a guest post by Hayley Morgan
Facebook. The modern social hive.
I’ve been part of Facebook since it’s earliest days, when it required a university email address and a willingness to allow ex-boyfriends to see your every move. Since then, as far as Facebook is concerned, everything and nothing has changed.
Facebook has since turned into a marketing juggernaut, but the reality is that you must still reconcile a loss of privacy and a willingness to share.
I don’t let social media rule my life — but that said, Facebook is the largest referrer of traffic to my blog. Facebook is clearly something I’ve had to make some “rules” and “filters” for. These are the things I’ve set for my life on Facebook, both personally and professionally. They may not be the same as what you would set for yourself, but they may provide a basis to begin.
In my dealings with social media, here are my definitions:
A rule: a hard and fast, will not cross, absolutely set-in-stone line.
A filter: a set of concepts I abide by, but that have exceptions.
Rule #1 — I do not post anything controversial or snarky. There are not as many social repercussions in online life as real life for impropriety. I don’t want to be misunderstood or maligned because of something I post. My job is to communicate well, and if I cannot do that I refrain from posting. I am not snarky.
Rule #2 — I do not post anything negative or anything that could be construed as negative about my husband or children. I do not want them to have a digital footprint that proceeds them. I also find that, by nature, I get over frustrations quickly…any I don’t want other people to hold onto a grudge long after I’ve moved past it.
Rule #3 — I do not post pictures of the front of my house (this goes for anywhere online).
Filter #1 — I have a “blog” Facebook page that is separate from my personal Facebook page. This came to be when I felt I was spamming my “real life” friends and acquaintances with blog updates. I didn’t want to spam classmates from ten years ago when they just want an occasional update about my kids.
Filter #2 — I do not “friend” blog readers on my personal Facebook page. I cannot always control the content other people (my mom, mother-in-law, best friends, etc.) post about me that is linked to my personal page, and I prefer to have “editorial control” when it comes to my business.
Filter #3 — I do not respond to business inquiries sent to my Facebook messages. I simply cannot keep up with the system Facebook has in place in regards to their private messages. Plus, there has been some talk of security breaches within private messages and I don’t want someone’s business question splashed on my timeline for everyone to see. Email is far better to conduct business.
More than anything, I don’t let Facebook rule my life and I certainly don’t tell Facebook everything. I use Facebook as a tool and nothing further. If the tool doesn’t work any longer, I either figure out a new way to use it or I’ll toss it in favor of a better tool.
Hayley Morgan writes at The Tiny Twig, a lifestyle blog inspiring women to create lives of more passion and less fuss. She is co-founder of The Influence Network. You can follow her on Twitter, “like” her Facebook page, or follow her days on Instagram for the latest updates, resources she loves, and a peek into her life with 3 (almost 4!) boys.