Gen-Y Rant

Facebook Privacy And The Work/Life Balance

One of my posts about Facebook privacy was featured on Brazen Careerist and I think it brought forth some interesting discussion. There are those among us who believe my generation is a little out of hand with their Facebook usage. That our party pics and crazy wall post antics could prevent us from getting choice jobs in the future or even affect our status with our current employers. We even hear horror stories of people losing jobs over Facebook and private events being made public. But are these problems directly related to Facebook or could they have been avoided altogether? Yes I do think we should be aware of the content we are making public however I think it is becoming less of a problem than it was in the past.
First you need to look at the status of you work/life balance. Do you live to work or do you work to live. Furthermore are you happy with your life and with your job. Now would you be happy at a job that monitored your Facebook profile for proof that you were on the straight and narrow. I personally would not. I also don’t believe that the way I present myself in a social environment should have any bearing on my professional capabilities.

I think Saad Handoo summed it up quite nicely in a comment to my post on Brazen Careerist. He says:

Are we to assume that our managers cant disassociate our personal lives from the professionalism we keep in the workplace? Any rational being knows that the behavior you put on at a house party will be dramatically different from that of a work setting.

He goes on in a reply saying that, in the near future, Gen-Y will be the ones making the hiring decisions and future generations might have less to worry about.

Something Rebecca Thorman points out in one of her own video posts is that Facebook and other social media sites are a great place to look back and see how you’ve evolved throughout the years. This is one of the main reasons I keep my Facebook the way it is. It’s my ultimate journal of the last 5 years of my life that I am willing, and excited, to share with the rest of the world. Yes I am drinking in some of the pictures and yes some of the conversations are a little out of whack, but it’s part of who I am because it’s part of who I was.

Finally, I want to share a post with you from earlier last year by David Eaves that provides a little more insight on how Gen-Y approaches Facebook based on their history with the platform. We are very aware of who is looking at what we are posting and we might not care us much as you think we should.

4 replies on “Facebook Privacy And The Work/Life Balance”

I agree with you. I think Facebook is going to be a problem in corporate America until Gen Y assumes the roles of managers. Facebook is often misunderstood and frowned upon by Gen X’ers. We on the other hand have grown up with it and used it as a social tool. For the majority of Gen Y, it’s part of our daily lives.

I admire you for “keeping your Facebook the way it is”. In a day where we are encouraged to be transparent, you should keep it the way it is. Hopefully people will become more understanding and realize the potential Facebook has. We might just have to wait for that until more Gen Y’er assume management positions.

Thanks for leaving your thoughts Jennie.

I kinda think we are already in the transition, mostly because it is so much a part of people’s lives. Outlets like Twitter and Brazen Careerist also make it pretty easy to distinguish ones self apart from a single Facebook identity. And like I said, there are always the basic privacy settings that can keep the really dirty stuff hidden.

Your right Twitter and Brazen Careerist are such great tools in making this transition happen. I’ve been using Facebook for about 5 years now and I am kind of set in my ways. I am still getting used to things like people friending me who I haven’t personally met. I started using it when it was strictly high school/college. I like where Facebook is going, it’s just hard getting used to. Twitter and Brazen have been great places to shape my identity outside of Facebook, I feel more comfortable in both sites sharing content. Facebook I often wonder, what will my friends think?!

Hey Jon – I like your approach on this article, it’s where I stand more or less. As people get more accustomed to online networks and digital communications I think we will also get more savvy with making a distinction between online personal and online professional not only for ourselves but also when reading/ seeing others.

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