Facebook: The Risks Outweigh the Benefits

bkp1
Brent Pohlman Marketing Director, Midwest Laboratories

Posted on September 24th 2013

Facebook: The Risks Outweigh the Benefits

Leaving FacebookLast week, I attended a conference hosted by a law firm that focused on personnel legislation. Over and over, social media came up and examples were specifically given regarding inappropriate Facebook activity.

When I talk about Facebook here, I am talking about your personal profile on Facebook. People are getting in trouble for being connected to parties, saying information that could be taken out of context or talking about their workplace in some way. My advice: Be careful and use your Facebook Profile to only connect with your closest family and friends. Some people have found Facebook too much of a risk and have simply left. That is the other option.

Facebook is a go-to social media site for law firms to obtain information on particular people. No other social media site was mentioned. Based on what I heard from the evidence presented, I really believe the people, that are hurt the most are those people who post information that really should not be posted at all. Personal parties, thoughts and rants. Secondly, people could be connected to connections just based on their friendship and this can be very dangerous. At one time, I thought it would be fun to connect with complete stranges in the same line of work and interests that I had. These type of connections are extremely risky and ultimately could cost you your reputation. The sad part, you may not know anything at all about these connections. This second reason really got to me.

I don’t want to risk anything happening to me because of what someone may or may not say on Facebook. Personal Facebook Profiles for me will be just that personal. It is not worth the risks.

I will still have an account and company page, but I will be spending far less time in the future on Facebook. I understand there are security settings on Facebook and you can tighten them up, but if you connect with someone, you are still connected to that person.

Be careful and really make sure your connections are with people you can trust. Remember, people talk about people and all of us need to be careful of what information we post online and who we associate with. Be Smart | Be Careful and consider keeping your conversation more professional, (Linkedin) and less personal, (Facebook).


Image courtesy of basketman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

bkp1

Brent Pohlman

Marketing Director, Midwest Laboratories

Marketing Director at Midwest Laboratories

Use social media as a part of my marketing initatitives to connect with clients and other great professional business people. 

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Comments

I think it's risky only if you make it risky. The owner of each profile is responsable for what they share on Facebook and if they decide to post something that might get them in trouble they are the only ones to blame.

I think this is a good example that showcases many of the filtering features Facebook has had available for years.  For example, working in social media, I'm expected, as an "expert," to have active accounts across all networks.

Clients and people in the audience when I speak at conferences regularly attempt to connect with me in a variety of social channels.  I always buffer it by saying, "I share all of my best social media tips on Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn," but that's not always going to work.

I have no less than 30 or 40 lists on Facebook.  People I meet at conferences are put into one, clients into another, and so on.  By doing this, I can make sure they only see the rare piece of content that I post publicly, reducing the connection risk. 

The majority of the time, I read only the "lists," I care about, such as the ones I have titled Close Friends, Family, Social Media Pros, News Sites, etc.

I'm not saying it's the perfect solution, but I do think people are largely unaware of the many different ways they can manipulate their Facebook experience.

I think this is a good example that showcases many of the filtering features Facebook has had available for years.  For example, working in social media, I'm expected, as an "expert," to have active accounts across all networks.

Clients and people in the audience when I speak at conferences regularly attempt to connect with me in a variety of social channels.  I always buffer it by saying, "I share all of my best social media tips on Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn," but that's not always going to work.

I have no less than 30 or 40 lists on Facebook.  People I meet at conferences are put into one, clients into another, and so on.  By doing this, I can make sure they only see the rare piece of content that I post publicly, reducing the connection risk. 

The majority of the time, I read only the "lists," I care about, such as the ones I have titled Close Friends, Family, Social Media Pros, News Sites, etc.

I'm not saying it's the perfect solution, but I do think people are largely unaware of the many different ways they can manipulate their Facebook experience.