Oddly enough, right before I saw this article come across Twitter, I had several in-depth conversations with friends in real life about the boundaries and sometimes lack thereof within social media, and how disturbing it can be to watch sometimes. I have a close friend who is hesitant to embrace Facebook – and not just because of effing Mafia Wars. She is concerned about the level of privacy. If she dips her foot in the pool, will she get completely pushed in by some random situation out of her control? Or more importantly, what creepy photos from high school will surface???
Case in point, another friend of ours is currently covertly looking for a job. So, what happens? Someone else in this friend’s life puts a note on her wall in Facebook:
“How did the interview go?”
Those 5 little words could do major carnage if you think about it. The friend has co-workers on her Facebook. One of those co-workers is a BOSS.
Any way you slice it… a generally irresponsible thing for someone to say in a public platform.
The way I think about it, social media is a cocktail party. Would you walk up to a friend when she is surrounded by a group of people you don’t know, and ask her how her interview went? Then, why would anyone do that on Facebook?
It boils down to the Golden Rule:
Always wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident.
Oh wait. Wrong Golden Rule.
Never say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person.
And by extension, when you are online, think about where the information is flowing. When you are out, when you are drunk, when you are WHATEVER. If you don’t “get” the medium, take a step back and learn it. Observe it, see how it ticks. You’re less likely to really hurt someone that way.
My friend Sarah likes to tease me that she is my REAL friend and that she knows me in REAL life and we have a REAL relationship. Implying that my online friends are not real. That was, of course, until I got her shitfaced and made her start a Twitter account. Now she is both. Revenge is sweet, dudes!
But I understand what she means, and it corrals the wagons back around to a point the author makes in the above article, where IRL friends feel like those involved with social media spend too much time interacting with their IMAGINARY friends, and so forth.
The thing is, the people I meet online are real to me. I have REAL relationships with them, even if I have never met them in person.
Which is EXACTLY why I would never ask how an interview went on someone’s Facebook wall.