Thursday, December 13, 2012

Social Media

You know, social media is an incredibly powerful tool but it's a tool that you really cannot rely on to protect your reputation or look after the impression that you may give over the internet. In a world where more an more employers are searching the internet to get an idea of what you as a person are like, People on sites like Facebook are doing their best to make you look like a big jerk...guilt through association.

For example, one of my cousins posts constantly about how abortion is evil. It's a despicable sentiment and I was constantly disgusted with her incessant posting of ill conceived, poorly researched videos and commentary, which used shocking imagery in order to appeal to people on an emotional level - as if shocking imagery is required to create an emotional response.

As someone who was faced with this "choice" I found her posts so offensive I could have spit. We chose to minimize the suffering of our child who was very sick and minimize the danger to my wife so we ended our pregnancy early. To even conceive of having this option taken away is offensive beyond all measure and anyone who thinks otherwise ought to be ashamed of themselves. I don't really care if someone does not agree with me on this. If you're one of those anti-abortion zealots then I think your position is immoral and unethical and I will tell you so in no uncertain terms.

Rather than have these posts show up when I logged into Facebook which, I rarely do anyway, I un-friended my cousin.

Strike 2  - another cousin of mine (it's always the cousins isn't it?) posted a sentimental image of text about how your cousins are the first friends you have and only they understand your crazy family yadda yadda and then tagged me in the photo. That's fine. I mean, I'd prefer not to be tagged in a picture that doesn't have me in it but it's fairly harmless. Except, another cousin of mine who was also tagged in the photo posted "F**k you!" as his comment.

So, here's the problem. I'm a professional working in the high-tech sector. I can't control what other people put on my wall and what information is associated to me on a site like Facebook. Having recently had my performance review at work, how I appear on the internet is of concern to me. I did really well this year and exceeded expectations. I was also highlighted as a candidate for future management positions...So imagine what someone looking at me as a potential manager might think of the childish information associated to me posted by my cousins or anybody really. I can't ask other people to behave's a free country after all.

I'm not interested in hiding my opinions or pretending to be something I'm not but I also don't want someone getting the wrong impression of me because someone can't behave themselves so, today was the final straw. I deleted my Facebook account. I've been thinking about doing this for a long time.

It's not just people either. It's also Facebook itself. They're constantly fiddling with their privacy settings. I have no idea what people can and cannot see. It's simply not worth the headache any more. I hardly ever log on and, when I do, I find I really don't get anything out of it..