Facebook has become arguably the world’s most popular and important website, boasting hundreds of millions of users, all able to share information and communicate numerous forms of media effectively and instantly to whomever desired. What began as a college experiment in social media has exploded into a global phenomenon that many have tried to imitate but will never fully emulate.
As Facebook has become an unavoidable, assumed part of personal identity, it has invaded the lives of the populace in their personal lives, social settings, and even the workplace. What many may unfortunately fail to realize, however, is that their Facebook account is a responsibility that demands maturity and accountability, lest mistakes in that realm lead to consequences elsewhere. Believe it or not, there are definitely some ways your Facebook friends can harm your career.
Especially if you are friends with your boss and/or other co-workers, but even if not, anything that one of your Facebook friends says on your wall could be potentially disastrous, even for your career. For example, if you call in sick one day but really actually went to hang out with friends, you could get busted if one of those friends posts on your wall the next morning about what a great time you all had and how fantastic the party was. This is a prime example because, even if your friend says something completely positive and well-meaning, it could still be construed in a negative light considering your position. Also, your wall posts elsewhere can sometimes be viewed under the right circumstances, showing up in news feeds or wall-to-wall transcripts, so your bad-mouthing of fellow employees could be caught. Just as there are innumerable ways that human beings can harm one another with their words in face-to-face interaction, so too can they threaten each other in wall-to-wall correspondence.
Your profile says a lot about you, and if your Facebook profile says that you are a lazy, unintelligent slob with odd interests and proudly boasting about the big dumb no-good creeper you are, then you are not likely to be looked upon favorably by your employer or even potential employers. However, although many know to keep their profile somewhat professional, even something like your friends list can look bad; if someone looks at your profile, and sees the six example friends you have, and they are all bikini-clad women with stripper names, your boss may raise an eyebrow and it may affect how people view you and, thusly, affect office politics out of your favor.
This one works both ways. As mentioned before, your boss or workmates may discover illicit things you say to others. But another potential cost is what they discover that others are saying about you, perhaps revealing traits or characteristics that you were previously trying to hide from your workplace. Even otherwise, perhaps it is rare, but an eavesdropping friend who chooses to message your co-workers or boss (One example: Your secretary posts something about a great job you did last night, says it in a way that could be construed as a double entendre, so the woman that you are dating sends her an angray message) can create a potentially very complicated and difficult situation for everyone involved.
Facebook is more than just a toy or little, insignificant thing in our life nowadays. It is a tool, like any other, and like any other, it is neither inherently evil nor good; its value is all in how you use it, just as is true with a gun, a loaf of bread, a hammer, or other items. Proper Facebook usage should serve to enrich our lives, but handling it with immaturity will only bring dire tidings.