Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Professionals, Facebook, and Those Embarrassing Wall Posts Your Friends Make

I came across this post at Sweet Mantra advising professionals how to act on Facebook. Most of it makes a lot of sense: “Use your full name in your profile,” or “Do not add useless and/or annoying applications to your profile.”

Heck, those are pretty good tips for anyone. Then there are a few that are clearly targeted to professionals:

“Include detailed business information in your profile.”

Again, makes sense, right? And it doesn’t really interfere with your personal use of Facebook. But there are a few others, like:

“Think twice before writing on other people's Walls.”

Okay, maybe Walls aren’t a great place to discuss all those hard drugs you want to buy or the body you keep in your trunk, but aside from that, Walls are generally for light conversation. Or at least they used to be.

But, in a professional sense, you obviously have to be careful. You certainly don’t want to be the guy who calls in sick and then uploads photos of himself wasted out of his mind. That’s a no-no. Similarly, you don’t want your boss checking out embarrassing posts on your Wall from friends.

And yet, Facebook is a social application. It’s used to interact with friends. Sometimes I post bizarre, inside jokes on my friends’ Walls. They do the same on mine. And that’s how I like it. I don’t want to have to censor myself. I don’t want to censor my friends.

More and more articles and blog posts are popping up about web 2.0 and the intersection of work and personal lives. Employees are increasingly “hyperconnected,” both at home and at work.

Do I know how to deal with it? Heck no. I’m just bringing it up because it’s been on my mind.

I’m still wondering what my kids are going to say in 20 years when they search through my Facebook Wall’s archived posts and read all the bizarre stuff from university.