Social Media and Facebook

Understanding Social Media and facebook

Facebook is a place to share stories, see the world through the experiences on others, and to connect with family and friends. But, like any social network, not everyone on Facebook shares these positive intentions.

In this article, we’ll focus on Facebook “friending”  – inviting or accepting people to connect on Facebook and become Facebook friends.

Make yourself familiar with the terms below so that you can have an important conversation with your child about how to keep Facebook truly ‘friendly’,


  • Don’t accept a friend request before checking out someone’s profile
  • You should only accept people who you have met before, or people you have lots of friends in common with (and you’re sure that it’s not a fake profile)
  • Likewise, don’t invite people that you don’t know or have never met in person before


If you feel that you no longer want to be Facebook friends with someone:

  • Go to their profile
  • Hover over the ‘Friends’ button (at the top)
  • Select “Unfriend”

The person will not be notified that you’ve done this, but if you want to become their friend again you’ll need to send a new friend request.


Following is handy for when you’d like to see someone’s posts in your News Feed, but don’t necessarily want to be their Facebook friend (this is great for the posts of political figures, celebrities, journalists etc.).


You can also choose to unfollow friends to avoid seeing their posts. To unfollow a Page, person, or group:

  • Hover over the ‘Following’ button on the profile (near the cover photo)
  • Select ‘unfollow’


This is a more extreme version of unfriending – if you block someone they won’t be able to communicate with you on Facebook, see anything you post, tag you in photos, invite you to groups or events or add you as a friend.

This tool is a safety feature to prevent unwanted harassment or prying. To block someone:

  • Click the lock icon (top right)
  • Click “How do I stop someone from bothering me?”
  • Enter the name of the person you want to block
  • Click “Block”

Facebook is open to children over the age of 13. The sooner you can chat to your teen about his or her Facebook friending, the better. If possible, help your child set up their first Facebook profile so that you can point out these important safety tips as you go.