Thursday, November 10, 2011

Take control of your image

Consider friends, future employers when posting online

By Paula McFadden, Opinion Columnist

Many people have one. It shows your likes and dislikes, says whether you are in a relationship or not, and counts the number of “friends” you have.

Facebook began as a social networking site for college students, but now, it has expanded to users of any age.

How many of you are friends with your old high school teachers, aunts, uncles, dog or young kids?

With each friend confirmation you make, you are allowing this person to see everything that you have posted, the good and the bad.

I recently received a friend request from two people from my high school, a boy and a girl from a few grades after me.

Apparently they are in a relationship, because now my news feed is filled with declarations of their love.

Seeing their status updates everyday is like watching a soap opera or rollercoaster on crack.

One day, she will write, “OMG, I love my boyfriend soooooo much.” Then the next day, she will write, “I can’t believe I screwed up again. Sad day.”

They have taken the term “Facebook official” to a new height.

I understand that Facebook is meant for anyone to be able to express him or herself, but your Facebook page is a representation of yourself.

Letting everyone see every single moment of your life is just plain not necessary.

I coach a summer swim team, and many of the kids have added me as a friend. Everything I post will be seen directly by 11-year-olds, so I really think about what I post.

Besides, if an 11-year-old should not see it, the post should not be on Facebook anyway.

I am not going to tell you what to post or who to add, but consider if your Facebook page is how you truly want your parents, future employers, and the world to see you.

Once a post is up there is no changing your mind.

It is out in the online world for anyone to find.