Yesterday I was the keynote speaker at an event in Birmingham. One of the things I talked about and the audience was most keen to ask questions about – was the subject of social media. It started as a discussion about using or not using social media when recruiting new staff. And it turned into a general discussion about what one should or should not be putting on social media.
The conversation took a very interesting turn when someone asked how you police your friends and family – in terms of what THEY are putting on social media. And of course, that is a very valid question. How do you?
Because peoples values are very different – even from within the same family. (Values was another big discussion we had in the context of hiring but that’s a subject for another day). One of my brothers literally lives his life through social media and has a FB page for his dog! The other brother doesn’t even have a FB account. Mine is mostly full of happy positive stuff and is a way to keep in touch with distant friends and family.
The audience member asked what you should do if family or friends are posting stuff that you don’t think they should be posting or that you would rather they did NOT post. For example – you are on holiday with family, and your brother posts pics of you all on the beach. Quite inoffensive you might think – but not if it is your policy (as it is mine) never to post holiday pics on social media until we are home. It is different if it is only me who is away – as I know the home is occupied.
If the whole family is on holiday I never post pics or anything else to indicate this – you know – burglars use social media too. And some burglaries are carried out by people known to the family in some way.
It was ironic that this question came up really – as last night I had that exact thing happen to me. A good friend, innocently posted something on my timeline. It might mean nothing to most people – but to some people in our extended friends and family it would indicate a very serious problem had occurred earlier this week (which was the truth).
This person is not very social media savvy – and actually probably thought she was messaging me not posting to my timeline. So – I deleted it.
Luckily I was on FB at the time it was posted and saw it pop up so it went as quickly as it came. I then texted her and politely explained that I do not post sad / bad or difficult things of a personal nature affecting someone in my family to FB. I rarely post sad/bad/negative stuff at all, but especially if it is personal to someone I love. And therefore I had removed the post and would very much appreciate it if she could just text me directly in future rather than posting to FB.
She apologised and I don’t believe she will do it again.
But it is tricky isn’t it?
One thing you can do is go change your settings. Under settings there are 3 things you should adjust:-
1. Who can post to my timeline? Unless you 100% trust your connections on FB – I would change this to “only me”
2. Set it so YOU have to approve anything you are tagged in to go on your timeline – if you don’t approve it, it doesn’t show up on your timeline – but it WILL appear on your friends. At least you will be aware of it and can ask them to untag you on the photo.
3.. Who can see things on my timeline? Change to only my friends – especially if you are looking for a job and have posted pictures of you having one too many on your timeline.
Meanwhile, I suggest you have conversations with friends and family about what you do and don’t want posting on social media, and the sooner the better!