Monday, August 17, 2015

Facebook Don'ts

Occasionally there are cautionary articles about what to disclose or not disclose on Facebook.  Well, self-disclosure is the current trend with people of various ages; but there's both interesting and not-so-interesting information to disclose. And, more to the point, remember your audience.  Not just the intended audience (family and friends), but the nosy, unexpected one as well!

For example, if you are applying for a job, remember that Human Resources officers might open your Facebook page to find out more about you; it's a fairly standard practice to do an internet search on a potential candidate to see if any red flags pop up.  Likewise, selective admission colleges and university do so as well. Just remember that employers and universities are risk-aversive and try to select people who are likely to be a credit to them, and not a problem!  Therefore, I don't do Facebook  Sorry, Mike Zuckerberg! 

So here's my suggestion as to what not to have on your Facebook page: 1) Pictures of you using drugs or alcohol; 2) Pictures of you doing anything illegal; 3) Wearing t-shirts with unpleasant, antisocial, or intolerant messages on them; 4) Irony of any type, which is subject to misinterpretation; 5) Wearing a Confederate flag bikini or microbikini; 6)  Anything that fussbudget H.R. or admissions officers might find questionable, like participating in a roller derby or belonging to a snake-handling cult.

Religion and politics are touchy topics.  After all, it is not unheard of HR officers themselves having prejudices also!  Avoid mentioning religions that involve worshipping graven images, animal sacrifices, or the wearing of outlandish outfits, even on Casual Friday!  Politics?  Let's see: even when either of the two major political parties nominate duffuses, they still manage to get 40% of the vote!  And if you admit that you might vote for a third party, most everyone thinks you're unstable.  

For that matter, choose your e-mail address carefully; any choice that is seen as  showing juvenile, cute, ironic, risqué, or other unreliable traits is to be avoided.  Naturally, the title of this blog (eViL pOp TaRt) would set off little alarms of unreliability.  And your friends: bless them!  But friends may make snarky remarks on your page.  Horrors!  Snarkiness is anathema in the worlds of commerce and academe!  In the everyday world of job- education-seeking, bland is good!

Once I wore a t-shirt with a slogan that made fun of the Communist Party; I was subject to criticism from some elderly NYC leftists who did not find it funny.  I guess not having a sense of humor goes with fanaticism.

Other things not to post: too many pictures of dogs or cats, your b.f.'s muscles, participation trophies for dance contests, memorable dinners you have eaten, or pictures of your knees or tush while lying on a beach!  Okay, this doesn't sound like a lot of fun; but the R/L worlds of commerce or academia are not.

This can even apply to public officials.  For example, the County Clerk of Knox County posted this gem, according to Knox News:

Believe, me, this chick didn't have "Knows How to Fire a Weapon" as among my criteria for 'my man.'  I prefer more the companionable traits in Dee-Doh.  (Besides, he has other assets.)  And I also prefer more measured discourse from a public official.

Remember: your Human Resources Department is watching you, not to mention eager beaver reporters if you slide into the newsworthy!


Gorilla Bananas said...

I would definitely give you a job if I say your knees or your tush on Facebook. I say this without knowing what they look like. It would tell me you were an honest person with nothing to hide.:)

Bunny said...

Facebook is sometimes confusing as to how much you control;. It gives an illusion of privacy more than is there.

Mike said...

"...NYC leftists who did not find it funny."
Now that's funny. Any time you can irritate the extreme wing of either party you've done a good job.

John Hill said...

Good reminders for all of us!

I am often surprised by the things some people post.

Grand Crapaud said...

I occasionally get hints from Facebook to sign up for an account. It seems that some nephews and nieces use it a lot.

Cherdo said...

Your suggestions are GREAT. I have looked at a FB page to see what someone is about...sometimes, I really hope the age doesn't accurately reflect who they are...

The petty stuff and passive aggressive stuff really irks me. I frequently mumble "grow up" under my breath.

Bilbo said...

I try not to "overshare" on my Facebook page, and am nevertheless inundated by reports from my friends about how many miles they ran and how many tons they bench-pressed, or trying to get me to play useless online games. Oh, well ... I guess it's the price of connection.

rashbre said...

It' worrying how the FB, G+ and related systems try to deduce the connection between convenience accounts and real identities.