What Do You Know About Facebook?

I bet almost everyone who is reading this article has facebooked once already, is going to today or has done so very recently. Facebook's monstrous growth is truly overwhelming and it seems like every Mintu, montu and motu have a facebook account; anyone who has a legitimate email address.Many post almost every detail of their life on facebook; their feelings, what they did over the weekend and the image they want to purport to the world.

However, facebook users should be aware how popular the site really is. An article in the September 16 edition of the Wall Street Journal, “College Applicant, Beware: Your Facebook Page is showing“noted how not just your friends and family were looking at your profile but possibly prospective employers and colleges as well. This new survey included feedback from 320 selective schools, of which 10 percent use social-networking sites to evaluate applicants and a fair amount who admitted to being negatively influenced by what they find. While 10% may not seem much, for someone whose future depends on being admitted into a good college, it's a lot. Admission committees may do some background checking to see what sort of applicant they have on their hands and many employers have been found to do so too. The Director of the Career Development Center (CDC) Lance Choy confirmed in an article on the Stanford Daily that employers routinely conduct Web searches to find background information on job candidates. Companies have furthered this practice by using Facebook. “Employers might be able to confirm background information,” he said. “Some students write about their interests, and employers might want to check on whether this supports their job application. Some employers might try and learn something about the student's personality and whether it would be appropriate for the job. However, there is information on Facebook that is not relevant to the job but may be used inappropriately by employers to assess a candidate.” Obviously if your email address is drunkgirlxoxo@yahoo.com or have a lot of wild pictures doing inappropriate things, you may not be considered so right for the job/college after all.

Then there are those incidents of actually being caught red-handed on FACEBOOK. In November 2008, a restaurateur in Australia was left with a large unpaid bill as five of his young customers snuck out without paying. However, he and another employee searched for them on facebook, got one of the culprit's contact information from his profile, called up his employer and explained the situation. Within hours, the guy returned and paid the money back including large tip, but was later fired from his job.

And one of my favorite 'caught on facebook' episodes is this: a bank intern, Kevin Colvin emailed his boss that he couldn't come to work for a few days because he had to fly back home for what his boss assumed was a family emergency. The next day, his co-worker found pictures of Colvin dressed up as a fairy for some sort of party on his Facebook page and showed it to the boss. The boss then charmingly replied to Colvin's email, attached Colvin-dressed-as-a-fairy photo and send it to everyone at the office to see including Colvin himself.

Ergo, what you have on your facebook or MySpace pages and who is able to see them is extremely important. After all these are wildly popular networking sites with a view to connecting to people. You don't want all those good grades, hours of community service and top notch essays to do down the drain just because some admission committee takes a dislike to the videos you've uploaded. And at least if you're going to call out of work to enjoy a party, don't post pictures of it online the next day.


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