How-to Decide What NOT to Post On Facebook Part II [guest post]

An appropriate use of Facebook

Over-sharing on Facebook: if you didn’t see the critical list of things NOT to share, check back on Part I. That was just the tip of the iceberg.

If you are supposed to be at work, posting five status updates and four photos before coffee break is going to show up in your timeline with the date and time stamp. And prove that you’re not working. Expect a misconduct letter.

Assuming there isn’t a policy against Facebook during working time, contain your updates to your official lunch and break times, before or after your clocking-in times.

Borderline Certifiable
Here’s a fine line. If you work for yourself, vigorously promoting yourself and your work is seen as acceptable. If you work for others, that over-enthusiasm can start to cloy. Lower down the job ‘value-chain’ gushing ad-infinitum about shelf-stacking at the store can start to look a bit weird. Just saying.

Think about what you post and how often. There’s a few million pages on Facebook that look like “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” from the Shining.

One Person’s Excitement, another person’s disappointment
Your idea of excitement may not be the same as your friends.

Gushing about that latest purchase, concert, TV show, or pudding is fine, just don’t expect everyone to chip in as positively as you. The occasional expression of devotion to Justin Bieber is fine (in the right circles); 17 posts and hour and you look like an obsessive.

Forgive me, father
Which brings us on to social media as Confessional. If you believe that confession is good for the soul, go ahead. Perhaps go to Church. Do you really want to bare your soul on-line?

Excuse this next one if it sounds like a typically British “stiff upper lip, keep calm and carry on” platitude. This is a plea to take a moment before you press submit.

Do you post all your disappointments? Are you a brutally honest, gut-wrenching, self-flagellating penitent? Do you tell everyone how often you cry, list all your regrets, crimes, moral misdemeanours ? Unless you’re going through post-natal depression or a bereavement, think carefully about how much of this you want to post. Not only are you likely to depress all your readers, you may drive many away.

If you believe in the cathartic effect of un-burdening, and your social circle is an understanding, on-line support group, then you’ve fond a home, good luck getting through all that.

If, however, your social circle consists mainly of people you play golf or raquetball with on weekends, you may begin to get the reputation as a drama queen; an emotionally unstable wreck, or someone who constantly cries for help. Bang goes the baby-sitting job, the management promotion or camp councillor role. Who know,s someone may even call social services on you.

And in a years time, when you’ve gotten over the trauma and folks remind you of all that hand-wringing agony, is the strong-again you going to be hideously embarrassed to read through all that?

Don’t cloud people’s perception of the real you with an on-line confession. That’s what a paper diary is for. Keep it in the drawer. Burn it when you’re ready. Assume anything on Facebook is there forever. On the Internet, you can’t take it back.

As I said at the top, over-sharing; is it appropriate? Does it help? AJS

Related: How-to Decide What NOT to Post On Facebook Part I

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