After talking with friends and colleagues, and doing a wee bit of research on the web about Facebook, I’ve come to the following conclusion: It’s ok to get a little loose on Facebook.
I’m not advocating posting photos of yourself in a bikini at 16, or letting friends post comments alluding to your frat boy days, writing risque status updates, or confessing that you hate Client X and are only doing work for her right now because it’s the recession, and you’re desperate.
But in Facebook, it seems almost inevitable that some of your personality (be it good, bad, or ugly) is going to leak through — just as it does when you’re working in a store, restaurant, or corporate cubicle land with other people.
And that’s ok — as long as you remember that the Internet is very searchable and what you write could be copied and then saved or re-distributed at any moment.
In fact in some professions, letting a little personality show through on Facebook could be beneficial. It becomes a form of branding — as long as, again, you’re careful and remember that not every potential customer or colleague wants to know what you ate for your morning snack today or what you thought of the boy who sat in front of you in 9th grade chemistry.
To deny the personal side of ourselves on Facebook would be boring — it’s supposed to be fun, after all. And to deny the fact that Facebook is very (very) public would just be dumb, so it becomes a matter of knowing what’s appropriate to post when and how. And that’s a matter, of course, of emotional intelligence.