Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


Careful Facebooking – 3 Things You Should Know

Neighborhood kidsIf Twitter is a cocktail party (see my posting) then Facebook is the front yard, or the grocery store, or the church foyer. For Twitter, I step in, make a statement. I might comment on something someone else says or retweet it. I’ll hit a few links and possibly share them. Then I’ll move on.

On Facebook, I don’t just post. I stop by and engage with others who are online. Unworried about hogging the feed, I’ll chat in messaging or just comment back and forth on different posts or pictures.

And I find I check back in several times a day.

But care is needed with Facebooking. Had to chat with my Precious Redhead about this the other day. Anticipation, celebration, and depression can cause faux pas posting, danger, and trouble.

1. Anticipatory posts are those items that you’re going to do! Can’t wait! Gonna have so much fun! But a teenage girl doesn’t need to tell the world that she’s going to be in such-in-such a place at such-in-such a time. It’s just plain dangerous. And while posts like that will 90% of the time result in nothing, those types have ended in kidnapping and various other forms of stalking trouble.

Anticipatory posts are also trouble for travelers. “Can’t wait to spend the weekend on the coast. It’s going to feel good to get out of the house.” I know these types of posts are only supposed to go out to your friends and possibly your friends’ friends, but what if your friend’s friend is a thief? It’s like putting up a sign in your front yard.

Empty House
Come One, Come All

That doesn’t mean you can’t revel in the enthusiasm after you travel. Or do the check-ins. Lurkers can’t act ahead of time when you’re already there. And check-ins can be fun. We were at dinner with my brother and his family a few months ago. My sis-in-law checked in at the place and immediatedly got an instant message from an old high school buddy who also was there.

2. Another thing to beware of is Celebratory Excitement. At our wedding rehearsal, one of my sweet hubby’s roommates (socially … uh … challenged, but very sweet) came to the dinner with a paper pinned to his back stating the salary of the job he had just secured. Oh yeah. That really happened. And he sincerely had no clue.

But I’ve seen the same type of effects from my dear son (is it a guy thing?) who will post his reactions to things without thinking how obnoxious he sounds. In his jubilation or victory or whatever, he just hits the post button.

This type of posting can look bad. Not the celebration itself. By all means share it. There’s enough conflict and sadness in the world. Spread the smiles. But at least read your post before hitting the button. Are you giving an “in your face” type of message? It’s something to watch out for. Because folks look at your facebook. No really. Future employers, agents, editors, and people in authority over you will look through your timeline carefully to get a feel for what kind of person you are. Arrogant posts can make a difference.

3. And in the same vein are the Emotional, Moody Posts. “I hate my life. What’s the use? I can’t do anything right.” Makes me think of the mother in Bye Bye Birdie. “I’ll just go stick my head in the oven.”

Everyone feels this way sometimes. Emotions, by their very nature, are fickle and then add a shot of hormones. Yikes! But posts like these, while journal-worthy, aren’t Facebook-worthy unless you’re feeling suicidal. (Then by all means post and let your friends get you help! Don’t try to swim that lake alone.)

Posts like these scream at needing attention. And again, future employers will look. Do you really want to look so high-maintenance?

The trick is to be true to yourself while being aware of who might be watching.

Your turn: Any other tips and tidbits of which to be careful when Facebooking?