Proper Facebook Etiquette

#602 to change or hide activities?…

Tuesday 19th January, 2010

Dear Mariann,
I am part of a careers team at a Uni. I’ve read that more than half employers research potential job candidates on social networks such as Facebook. if this is true should we be telling students to change or hide their SNS activities – but some say that to hide details on Facebook is taken as an indication there is something to err hide.
(From Dave in reply to the post How much money does Facebook owe me?)

You are quite right, ‘more than half’ do indeed ‘research’ potential job candidature on social networks. Would you want ‘drunkard Paul’ (with hilarious tagged photo footage) working for you? Well not unless you own Yates or Hooters perhaps.

In my experience the students of today tend to live by the Bernard Shaw adage,‘The golden rule is that there are no golden rules’ . Which just means they have yet to read my blog. Of course I understand that they have to be continually ‘in the loop’ one must make a merry dance of being seen to be ‘having a good time’ all the time. And whilst the role of making like (not with) a nun would send the ‘perfect’ message to any would-be employer (unless you’re going for a job with one of ‘those’ cable channels where it is probably a desirable requirement to have as much muck on one’s profile page as possible-circa Ms P. Hilton) this rather overlooks the basic requirement of social networking. Most notably, the social networking part.

So whilst some ‘can’t get enough of it’ – They (your students) may gain a LOT from being a little more savvy with Privacy concerns on Facebook and beyond. Let us take time to correct such oversights whilst we have the chance. I’ve already had my eyes mortally offended by a Friend Request from ‘sexy Maud’ and I have another friend who periodically sorts out his ‘best of’ holiday snaps for re-publication and social tagging on a weekly basis. Fine if you’re Daniel Craig, not if you’re Danny Crag. He now comes with a ‘just leave my eyes alone!’ sign-off as a response to any flurry of messages and pokes. However, it is unlikely that such ‘leave me alone!’ instances will come ‘naturally’ to a generation fed and watered on the instantaneousness of communication. Remember dial up? No, I thought not.

As a second suggestion for this ‘exposed’ generation, perhaps you could ‘friend’ them all and send out little reminders of their indiscretions. Lest you end up with students standing in your doorway years from now screaming ‘why didn’t you tell me I was making a mess of my image?!‘ A thankless task.

On the flip side of the coin, one could imagine (from your students p.o.v.) that your ‘squeaky clean’ existence by comparison seems a bit flat and lifeless. Bring some excitement and danger into your Facebook days: Update your relationship status to ‘it’s complicated’ and delight in sending out Status updates about certain tryst’s and extracurricular activities… You’ll have no end of Wall posts.

3 Responses to “#602 to change or hide activities?…”

  1. Anonymous says:

    How real? I wonder just how much that is displayed on Facebook is real. I've put up things that I'm doing – only I'm not – just to sound interesting. If everyone does this is very much real anymore? I wonder of there is a fantasy element that gets exaggerated and passed on so most of what appears to take place – in fact does not.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How quckly should you change your satus? I think it is a big thing and want to get my singlehood sorted.

  3. sol says:

    Help! I met someone. Then broke it off. I want to pickn them up again. This time for real. But its been ages since I've been in a relationship. I've checked their fb and they are single. Do I have a chance for something big?…

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