Welcome to the Badger Herald’s technology column, Technologic, which will run once every two weeks in the ArtsEtc. section. With technology continually changing, this column will break down everything technology. Today, we tackle the all-important Facebook.

At some point in time, chances are someone has warned you about the “dangers” of Facebook. You know: Keep your profile private, don’t put your address in your info and, of course, remember that any pictures of you near any sort of alcohol AT ALL will follow you EVERYWHERE for the REST OF YOUR LIFE and you’ll NEVER get hired because of it.

This is all good advice, though I’m not sure how practical it is. After all, in 20 years, everyone is going to have a Facebook (or whatever social media site comes along next) filled with pictures of him or her doing stupid things. Just imagine the day the day when presidential campaigns won’t be complete without smear ads full of these pictures. “Oh sure, I might have 19 pictures of me doing keg stands, but my opponent, he has 28! Is this really the guy we want running our country?”

That day, however, is not here. Today, Facebook pictures could be harmful to your future job search. Luckily, there are ways to make sure your Facebook page is protected rather than spend hours of your life verifying there are no red cups (or cans, or bottles, or any signs of alcohol within a two mile radius) around you every time you take a picture. (Although, if you do manage this — without the use of Photoshop during the four years here — I think you deserve some kind of honorable mention and a medal to wear around your neck at graduation.)

As a senior, I’d like to share some advice so you hopefully don’t make some of the same mistakes I’ve seen others make:

1) Actually know who your friends are. Freshmen, I know, I know, it’s super tempting to add all those people in your floor’s Facebook group you just joined, but don’t do this unless you’ve actually met them in person. You have no idea who these people are and you don’t know that they’re not crazy. Worse yet, they might turn you in to your house fellow after you post pictures of you and your new friends playing beer pong in your dorm room on a Tuesday night.

2) Clean out your friends. Do you really need to be “friends” with that girl who sat next to you during your sophomore year of high school in social studies? Have you even seen her since graduation? No. Instead, your Facebook friends should be your actual friends, so you don’t risk the chance of a “friend” doing something with your drunken photos that you wouldn’t want. If you really feel bad about deleting that girl from high school, then sort your friends into lists. Name one “pictures” and one “no-pictures,” then set your album so only your “pictures” list can actually see the photos that chronicle your life.

3) Perhaps the easiest suggestion you can take is to control your privacy settings and make every one of them “Friends Only.” (These options can be altered under the “Account” tab at the top right of your profile.) That way, no one can publically see your pictures, videos or wall posts. You can even make yourself completely unsearchable on Facebook.

While there can be negative side effects of Facebook, there are definite upsides to the social networking site. Facebook is a great place to get to know your new friends or figure out if you and that cute guy you just met have similar musical tastes. Plus, if you add the people you meet in your classes, it’s a great way to get notes when you miss class on Friday mornings when you happen to be too sick (cough hungover cough cough) to make it to that 8:50 discussion.

Rachel Vesco is a senior majoring in journalism, political science and Facebook stalking. For future column ideas, send her an email to [email protected] (or find her on Facebook).