10 Things To Avoid When Using Facebook
Posted by Elmer in Randoms on October 08, 2009
I've been a little Facebookish lately and my blog posts reflect that feeling. Not that I've been hanging around one of the most popular social networking sites all day, but maybe just a little observant on how people use Facebook.

How to behave in Facebook after logged in? I have previously posted a couple of dozen of guides and etiquettes to manage your "cybermanners"

This time, it's about what not to do in Facebook. It's not a mandatory order, just a reminder to avoid getting fired, embarrassed or anything undesirable.

1. Facebook at work.

Unless you have permission to do so, or at least you'll be able to carry out your job and finish it on time. 54% of US companies have banned the use of Facebook and Twitter at work due to apparent reduction in productivity. If your company didn't implement one yet, don't pretend it tolerates you spending your office work time hanging out with friends online. 

2. Disclose birthdays.

We all want some birthday greetings, don't we? But there is no need to disclose the exact day you were born. Not that we don't want people calling us old. Birth dates are among the things that can be used to verify identities and the birthday you shared in Facebook can be used against you. If someone pretended to lose your Facebook (or any other account) password, sometimes birthdays are asked. You're in trouble; you can change your password but you can't change your birthday, right?

3. Disclosing too much information.

"I was down the street when my friend bought large amount of bomb ingredients." These days, police can track down fugitives, culprits and felons using Facebook. Burglary suspects in Hoover, Alabama, USA were arrested using their Facebook account as hints. Police in New Zealand nabbed another burglar after his profile photos and security camera matched very well. Not that I am helping culprits get away, but for innocents from being wrongly accused.

4. Using Facebook mail to replace proper emails.

It is a bit inconvenient to read an email notification from Facebook to read your message and requiring me to log in just to reply to you. Unless you don't have someone's email address, Facebook's email facility is good, but don't override my longstanding email account with Facebook messaging system. People want to access emails in one place as much as possible.

5. Adding too many strangers as contacts.

When I say strangers they don't necessarily mean people you never met before and arbitrarily asking you to connect with them. They can be people you meet briefly during your holidays. It's not wrong to add them, but if you add them all you'd probably have a hard time recalling who they are later on. Worse, they could be spooks who gained access to your friends-only Facebook details (especially phone) and haunt you later. In short, don't bother connecting to people you don't know.

6. Make updates when you're on sick leave.

One insurance worker in Switzerland spend her supposed "rest" time to update her Facebook profile. The result? She got fired from her job. She argued that her bosses were snooping around but the company countered that what she did was breach of trust and not necessarily about her updates. So the next time you pretend you are not feeling well, can you also pretend your iPhone or home computer is not working well?

7. Making nonsense updates.

Okay I get it, you got a new mobile phone. Okay I understand you already brushed your teeth. Okay, it's not worth posting something it. Some people just want others to see what they are doing, even to the tiniest details. Don't be like them.

8. Posting crazy photos.

Some people are hungry for "Likes" and comments so they think placing all-original photos of funny, weird or obscene shots attracts them. However, it's also a likely recipe for disaster. The problem is that not all will be amused, and if your boss is one of them, be prepared to face the consequences.

9. Making grammar and spelling mistakes.

On every Facebook update you make, your reputation is at stake. Do you want to be perceived as an upright, intellectual being or simply just a careless blob. Facebook isn't certainly for geniuses but taking care of basic punctuation and grammar issues can benefit you a lot. It's not really lack of knowledge, but just too lazy to compose correct statements. If you are looking for a job, a seemingly minute mistake is often magnified by an interviewer who happens to check your Facebook account, Grab William Strunk's The Elements of Style and you'll learn a lot.

10. Mixing business and personal life.

It's a delicate job to balance between personal and business life. Know your limits and be constantly reminded by it. You don't want to be the root cause of losing that all-important business pitch just because you left a scathing Facebook remark about one client executive during your last meeting.

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