Facebook used to be a place where you could go crazy and have fun, see what your friends are doing, and post cat pictures. But now that people are adding their family and bosses, someone is bound to get offended. Having to always watch what you say and do online leads to stress and anxiety.
The problem is that you’re different with your parents than you are with your boss or your friends. Things that you might only do with friends (such as drinking or going to a party) are now seen by everyone. A recent Pew study showed that about 80 percent of parents have friended their kids on Facebook and half of them post messages on their kids’ profiles. It’s not enough that your parents watch everything you do too.
It gets even worse when you add employers as friends. Why would anyone do that? A CareerBuilder survey found that about 37% of employers look up applicants on social networking sites, mainly on Facebook. This is why you should always make sure to change your privacy settings so that only friends can see what you post. And never add your boss!
The great thing about Facebook nowadays is that you can also control which friends see what. This means you can make that album of that crazy party you went to last weekend only available to a small group of friends. However, an Edinburgh study found that only one third of Facebook users take advantage of this setting.
The study also found that, on average, people are Facebook friends with seven different social circles. The most common group was friends who were known from offline environments (real life!), followed by extended family and siblings, friends of friends, and colleagues. This odd mix of people end up coming together on your profile and seeing the same you — all of you — instead of just the side they usually see. Some people are bound to end up being offended at some of your statuses and pictures.
Sadly, this means that some people’s expectations of you will lead to disappointment or they may actually be really surprised at what they find. But honestly, there are some things that your parents and colleagues just shouldn’t see. That’s what privacy settings are for.
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