What does a goat and a mule have in common with social media?

There’s an old proverb that goes something like this: one should avoid the front of a goat, the back of a mule, and every side of a fool. If you don’t want a private message, comment or opinion printed in 60 point, bold type headlines on the front of The New York Time, you shouldn’t email it, tweet it, post it to Facebook or your blog. That’s what prompted the following advice to job seekers:

1.) Don’t post inappropriate pictures or make any comments on the web that could be offensive to anybody.  If they’re already up, delete them now!

2.) Mark all of your settings on any type of social media as private.  Don’t let people who aren’t connected to you view your pictures or read your comments.  If friends posted a ridiculous comments, delete them now!

3.) If you want to share your personal beliefs, call a friend.  Don’t share them through social media.

4.) Google yourself because future employers will.  If you find things that you don’t think a future employer would like, find a way to get rid of it!

5.) I’ve shared all of the negative things about social media but don’t forget that there are a lot of positive things too.  If you’re actively volunteering, fundraising, running a marathon, or writing a motivational blog these are all things that can help you get a job.  Make sure these are public to future employers.

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It’s just common sense and good business practice. Yet it seems missing from the American culture as people display their most private details and opinions. If you truly want to maintain private details avoid the internet entirely. But if you are using the internet for social media and emailing, remember that the internet is immediate, permanent, and global.

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Remember when you didn’t use your real name on the Internet?

Facebook is ubiquitous. In many ways it has replaced blogging. As an individual who has been blogging, well, since before the advent of Facebook, there were certain silent codes to blogging. Local bloggers like Edgy Mama, Ashvegas and Modern Peasant (who I recall may have been blogging before the advent of the internet), maintained a thirdtier level of intimacy with blog readers. In other words, there were third-tier personal details that were disclosed on blogs, but other more intimate personal details that may or may not be disclosed in real life at local blogger meet ups. It appears that Facebook disregards a third-tier relationship between content provider and content consumer. Here’s a couple of articles I’ve read recently about Facebook.

Some excerpts from Gizmodo: Top Ten Reasons You Should Quit Facebook

10. Facebook’s Terms Of Service are completely one-sided: Facebook’s Terms Of Service state that not only do they own your data (section 2.1), but if you don’t keep it up to date and accurate (section 4.6), they can terminate your account (section 14)….

9. Facebook’s CEO has a documented history of unethical behavior: According to BusinessInsider.com, [Zuckerberg] used Facebook user data to guess email passwords and read personal email in order to discredit his rivals. These allegations, albeit unproven and somewhat dated, nonetheless raise troubling questions about the ethics of the CEO of the world’s largest social network…

8. Facebook has flat out declared war on privacy: Founder and CEO of Facebook, in defense of Facebook’s privacy changes last January: “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.” … Essentially, this means Facebook not only wants to know everything about you, and own that data, but to make it available to everybody.

3. Facebook makes it incredibly difficult to truly delete your account

And here’s an excerpt from Wired: Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative

So in December, with the help of newly hired Beltway privacy experts, it reneged on its privacy promises and made much of your profile information public by default. That includes the city that you live in, your name, your photo, the names of your friends and the causes you’ve signed onto.

This spring Facebook took that even further. All the items you list as things you like must become public and linked to public profile pages. If you don’t want them linked and made public, then you don’t get them — though Facebook nicely hangs onto them in its database in order to let advertisers target you.

This includes your music preferences, employment information, reading preferences, schools, etc. All the things that make up your profile. They all must be public — and linked to public pages for each of those bits of info — or you don’t get them at all.

[Read More: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/facebook-rogue/#ixzz0nY6uIYRD]

  • How will you remember anybody’s birthday?
  • How will you hear about parties?
  • You don’t care about privacy anymore. Remember when you wouldn’t use your real name on the Internet?
  • 80 million of you are addicted to Zygna’s Facebook game, FarmVille.

The Internet has allowed access to volumes of data. Yet, some personal details should be maintained behind firewalls or offline. I’m not sure if it’s entirely Facebook’s fault. Facebook users willingly surrender intimate details to the Internet gods. A good, old school blogger rule is this: the Internet is immediate and permanent; only post stuff you want to remain permanent and searchable.