A wakeup call from Facebook
Last fall, when Facebook announced it was introducing a new timeline format that would "create a storybook" out of users' milestones as well as future and past online activity, it was quickly panned by critics and members who labelled it an invasion of privacy.
After a frenzy of complaints, Facebook gave us a reprieve. Before the timeline became mandatory and went live, we had a window of opportunity to go back in time and rethink our past online activity. We were getting a second cyber-chance.
But what are we all so afraid of ? After all, we have been posting our every thought, opinion and photo online with abandon for years, often with the mistaken impression that somehow our behaviour on the web is cloaked in anonymity, or somehow less visible and of less consequence than what we say and do in face-to-face settings like the classroom or the office.
But our digital footprint matters, and whether we like it or not, the picture it paints of us can be less than flattering.
Social-media background checks of job applicants are becoming routine. Companies like Socio-Clean, which will help you cleanse your digital image by rating all of your online activity and pointing out posts, pictures and tweets that negatively affect your image or personal brand, are increasingly in demand.
"You have to manage your image," says Marie-José Beaudin, executive director of career services at McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management. "There cannot be this one side of you that is all proper and OK, and suddenly on Facebook you have these pictures that show you having a wild party and carrying on.
"You have to be aware that corporations are going to Google you. They will go on your Facebook. I don't think people realize that."...
Read full article: The Gazette, February 9, 2012