The separation of church and state is a concept that has echoed in the minds of the public since government entities were first established. Made famous for Americans in the Bill of Rights and later in the First Amendment, the ideology surrounding the separation of the two institutions is brought up now more than ever with fear that government is stepping too heavily on the toes on religious freedom.
As important to our form of government as is the separation of church and state, the separation of personal and business postings should be to your career. Bringing that to a 21st century perspective, the concept of separating personal and business life is an understood rule, but is often forgotten. Uniting the two factions will not always result in disaster, however the chance that your employer will be far from pleased after seeing your less-than-appropriate Facebook update is not always worth the risk.
The status could be something written on a whim, such as personal family issues, explicit venting about any sort of topic, or the update you just had to post after a few martinis because it made so much sense at the time. As a self proclaimed expert of keeping tweets and Facebook statuses appropriate, I am here to tell you: think before posting that update.
An idea that so many in todays world forget is that you can have two separate profiles, which may be the best option. Create one that you store all of your business contacts on. You can update for your business on said profile and keep it completely professional. The other profile can be your weekend profile in which you could post anything of your choosing.
My suggestion: think before you tweet. I promise that after you take a few minutes to think about that status or tweet, it might not seem like such a wise idea to be shared with the world wide web. If those methods dont work, and you find yourself itching to press the Tweet or Post buttons, I have compiled a checklist to mentally run through before your update is shared.
- Would your employer want to show your status to potential clients?
- Would your family (kids, parents, etc) want their friends to see this status?
- Would you benefit from having two profiles (one for business and one for personal uses)?
- Once the status is out there, you can never fully erase it from the internet. Are you sure youre comfortable with that?
By using these four questions, you will be able to gauge the appropriateness of what you're about to post. Social media is all about sharing information and engaging with family, friends, coworkers, clients, etc. Just make sure you're putting your best self (and your businesses' best self) out there!