Recently, the school system I work for instituted a Facebook Policy. As a teacher, I understand the seriousness of what appears about me online, so I took this as an opportunity to Spring Clean my Facebook Profile. With the number of employers and other agencies that are using Facebook as a viable source to research someone, I feel like it’s always prudent to be aware of what you are posting, and how it reflects on you. Here are some of the things I did to clean up my profile.
Know Your Friends.
Over the last year or two, I had accumulated a lot of Facebook friends. Some are genuine bona fide friends of mine: my sister and brother, my wife, my good friend Brian from work. Others, however, were people who knew me through someone else, or because I “am Sir Scrapalot.” I always felt bad turning down someone’s friend request, so I would just say yes to anyone. I know you’ve done the same before….but think about it. Isn’t this the start to a John Hughes’ movie? Joanne is going to have a small get together, but sure you can bring your brother’s friend’s sister..and before you know it, the party is out of control and everyone is pretending some dead guy is still alive while John Cusack holds a boom box outside the door. Accepting everyone as a friend is like having one of these parties. The first thing I did when I cleaned up my profile was “defriend” anyone I didn’t know. I felt awful doing it, and I am truly sorry about it, but I needed to keep my friends list to people I knew (even if it is still crazy big).
Un-Tag Photos of Yourself.
As a teacher, this one is really important to me. I can only control the pictures I post online, and I am always very careful of what I post. I can’t control when someone posts a picture of me. Once they “tag” me in the photo, anyone can see it. I urge you to click on your photos link, and scroll down to the “Photos and Videos of You” section. Here you can see what pictures people are tagging you in. If there are any pictures you would rather not be associated with, find your name in the list of people in the photo, and click “remove tag.” It won’t take the picture down, but it will at least remove your association with it.
Go Over What You’ve “Liked.”
This is another way that people can learn more about you, so make sure that the information you are providing is what you want out there. Sometimes we click “Like” just to get access to other features or because we are interested, but we don’t want to forever be associated with “Stamp Lovers of Massachusetts.” Look through what you “Like” if there’s something there that isn’t “you” anymore, then get rid of it.
The bottom line is this: everything you post online is online forever. No security measures are foolproof, and you can never know who is in possession of what information. Make sure that what you are posting and sharing is what you want out there about you. In the long run, you’ll thank yourself for it.
How do you keep your Facebook Profile clean and up to date?