Should you be able to post whatever you want on your personal Facebook page? That's turning out to be a VERY loaded question. Some employers strongly believe what you post on Facebook (or any other social network) reflects on you as an employee. I think they're right.
The latest controversy hit City Hall in Sunrise, Florida. Sarah Hannah, the assistant city manager, has attracted some attention after posting boudoir photos of herself on Facebook. A city spokeswomen had this to say in an article in the SunSentinel: "Unless someone's activities involved their position with the city, we consider it to be a personal matter. It's not something we care to comment on."
Officially, the city has no policy guidelines on what employees can post online. Of course, after the existence of the photos were made public, it appears Sarah Hannah did some damage control. The images were no longer available to the general public. Newly-elected Mayor Mike Ryan said he was not too concerned. "We have bigger issues in our city to worry about."
Most employers have huge financial and management concerns, much more pressing issues than what their workerbees are doing on Facebook. But there is some reason for their concern. I recently spoke to an advertising agency owner. Her account executive have agency clients as Facebook friends. Recently, she sat her staff down for a talk. Some of her staff were posting Facebook status updates such as "Had a blast at Joe's Bar last night. 5 for 1 beer" or "Headed to Capital Grille for steak and cocktails." Clearly, that's not very comforting to a client waiting for his new ad campaign to be completed.
Where has common sense gone in this digital age? Whatever you do for a living, use some discretion before putting up pictures on Facebook that might cause embarrassment. We all know by now that regardless of privacy settings, posting on line is like sharing with the world. Do you think people forget that or is it that they don't care? Should you be reprimanded at work for what you post on your personal Facebook page, or do you feel it's off limits?