Facebook. An incredibly amazing social network of the most useful (and most useless) personal and professional information wrapped up in a big Facebook-blue bow. It is one of the most widely-used resources for the immediate sharing of urgent world news, quick access to a company or business information and can let you know in five seconds if Tom and Lisa are having a boy or a girl because their sonogram is today at 4 p.m.
As for me, I’m a fan of Facebook. I use it both personally and professionally, connecting with friends and family, keeping up with local businesses I support, creating events and relaying referrals. I am also a huge fan of the birthday notifications – no need to add them to my calendar, my trusty Facebook notifications will remind me in the morning!
While I have fun with it, I also keep in mind that I am representing myself with what I post. Yes, we have the freedom of speech. Yes, your Facebook page is your personal page where you can rant and rave, joke, gossip and everything in between. Yes, if people don’t want to read what you write they don’t have to (trust me, I don’t). I have absolutely voiced my opinion on topics that I am impassioned about. I have thrown in a “having a bad day” rant a few times. At the end of the day, I take note of how I represent myself on Facebook.
If you fall into one of the following categories you may want to re-think your Facebook posts.
The Reporter: “My fish just blinked.” Fascinating. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to find out if he swam into the plastic castle. Keep me posted.
The Human GPS: “I’m in my living room watching TV” quickly followed by “I’m in the kitchen getting a snack” followed by “I’m in bed – goodnight.” Thanks for the tip –Recalculating….
The “US Weekly”: “Uncle Bob arrested again for drug possession….off to the bank for bail money!” While I can’t guarantee it, I’m pretty sure your entire family is now mortified…as are the rest of us. P.S., we’ve permanently hidden your posts from our news feeds.
The Notebook: “I love you so much John Doe. You’re my heart.” to which John replies “I love YOU Jane, you are MY heart” to which Jane replies “No, you’re MY heart.” To which John replies “No, you’re MY heart.” This continues to ad nauseam….It’s not that we aren’t happy for you, but the “no YOU hang up” game was meant for two….not two million.
To counter, The War of The Roses: “I can’t believe my idiot husband ran over my tulips with the lawnmower!!” to which the husband replies “I can’t believe my idiot wife planted them where she did!!” to which the wife replies “Well YOUR mother is the one who gave them to me to plant” to which the husband replies “Don’t bring my mother into this! She’s a saint!!” to which the wife replies “She had to be to deal with YOU!” While this is more entertaining than Jersey Shore, we are also uncomfortable and feel like kids watching their parents fight. Stop it…and go to your room.
Bottom Line: You can text, tweet, Yelp, Google+, Link In and Facebook yourself silly with every single solitary thought you have. From me (and quite possibly the rest of Facebook) – please don’t.
Bonus Tip: Pictures
This is common sense. There is a fine line between appropriate and inappropriate. The issue being that this line seems to be invisible to some but a huge red flag to others…especially potential employers. Keep it clean folks…keep it clean. Rule of thumb: If you question your ability to run for office someday – don’t post it.
Please note: If you’re applying for a position you must realize that unless you change your privacy setting under Apps, Games and Websites and disable it you ARE searchable and your photo WILL come up.
Human resource departments WILL search for you. Yeah…they do.
Article originally appeared in June 2012 Lioness
Photo courtesy of Mike Mozart [FLICKR]