Lack of judgment when it comes to Facebook and other social media is disturbing.
My building and the organization that runs it has a pretty strict policy about social media. As an employee, I am forbidden to list my place of employment on my Facebook page, on my blog, in any blog post, or on any type of digital media. We are also forbidden from “Friending” any of our patients or their family members on social media outlets. I don’t know if it’s official policy, but I also don’t friend my co-workers. I figure if I wouldn’t tell them all about my life or hang out with them outside of the building, what’s the point?
I work in a nursing home. I’m on-call, so I float and fill in where ever they need me to be. I work on every floor, in every section, with every resident in the building. Most are sweet and kind, or at the very least they are indifferent or have dementia. But there’s one–just one– who is just plain not nice.
He is difficult for everyone who works with him, has been known to make false accusations, and is just generally a pain in the rear most of the time. He’s also very self-sufficient and pretty much does his own thing. He uses the computer a lot, he’s on Facebook and I don’t know what else. He’s pretty tech savvy for an old guy living in a long-term care facility.
Last weekend, I heard him ask one of my co-workers if she saw his Facebook update and got his email afterward.
I became curious, so I looked him up on Facebook. His profile is private (as is mine) but his friends list isn’t. As I scrolled down his friends list, I became more and more disturbed. I counted 16 of my co-workers there– and we have over 80 so I’m sure I don’t know all of their names. But there were enough. The social media policy notwithstanding, this is a guy who is NOT pleasant to work with. WHY would someone want to let him Friend them?
Is it just me, or is there a disconnect now… a blurred line where just anyone can come right in and make themselves at home? Social media has opened our lives to the world, but only when you give it permission. And we’re giving it. We don’t even think twice about what we say, or who we say it to. And in most cases, we’re saying it to everyone on our Friend’s Lists. There used to be a point when work stayed at work, our personal lives were just that: personal. For me, that is still the case. For many, it is not.
This is forcing me to evaluate myself in some hard ways. I don’t friend people I don’t know. Wait, yes I do but I didn’t before. I didn’t before I started attending blogging conferences and meeting people– and not meeting people– and now when I get the friend requests I usually approve them if they are blogger I “know”. Or should I say, a blogger I have heard of or interacted with before.
And now I’m thinking that maybe I need to stop doing that and do a Facebook Friend purge.
Granted, some of the bloggers I’ve met and KNOW and LOVE and I am so grateful, so THANKFUL for their friendships. But others?
It brings me back to my initial idea that if I don’t know them, wouldn’t (or don’t) hang out with them, why am I Facebook “friends” with them?
So there’s the rub. I don’t want to “diss” anyone by unfriending them, because I am really way past believing that everyone online is an internet stalker or axe murderer. On the other hand, couldn’t they just follow my blog’s FB page and get updates that way? Could we be friends through the blog pages first?
I am really struggling with what to do now.