Computer geek, and self-appointed know-it-all, Westley Annis answers all those hard 
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Hide Your Online Presence on Facebook

Question asked on February 24, 2010 9:47 PM :: :: Comments (0) :: TrackBacks (0)

A lot of folks use Facebook to post quick little blurbs about what they are planning to do, are doing, or have just finished doing. It's a way of providing a window into their lives, whether it is part of their personal or working life.

The simplest way to do that is to just login to Facebook from your web browser and enter it into the “What's on your mind?” box at the top of the page. Since Facebook is all about communication and wanting to facilitate that communication, Facebook lets all of your friends know via the chat window, located in the lower right corner of your Facebook window.

This is a great feature for those who want to chat, but for someone in your scenario, it becomes an unwanted distraction when someone sees you online and wants to start chatting.

Fortunately, you can hide your online status. Open the chat window, click on the Options button, and select Go Offline. Even better, your online/offline status is saved between Facebook sessions. If you go offline in chat, you will stay offline until you decide to go online again.

As for the second part of your question, can you ignore a chat request? Absolutely. Social media consultant George Williams says “I leave chat turned off most of the time, but no. It is a communications channel of convenience, just like a phone. Despite the myths of the cell phone age it is perfectly valid to let a call go to voicemail.”

A few other ways you can update your Facebook status without worrying about chat requests is to post thru Twitter and let your tweets appear on Facebook (my favorite method). Use a desktop application, such as TweetDeck (the advantage of using a desktop app over Twitter is you won't be limited to Twitters 140 character limit). Or, you can post updates using text messaging thru your cellphone (you gain another 20 characters, but I haven't had the best of luck with Facebook and text messaging).

By the way, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, and LinkedIn.


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