I am addicted to the New York Times “Most Popular” list of articles. Yet again, there is an article I would like to comment on concerning social networks and how much information todays young people share. The article “Tell-All Generation Learns to Keep Things Offline” warns these people that the things you post on Facebook could be less than flattering and one should be careful as once it’s out there there is no going back.
The issue at hand seems to be the debate about how much privacy we should keep vs. how much to share. Up until now, privacy was a thing to be kept guarded and was very easy to do. With the extremely fast rise of Facebook and the rate at which one can share things it seems we are all just looking for a balance and where to draw the line. It is also hard to find that line when the technology is increasing at blazing fast speed and once we find a line of comfort the technology changes again.
For me, I am very comfortable sharing a large portion of my life with everyone and perhaps the most “invasive” are my thoughts and opinions shared on this blog. Yet, I made the choice long long ago that I really wanted to share these thoughts and ideas since I was going through a huge transformation living abroad and no longer saw things the same way. My opinions were often not popular or “mainstream” but this was a consequence of living abroad and my whole mindset changing.
Keeping a blog serves two objectives for me. The first is that I really needed an outlet as my whole world was changing (by living abroad) and I saw things from completely different perspectives. I would read what people were saying concerning politics/war and so on and would have agreed with them had I not learned what I did by living abroad. Therefore, by commenting on articles and political issues it felt as though I could “ramp up” my friends and family as to my thinking without having to come out of left field and saying I believe Z when everyone else is thinking A. By posting I could say B, E, J, O and then finally Z to show how I got there.
This works for me and I couldn’t live without it. However, with todays kids, they are having fun in college and doing stupid things we all did at one point in our lives but the difference is those things could be posted online and never go away! Employers will look at this evidence and it will be hard set against them whereas whatever stupid things I did are long gone with the passage of time. (I’m not implying I did anything stupid as I was a saint and spent most of my time at the library).
This part of the article I found quite interesting.
“Concerned about her career prospects, she asked a friend to take down a photograph of her drinking and wearing a tight dress. When the woman overseeing her internship asked to join her Facebook circle, Ms. Liu agreed, but limited access to her Facebook page. “I want people to take me seriously,” she said.
In regards to finding that “privacy line” we have to find a balance and I would like to propose that employers, bosses and the above “overseer of internships” not be allowed to cross that line. The reason is everyone has two lives, the professional and personal. Facebook was originally created to help people connect in their personal lives and not in business. It is my view that personal be kept personal and professional be kept professional.
For me, I like my job and also very much like my boss. In fact, I have friended all my former bosses if they are online as all my experiences have been positive and should I ever leave my current position I’ll friend my boss at that time. But for now, let’s keep work to work and personal, personal. The reason is that your employer is not your friend. Your boss has a job to do and that is represent the interests of the company. As companies hire and fire willy nilly nowdays it is best not to let that seep into your personal life because frankly, we all need to have our private space.
It is not a matter of employees doing “bad” things in their personal life either. I’m there to help the company make a lot of money and it is no business of theirs what movies I rent or anything else. Now, if the “company” wanted to be my friend then they have to act as such which means they would be looking out for my interests instead of their own as friends tend to do. But in todays climate the business is about making money and developing you professionally, not personally. Therefore, NO FACEBOOK ACCESS FOR YOU.
On a side note, some people act completely differently when in private vs. professionally. Heck, some even change languages. Can you imagine a father telling his son, “Son, we have to maximize efficiency with a turn key solution designed to increase your pipeline in order to drive results. You have the bandwidth to do so, so let’s circle back later and evaluate your progress.”
Me thinks if this were the case, there would be a lot more runaways. 🙂
Some don’t even act the same way in that at work they become Mr/Ms. Super Corporate Professional Man(Woman) and are OUT TO DRIVE RESULTS! They speak in a very serious manner, look you directly in the eye (like they want to see your soul) and grasp your hand with a firm handshake. Then it’s down to business and let the negotiations begin because again, we are SUPER PROFESSIONAL CORPORATE PERSONNNNNNNNNN UP UP AND AWAYYYYYY.
Yet, at home and with their kids they could be a teddy bear and if the kids scream for ice cream then all negotiating powers went out the window and the only question is chocolate or vanilla.
In conclusion, it is my opinion that we best keep the personal and professional lives separate since many of us are two different people altogether depending if we are at work or not. Facebook is an extension of the personal and unless we want to be Super Professional Corporate Man 24 hours a day let’s keep’em separate!