But like any other technological marvel that we have nowadays it needs to be used responsibly. People tend to forget that what they say and do on Facebook can be viewed by a lot of people, and not necessarily by just the people they want to see it. On Facebook a person has the ability to allow everyone on the Facebook network to see their information, or to limit it to several degrees of people that they choose. Facebook calls people that a person allows to see their information "friends". But just because this social media program labels them as "friends" that might not always be the case. Too often people accept "friend" requests from people that are virtual strangers because they may seem to have a similar like or interest in something that they are interested in. But by doing so they are allowing this new "friend" access to information that they probably would never allow a stranger that they met on the street to have.
Because these people are identified as "friends" on Facebook, it insidiously works its way into our subconscious that these people are to be trusted, and that is not always the case. Anyone who has access to their information can take it and re-post it to areas they aren't even aware of, like another social media site, YouTube, etc.
What many people forget is that once something is out there on the web it is fair game, and no matter how hard they try they may not ever be able to wipe it out completely, as many a job applicant or recently fired employee is finding out. So while they might find that picture of them stumbling blindly drunk out of a strip club at their bachelor party funny, it might not look good to a future employer and would give an opponent lots of ammunition when they run for the school board 20 years from now.
So the best thing to do is to enjoy Facebook and all the wonderful benefits it has, but leave all the risqué jokes and potentially embarrassing photos and videos in the bottom of the dresser drawer. And if someone isn't sure what might be construed as risqué or potentially embarrassing, they can use this rule of thumb: If they don't think it would look good on a billboard in town or they wouldn't want their grandmother to see it, don’t post it.
Author: Daniel Blinman is writing on behalf of Marketing By Web; who currently specialise in Facebook Management and Facebook Marketing.