facebook experience relevant but I also want to maintain these professional relationships since people were kind enough to show their interest. The solution that was right for me was to hide my personal profile in search and to establish a professional page for myself where people can stay in touch with my social media writing and speaking.
Going through this process, I found out that hiding your personal Facebook profile form Facebook search was not very easy. I have gone to the trouble for you, so here is a simple step by step for how to hide your Facebook profile:
1. Find Your Privacy Settings
Login in to Facebook.com and click on “Account” and then “Privacy Settings” in the top right
2. Find Your Connection Settings
Click on “View Settings” under “Connecting on Facebook”.
3. Change Your Search Visibility
This top setting “Search for you on Facebook” is what will hide you in search results when other people try to find you. Set it to “Friends Only”.
It is importnat to note that “Your name, profile picture, gender and networks are visible to everyone”. So if someone does find your profile they will still see you are on Facebook. Additional settings on this page will allow you to control who can message you and request to add you as a friend.
You can leave your profile a little open so friends of friends can still message you and add you as a friend.
4. A Professional Page Option
Make sure when you name your professional fan page that you use your real name. Use your first and last name or whatever name people will mostly likely search for when trying to find you on Facebook.
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