Looking up people online is not new. There are so many sites, such as LinkedIn, Skills Pages, Google+, so many more; where people post their profiles to connect for work and business opportunities. Actually, if you don’t have an Internet Profile, you are almost considered to be a Nobody. In today’s technical and digital age, it looks rather suspicious if you don’t also connect via Internet.
From a therapeutic point of view (my original reason for joining FB and other social networking/internet programs) I can also “monitor” mood and behavior of difficult clients (I am not sure I should put this on paper… but monitoring profiles and activities – with permission of the involved persons of course - have assisted before with in-time catching of i.e. possible manic episodes; or where people are blatantly lying about their activities during sessions). So I am grateful for these opportunities. But that there for now. Since, from there on I’ve become an avid user of FB myself for posting mails and photos and staying in touch with family and friends.
Facebook of course, is still one of the foremost used social networking. For advertising, business opportunities, chatting, sharing of information, for keeping in contact with long distance [international] family members, locating old friends and school mates, asking questions, staying updated with what’s happening in the community, create and promote events, be used as celebration of a deceased love one, used as storage for special pictures; and so much more. In some cases, it is even used as the only communication between couples who struggle to actually speak to each other (and if you find this strange, there are also couple who actually snail-mail each other, as they struggle with some rare communication disorders).
FB can also be extremely entertaining!
Which I once again discovered while working through the students’ photo albums and likes and dislikes and activities … Boy, can photo albums really tell about a person. Guys, you really made my day! In a way, this post is dedicated to you!!!
(Instead of the scheduled interview questions, I even consider suggesting to throw in random unscheduled questions about that special fishing experience; Woa, was that a brown-eye-attempt?; Or, tell me more about the party where you-know-which-pictures were taken….hint-hint...) All of course in the name of proper research and following up all possible “references”…
FB thus also has repercussions. Al social networking has. Sometimes downright negative. We [adults mostly] all know this (well, a relatively large percentage of adults).
There might be privacy issues. FB statements can also be used against you in relationship conflicts. Some people “fight” on FaceBook. Some people get addicted. Some people “lose” their social skills outside FaceBook. Teenagers post all their loving messages and then their heart break after a break-up, and then are still confronted with the lost love’s activities (Especially when they use FB to monitor his or her new life and love. Different topic for another day, mind you).
Stalking also occurs. Or Identity theft. The list of FB [social networking] consequences if not used properly, is longer than my arm or memory.
Also, we cannot actually delete previous posts. Somewhere out in cyberspace, everything we have said and done is still floating around, even if we did delete it from our pages. I think it stays on our timelines (or someone’s). This not only refers to FB, take note, but to everything we post on Internet.
Like you, the reader (possibly, I think ) I also have several posts which I wish I never posted…. somewhere. Someday they are probably going to find their way back to me and bite me in the back when I am not looking.
And probably because of that experience or possibility, I have for myself now developed a Golden Rule for FaceBook [Internet]-
Never say anything that might hurt another. Follow the “First Do No Harm” Principle.
This Principle also includes: no possible harm towards yourself.
I realise this post is not extensive of all the benefits or consequences of FB or social networking....
But, I believe that if we can manage to follow only this one rule, we should be OK'ish, and be able to enjoy all the benefits of online social networking!