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Has Facebook gotten old? Gotten evil?

Posted by Rona Fischman January 28, 2010 02:27 PM

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For the past year or two, I have been bombarded with advice that I should be on Facebook and that I should have a business persona there. Before that, I joined Linked-In, where the grown-ups are, and left Facebook for the children.

My husband started looking into Facebook when he learned that it could benefit the non-profit he works for. That made sense to me. There are good arguments about using Facebook in the non-profit world. Yes, it has been good for his organization. It also helped him find old friends and acquaintances and find new ways to waste time in front of the computer.

But Facebook has a dark side.

I worry about people with common names. Here’s an example: The tech consultant that I use for my company has a common name. When I Google him, I get all sorts of people that are not he. Then I went to Facebook. There, I found all sorts of guys that were not he, too. I remember one in particular; he was posing next to a six-foot-tall inflated bottle of beer...A couple expressions come to mind:

“Don’t say or write anything that you wouldn’t want on the front page of the New York Times.”

“Fools names and fools faces are often seen in public places.”

This weekend a friend sent me this link that underlines my idea that too much information is a bad thing. Lenders are starting to use social media as marketing, and are also scanning your public chatter to evaluate your credit-worthiness.

About a year ago, I went to a seminar by Amy Chorew who inspired me to jump onto Facebook as a buyer’s agent. So, yes, I am on Facebook. You can be my friend. But you will not find any pictures of me in scanty clothes or posing with large alcoholic beverages. I don’t discuss my personal spending habits or credit either. I suggest you do the same. And, frankly, I still prefer Linked-In.

What do you think of social media? Should non-profits have fan pages there? How about businesses like mine? How about lenders who read public profiles? How about fools with big beer bottles?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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