Man, I’ve been seeing all these stories on the news telling people to be careful about what they post on websites like Facebook and My Space, and I always thought, “This is news? To whom? Shouldn’t people already know that a site designed to connect people is a place where you are choosy about how much you let them connect with?” I thought this until…
I actually had a friend tell me he did something that you just shouldn’t do on these websites.
Ok, he works for a company. He’s not particularly fond of his job, but it pays the bills, so what the hell? He joins Facebook, and finds a group entitled “I hate xxx company but I still work there anyway.” Just so we’re clear, xxx company is *his* place of employment. Feeling happy that he’s found comrades who share his hatred of this company, and I guess feeling relatively secure, he posts a rant which I wish I could read, but I think I have to join Facebook to see it, and I won’t do that. His supervisor finds his choice words, and he gets a swift meeting with his bosses saying that he’d better shape up or he’s gone.
Helloooo! First of all, Facebook isn’t as anonymous a place as the rest of the internet. You have a username, and since it is Facebook, they usually encourage you to put your picture up there. So if your name is John Smith, you pick a username like jsmith, something my poor friend might have done since he’s not the most creative with his usernames, and your ugly mug is up on the site, I don’t think your boss will have too much trouble finding out who said he could shove his performance quotas where the sun doesn’t shine.
Second, Facebook is a social networking site designed to help people find each other. Ranting about work is not something that you want your coworkers to find. So as much as I look at my friend and go “Why?! why?! why?!” I also think the person who set up the group is doubly stupid, especially putting the company’s name in the group title! Way to bring flames.
I can hear people now, saying I have a blog with references to people on it, so I’m just as stupid. I don’t think so. I only put people’s full names on the blog if they’re already in the newspaper. To know who other people are, you’d have to know me personally. Plus, my whole name isn’t up on this site. If you google my name, all you know is that I’m a bit of a geek. I try from time to time to see what comes up. Plus, I think I know what is safe to put up on the blog and what should stay off the net. I may be proven wrong some day, but so far, so good.
I will never join Facebook. Or, if I must for some reason or another, I will only put up the barest of details. Why? Read this post, and I think you’ll understand. Some people might love it, but for me, I think it’s a recipe for disaster.