Sometimes its scary isn’t it ? Knowing that people can find out “stuff” about you from just googling your name. If you haven’t tried it, I recommend you do so. See what people can find about you. Getting rid of something you have posted or uploaded can be simple or darn right hard, so it is advisable to think before you post !
Many employers do a google search of potential employees, look up their Facebook page and just see generally what type of online presence the potential employee has. Many a politician or potential politician has been brought down by something he/she posted ( sometimes many years ago )
So lets talk Facebook. Many of the precautions I will outline will be useful for all the others but to try to outline them all makes a confusing blog post.
- Know what is Public and what is more private.
- Your name will always be searchable. Facebook frowns upon phony names, but some teachers, counsellors, social workers may not want their name to be easily searched so a first and middle name, first and initial or nickname will be acceptable. Personally, I leave my full name, due to wanting people to find me for business and social purposes.
- Your profile picture is always public. I think the best is a good headshot of you. Or a picture that, if you want someone to find you, is easily recognizable. Just remember this is the first impression someone searching you sees. ( so it may be a flower, a pet or a picture of a place you love.) Pictures of you under the influence, kissing someone, or doing silly expressions can give a negative impression to those finding you.
- Your Cover photo is also always public. Again, remember that others will see your children, grandchildren etc so if you are making your cover photo of an event, it may be wise to check with the people in the picture if that is okay. I used to put a lot of family there – but now stick to scenery and pretty pictures.
- Your ” INTRO” ( used to be About page ), your previous work, schooling, pictures, and friends list is all set by you. Make it as public and private as you wish.
- Your posts can be set to a wide variety of audiences.
- Control the audience of the posts on your timeline:
- How much of your news feed is shown is controlled by your settings – go to your settings and explore your options. You can control who sees what on your timeline ( to a degree ). You can control which pictures you are ” tagged” in.
- When you post, you can choose whether you make a post public or just for Friends ( but that can include friends of friends ).
- You can customize your friends list by making some Acquaintances ( or belong to a certain group like Family, a school etc ) and then post to exclude some of those people from seeing your posts or for only certain people to see your post. This is found in the drop down box to the right of the post.
- When you tag someone in a post, it is displayed to all of their friends too. This can be great or not so great.
- Liking something on Facebook can tell your Facebook friends all about that person and what they said. Be careful about this, as it can tell things about you, and spread things about the other person. This is still a bit of a mystery – as it is run by an algorithm that Facebook constantly changes.
- Commenting on some posts can be commenting to a webpage not just a friends timeline. Watch that as some of what you say can be meant only for your friends audience and can end up on the local papers’ or pages like Huffington Post.
- Know when to rant and when to just keep quiet. Your Facebook presence can tell a lot about you and as noted by many famous people, can surface at an inopportune time.
- Know the difference between a private message and posting to a timeline. Unless a person has posting to their timeline setting set to private, your message of ” how are you” or “when are you coming to visit” can put a very private conversation on the timelines of all your friends pages ! Your timeline can be a good or a poor place to carry on a conversation.
- Be careful of “check in’s ” or posts about vacations as this can advertise that your house is empty. Posting vacations can be fun and informative to many of your friends, so many do it, but just be aware of that risk.
- Watch your language, the type of pictures you post, and other things that can give people a wrong idea. Watch what you post while “under the influence.” It may not be the time you make your wisest choices !
- Remove posts that may have offended or cause a conflict. It is not worth losing friends over something you may have said in haste or may offend.
- You can block or unfriend any Facebook friends whose posts annoy your or are against your beliefs. Facebook can be a pleasure or enhance your rage depending on what you allow. You can just block a post if it is offensive to you. You can tell Facebook why, or not depending on what you choose.
- You can choose what you want to see more of or less of by altering your timeline preferences.
- Choose your Facebook friends wisely – if you don’t know someone who wants to be your friend:
- Check out mutual friends – none ? probably unwise to accept.
- Watch for messages from people who are trying to scam you or think you are beautiful.
- You can make some very nice friends you have never met – perhaps relatives of a good friend or friend of a friend or those that share a common interest ( business, hobby, or common background.) Don’t be afraid of it.. you can always unfriend them !
- You can edit your posts and comments. If you say something that people misinterpret, or spell something wrong ( auto-correct can be dreadful !) just click on the little arrow on the right of the post, click edit and change it. You can remove any posts or comments as well with the same little arrow.
- Explore your settings and news feed preferences. ( on the right hand side under the little arrow ) Do this on a regular basis – as Facebook changes things as well as you change in how you wish the world to see you or see the world.
The bottom line – these social media places are here to stay. They can also be big time wasters. But they can also be sources of enjoyment, of sharing accomplishments, fears, sorrows, and joys. They can keep you in touch with old friends and relatives. They can be a source of entertainment and knowledge ( watch that though.. what is posted on Facebook is not always true ! ) Share and see what you are comfortable with. Own your preferences.
And me ?? I am a known addict – but I do control what I post and see. I am a bit of an open book. But lately I have helped to network people together in the neatest way, and have me a lot of people, and learned more about some people and this has added a lot to my enjoyment. Enjoy along with me !