Yes, we’ve all heard how important it is to keep your Facebook profile clean. Yes, we’ve been told that what you post on Facebook can have far-reaching consequences, but let me give you some examples both good and bad.
Here are some of the good besides connecting with old friends:
One friend of mine was getting out of car racing (hobbiest). He posted that he was selling his car and included a photo of it. If I remember correctly, it was snapped up in less than two hours. He sold something quickly, and people know that he is a racecar enthusiast. Good.
Facebook can be used to help you find a job. Keep in mind that you may not want to do that is you are already employed and any of your bosses or co-workers are friends with you on Facebook. But if that’s not an issue and especially if you are unemployed, use Facebook to your advantage. Make sure people know what type of job you are looking for and where you’re willing to work (geographic area). More and more people are getting leads and landing jobs that way.
Here are some of the bad:
From Time Techland:
According to a report The Guardian, Facebook is partly responsible for the sacking of at least two police officers over the past four years. It’s also let to seven resignations and 150 officers facing disciplinary action after posting inappropriate pictures or comments. An official review into police corruption found there was “significant blurring” between officers’ professional and private lives on social media, and that it was potentially damaging to the reputation of the police force in general. According to Roger Baker, who led the investigation, “Social networking is seen as a risk by all forces and authorities, but there are limited or inconsistent policies around what is acceptable, what you should do [and] what you shouldn’t do.”
From Time Techland:
Also under fire: Facebook and marriage, lacking “consistent policies around what is acceptable.” A new study by Divorce Online discovered that 33% of divorces in 2011 implicate Facebook in some way, a significant rise from 2009′s 13%. Reasons cited incude: users making inappropriate comments or messages to members of the opposite sex, and users making unpleasant messages or comments about their spouse and Facebook friends reporting on a spouse’s behavior. Mark Keenan, a spokesman for Divorce Online, suggested that Facebook’s increased importance as a communication tool was behind the rise, saying that “If someone wants to have an affair or flirt with the opposite sex, then it’s the easiest place to do it.” (It’s certainly the most common social network: Twitter was referenced as a reason in only 20 out of the 5,000 divorce petitions surveyed, perhaps illustrating how difficult it is to flirt with 140 characters or less.)
From CBSMoney Watch: They mention five ways to get fired using Facebook at http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-47540281/facebook--your-job-5-ways-to-get-fired/. The bottom line is that you need to treat Facebook like it is public space and act accordingly. Would you streak on a public street? No? Then don’t streak on Facebook. You get the picture.
I’ve seen plenty of my friends post things that really surprised me, and I’m not even part of the riskier demographic who are known for riskier online behavior. I can’t really put them here, because this too is a public place, and I am careful about what I post – you just have to be.