I worry about having co-workers as Facebook friends. In this stream of consciousness, voyeuristic world – I don’t know that I want people I don’t know all that well to hear my inner most thoughts. I try and convince myself that I’m not embarrassed about my beliefs and my thoughts, but honestly a passing status change or Tweet are not enough for someone to determine who I am as a person, and I may be embarrassed at how they interpreted my thoughts.
I say all that because yesterday a Eagles game day worker was fired for posting the following on his Facebook page:
Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver. . .Dam Eagles R Retarted!!”
I believe Dan deserved punishment, but the punishment seems out of line with the crime. I remind you that on Facebook, only those people who are your friends can see you posts (assuming that Dan didn’t have his page visible to everyone). The few people that could have seen what Dan wrote would have been limited if the Eagles had handled this with a little more deftness. Because they fired him, his comments have become much more read than if they had addressed them more appropriately. But again, he deserved to be punished – and if he hadn’t have done something so stupid, he wouldn’t be where he is.
Why? Apparently Dan had Eagles’ management as friends. At then end they’re not your friends – they’re your managers.
I decided to make some edits to my Facebook account a few weeks ago. I want to use it the way it’s supposed to be use – I vent there – I rant there – I say things meant for the eyes of people who know me well enough to have a filter. But I know there are people there who are barely acquaintances and don’t know me well enough to understand and empathize. At the end of the day we all say things to get a reaction. What you don’t want is for the people listening to have any power over you and be able to react by exerting their control over your life.
At the very least here’s my recommendation to you – manage who your friends are very carefully. Facebook is a great place to keep up and find friends from the past, but it’s also a place where many people share quite a bit of personal detail. A few thoughts:
- It makes sense to draw a line between your personal life and work life. If you’re going to allow co-workers to be your friend, then watch what you say.
- It’s probably a good idea to keep management out
- You can delete friends – it’s simple and they don’t know you did it (until they try and access your profile – and who has time for that)
- If someone does notice – blame it on Facebook
- Try and direct co-workers to LinkedIn – that’s what it’s meant for
Facebook is only cool until it costs you a job. So be careful.