Facebook Commandments

A colleague and I were having an interesting chat about facebook. I have my own rules (and practices) for facebook, given that my "friends" are a diverse mix of colleagues, friends + family (some even cross those lines) and drawn from the various areas and interests in my life.

Given that I've articulated these verbally many times, I thought it might be worthy of sharing.... and these are subject to change at any time. ;-) I realize not everyone is going to agree with me and it does involve some level of self-editing (some might also call it censorship). However, I consider it all to be building my digital identity, the digital identity I want, the one I am crafting everyday. Because those of you who know me, know what I say ALOT "If you are not building your digital identity, someone will build it for you!"

With that thought in mind, here are my 14 rules and practices for Facebook use:

1. You can control who sees your news feeds; however, I decided if I didn't want people to read my feeds, then I shouldn't "friend" them.
2. I keep part of profile public, so that those I meet at conferences or events can find me. I am careful about what displays as my public information, though.
3. I don't 'friend' anyone I supervise or any students from one of my workshops/presentations, but if they friend me, I accept the friendship.
4. I do think about what I write and if I wouldn't say it in public, it doesn't go on Facebook.
5. I don't friend (or accept friend requests) from strangers unless they have a very good reason (which they explain) for friending me.
6. I mostly watch my language. If I don't want my mom to read it (and she does), then it doesn't go on Facebook.
7. Only a few people can see my family photos and some notes. Everyone can see my artwork, blog posts, the majority of my notes.
8. I do not post any photos or video of my family without permission. I expect them to do the same.
9. I use Facebook for networking, promotional, and professional development. I push out technology posts and art updates. I follow several colleagues and artists who send me wonderful links and readings through facebook.
10. I don't spy using facebook.
11. I accept that my family, friends & colleagues use Facebook and unless they post something really inappropriate (like they were going to bring a gun to work tomorrow or they enjoy stealing from the company), then I wouldn't call them out on it. I may not agree with their politics or personal beliefs or work habits, but I understand that we are all human and have the right to our thoughts. It is really about respect. However, if I discovered that anyone I knew were abusing the internet (regardless of website), then I would question that.
12. I use it in place of email for almost all non-official email. There, I confess. I did a presentation with a group of freshman just a few months ago, and I discovered that about all they do on the 'net these days is facebook. No youtube, no delicious, no IM, no flickr -- everything is done via facebook and for several in the group, via their cell phones. If I need to archive or I need the email to represent me in an official capacity, then I use an "official" email address.
13. I don't let it interfere with my work, be it at home or here at the library. The web (regardless of what is it) can be a terrible time suck. The web is part of my work, so I am online an awfully lot (if you didn't notice). LOL
14. I turn off the services I don't use in Facebook, like IM. Sorry, message or email me instead. IM is too disruptive to me when I working, especially if it involves reading on the web, video editing, or coding (in other words, things which take a lot of brain power!)

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