It’s the early morning of the 16th, and time to write my #meme15 post. Remember, these are due on or around the 15th. I’m
again exercising my right to write late and if you haven’t joined in, now’s a good time to to it as well. The question for this month is:
How do you balance mixing family, friends, peers, and co-workers on Facebook?
It’s hard these days to find anyone that is not on Facebook. Most everyone has joined and friends on the platform range from acquaintances in high school to best friends to children, parents, and grandparents to co-workers and peers. In amongst you Facebook friends will be current and previous and, potentially, future employers. With all of these different eyes watching your profile, balancing is a matter of deciding what to post? Along with that, you need to decide who to friend.
Let’s look at both of these point and start with the later, making friends on Facebook.
Originally, I joined Facebook when Myspace was at it’s peak and a friends send me a request to join Facebook. It was a fairly dissolute place at the time so I didn’t think much of it. Over time, though, co-workers began to friend me, and then some family, followed by people in the community. In the beginning, I never really took the time to decide who I wanted to be friends with on Facebook. It was more of something that just happened.
Now, though, as I’ve thought a lot more about it, I haven’t really changed my philosophy on making friends on Facebook. If someone wants to get in more contact with me and would like to use Facebook to accomplish that, I am more than willing to make the connection. I don’t have many restrictions on who I’ll accept a request from and will, on occasion, friend people I notice that have joined Facebook that I already know.
The only group of people I don’t tend to friend on Facebook is non-relatives under the age of 18. This is really the area where I think I don’t have any business being connected with this age group.
Oh yeah, there’s also the porn stars and role-playing profiles. I avoid those, as well. I’m not lonely and don’t need to chat with a 20-something looking photo that probably has a hairy dude behind it. Same with the people pretending to be Britney Spears or Justin Bieber. Just a little bit more creepy.
With the wide swath of people that I have as friends, there are some impacts on how I post. At any time, I know that a customer, co-worker or friend will read it. My kids will watch the videos I post (and sometimes call me to tell me how funny they are #truestory) and my parents will look at the pictures. What this means is that there are times where I will self-censor myself on Facebook. But this is okay, Facebook is not as private as people pretend it is. The information that is there is open and available on the internet. And it will be there for a very long time.
By keeping everything mixed and showing the same face on Facebook to all my friends, I believe it helps keep me honest. I need to be the same person online as I am to my kids, or I teach them to be fake. What friends, family, and peers see is my outward self. Future clients have an opportunity to see who they will be working with and peers find ways to connect that doesn’t necessarily involve talking about SQL.
The one problem that sometimes arises is when someone doesn’t want to view something that I post. But really that isn’t a problem for me, instead it is a problem for the other person and their duty is to change the channel. They can ignore me, drop the friendship, or fire off a message saying they don’t appreciate the content. In the end, I’m likely not going to change who I am though, so the first two choices are really the options available.
Besides some self-censoring, I don’t think I really do anything to balance myself for the different audiences represented by my Facebook friends. At the end of the day, Facebook is a hose that spews out most of my social media activity and people can either love it or hate it.