Why you really shouldn't be an idiot, even on Facebook
There was a time when I smiled indulgently at my friends who were making idiots out of themselves on Facebook. And that's because Facebook is supposed to be silly, and idiotic. That's why it's so fun. Facebook isn't a place for being serious, or doing Marketing, or selling stuff. No. No. It's a place to make jokes with your brother (which I love to do!), it's a place to post what you're having for lunch, how devoted you are to Star Wars, and all of the little things that make life so delicious. And if every once in a while I see an idiotic post from a friend of mine, I just mute it, and pretend I didn't see it. It's what friends do.
Professionally, I try to steer anyone who is running a business, or wants to run a business, or be involved with business, such as looking for a job, to use Google+. The mood and texture of Google+, especially since its redesign in November of 2015, just lends itself to less idiocy. No, I never tried to talk people out of posting on Facebook, it's just that the goal of being in business is to communicate a message to a general audience, not joke around with your brother.
But as of today, I was surprised to hear that many businesses go visit Facebook pages before they hire someone. And really, they shouldn't. They should know that Facebook is a goofy, silly place. But a lot of people don't know that. Your customers may not know that. And, if you want to protect your professional image, it looks like idiocy on Facebook will have to stop. Yes, even with "privacy settings", which have been worthless for years.
That being said, please don't go overboard on this. You don't want to avoid posting on Facebook just so that a potential client, or a person who might hire you, may see it. Just consider Facebook a public place. If someone sees a picture of you hugging a dog, or spending time with your parents, you aren't being an idiot, it's just what people do.
This covers the vast majority of people, who really shouldn't be idiots in public, anyway. And I mean screaming at people out of the window of their cars, making nasty comments. It's really not that difficult to not be an idiot. And you probably really aren't one, anyway. So stop making yourself look that way on Facebook. Please.
Posted by Brad Hall