The 10 biggest mistakes people make on Facebook

Facebook is fun -- until somebody gets fired, divorced, infected with malware, or worse. Don't let these things happen to you.

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I know, I know: Some out there will say merely using Facebook is a mistake. This blog post isn't for you -- feel free to move along to the comment forums on OldGuysWhoSmellLikeAsparagus.com. As for the rest of you, take heed.

I'm using Facebook as the primary example here, but the many of the same rules apply to Twitter, MySpace (sorry -- My____), and the 3,247 other social networks out there. If you can, try to avoid the following social network faux pas:

1. Using your account strictly for promotional purposes. Yeah, we know, people do this on Twitter all the time (and we secretly hate them for it). But if you only use Facebook to drive people to your site/article/cause du jour, you'll find yourself being quietly unfriended as well as ignored. Make at least half your posts personal and your peeps will find the promos more palatable.

[ See also: Facebook: The Medium is the message ]

2. Getting too personal. Did we really need to hear the intimate details of your latest Jagermeister jag or see photos of your recent colonoscopy? We think not. And neither will your prospective employers (45 percent check out Facebook accounts before hiring, per Career Builder), college admissions officers (10 percent, per Kaplan), or potential mates. Remember these three letters: TMI.

3. Drunken commenting. You've had a few pops, so you log onto Facebook and begin leaving comments on people's photos and posts. They seem absolutely hilarious at the time, but in the cold hangover light of morning you just look like an ass. May I recommend the Social Media Sobriety Test?

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