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The Green Dot on Facebook: What It Means and the Power You have Over It

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We have always known the color green to be associated with envy, nature, luck, and safety.

But what does it mean on social media and specifically on Facebook?


Let’s break that down for you.

With over 2.45 billion active Facebook users, if you are not on the platform, you miss out on the fun and convenience it brings.

Like all other social media platforms, Facebook will help you build those much-needed connections and develop relationships. It makes communication easy, fun, and convenient among its users through its application called Messenger.

Every time you go online, your friends seem to know. Is it just a coincidence, or is someone spying on you?

Blame that on the famous green dot.

The green dot works both ways. The same way your friends can tell when you go online is the same way you will know when they do. The green dot will show on their profile.

Places Facebook Will Show You the Green Dot

On Facebook Messenger

We start by clarifying some confusion here.

A friend may accuse you of ignoring their texts or calls on Messenger because the green dot is visible on their App against your Facebook name on their end.

But how could you ignore them while you have not been using the Messenger App all day?

Here is the clarification; as long as you are active on Facebook, whether on Messenger, Website, or the App, the green dot will show on Messenger.

On Facebook Website

Now, let’s say you decided to check out a high school friend on the Facebook website. Luckily, your friend has not changed his or her name, and their Facebook profile pops up. If you spot the green dot, you are in luck.


You just found your long-lost buddy, and he or she is online. Meaning you two can connect and catch up right away.

Next to The Video Icon

The Messenger app brings your friends right in front of your face so that you can choose to either talk to them or not. It makes the search easy for you. Once you have decided who you would like to engage with, tap on their name, and that will lead you to a page that will give you three options to contact that friend. You can choose to either make a voice call, a video call, or chat them via text message.

If you need to make a video call to your friend, first confirm a green dot next to the video icon at the top of the page. If the green dot is missing here but available at the Messenger, your options are limited to text message and call.

There are two reasons why the video icon might not have the green dot:

If you have not linked your device’s camera to your Facebook account
If your friend’s device does not have a camera or he or she has not linked their camera to their Facebook account.

Facebook-Messenger Kids
The Green Dot on Facebook: What It Means and the Power You have Over It

Accuracy of the Facebook Green Dot

So, just how reliable is the green dot really — is it foolproof?

No, not really.

If you are not in the habit of force-stopping your Facebook App, it remains active in the background most of the time. That is not surprising as many other apps behave the same way. If that happens, the green dot will keep displaying, sending the wrong message to other Facebook users.

For clarity’s sake, Facebook will display the words “Active now” just below the user’s name as a confirmation of their online presence.

Privacy on Facebook

At some point in life, we all yearn for some privacy. There could be those moments when you need some quiet time online and not necessarily catch up with friends on social media. But that may be the moment most of your friends want to catch up.

Does Facebook offer some privacy?

Well, Facebook does not believe t\it owes you privacy.

But, they do provide you with the option to go private when you need to. So, if you are a private person, your friends don’t always have to know when you go online or offline.

Here is how to go private on Facebook:

  • On your Messenger App, if using a mobile device, you can access your settings by tapping on your profile picture at the top of the page.
  • Scroll down to find the Profile section and select Active Status that should read “On” by default
  • That will direct you to a page reading Show when you are active, tap on it to deactivate it.
  • A screen will pop up asking you to confirm changes. Tap on Turn Off to confirm

The Downside of Going Private:

  • You will not be able to know when your friends go online.
  • The privacy settings will only apply to the device on which they are input.

The green dot may have a lot of influence on how you interact with your online friends. However, deciding who and when you want to catch up or relax and enjoy everything Facebook has to offer is yours. Ultimately, you have the Power to determine what the green dot will mean on your profile or if it will be visible at all.

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