Say Nothing on Facebook That You Wouldn’t Say on TV
So many people have been fired over Facebook that the Huffington Post has a page dedicated to compiling all its stories about employees falling foul of their own Facebook fails. Some unfortunate Facebook users have been evicted because of their updates. And there are countless examples of people being dumped because of things they’ve said (or things they’ve been tagged in) on the social network.
Which is why it amazes me that so many people still air their stinking filthy laundry on Facebook.
On any given day, I can log in and see references on my timeline to people hating their jobs, hating their husbands, hating the world, hating their neighbours, sharing secrets about whats-her-name from next door who’s having it off with their brother’s best friend’s ex girlfriend’s cousin’s neighbours Uncle’s landlord…. and so on.
Nothing you say on Facebook is really private.
Yes, you can mark everything ‘friends only.’ But it’s so easy to make a mistake when you’re posting. And do you really ever know for sure that someone who shouldn’t might catch an update over a friend’s shoulder?
I’m a Compulsive Sharer
I really am. If I go out for the day, I will share the photographs. If I watch a film, I’ll share a one or two sentence review. I usually post comments on Coronation Street or on the latest thing that Simon Cowell is in (hey, don’t you judge me). I post about TV ads that p*ss me (I’m talking about you, Go Compare opera singer).
The point is, I share stuff I would happily share anywhere and with anyone.
I wouldn’t share my best friend’s latest secret. I wouldn’t give Facebook a transcribed script of a silly tiff between me and my other half. I wouldn’t share confidential information I am privy to at work.
Why would I?!
Don’t Rely on Facebook Privacy Settings
Make the assumption that whatever you post on Facebook (or on any social network) is going to be available publicly forever more. Don’t rely on Facebook’s privacy settings! Who knows when they’ll change again?!
Instead, I adopt a mantra: Say nothing online that I wouldn’t be prepared to say on national TV or to publish on a giant billboard somewhere.
Not that national TV audiences would particularly care what I have to say about Coronation Street, I’m sure…