Be careful what you Facebook

I tell this to our interns when they sign on in the spring and fall. “Be careful what you share about yourself on Facebook. Because the world is watching.”

Just how true this is came to light for me recently. Talking with a web and marketing client about a job opening, I mentioned that a friend of mine had applied for the position.

“I know. I saw that he’s a Facebook friend of yours,” the client told me, before explaining further how he’d looked up everybody who had applied for the job on Facebook to see what he could find out about them.

Seems to me a good strategy for a business to take in its vetting of prospective employees.

So … what’s on your Facebook page? Mine tells you in detail what my favorite books, TV shows and movies are. You can get a sense of my politics (moderate Democrat) and philosophies (Unitarian-Universalist religion) and other such minutiae.

What it doesn’t say … a lot. Unlike the page of a local marketing guy among whose listed interests is the impeachment of President Obama. We’re all perfectly within our rights to want to impeach any political officeholder we want to, but if you put that on your Facebook page, don’t be surprised if you lose a potential client or opportunity.

Also … feel free to ramble on and on about how you hate your place of employment, how stupid your co-workers or neighbors or family members are, et cetera, just at the same time expect that what you say online will come back to bite you.

Ditto for sharing way, way, way too much information with the world about any and all relationship problems you may be going through at any particular time. I have a friend going through that right now, and it’s not been pretty, and while I don’t think the back-and-forth has had any impact on his business, you could also say that it might be hard to tell that right away.

I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t be yourself on Facebook or Twitter. Just, again, understand that what might feel like idle chit-chat when you type on your computer in the middle of the night is far, far from being what it might seem.

Column by Chris Graham. More from Chris at TheWorldAccordingToChrisGraham.com.


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