To be honest, I’m writing this real late at night but will most likely schedule it to post during “normal” working hours. Author, why are you up so late? Are students being jerks? No, no, nobody forgot that water is a required ingredient for Easy Mac or anything.  But my work phone did wake me up with two alerts. Email AND Facebook. Facebook on your work phone! How dare you! No, no, it’s okay. It’s my work Facebook.

See, in addition to having two phones, I have two Facebook accounts. My original Facebook has more unflattering tagged pictures than Britney Spears circa 2007 being followed by the paparazzi. It’s also gotten to the point where Facebook’s privacy settings just plain confuse me. So yes, I could have one Facebook and be friends with whoever and just have them not see all the stupid crap my friends post on my wall or terrible statuses from years past, but it was easier to do it this way. I started fresh just like I did with my job.

I routinely tell myself that if Britney Spears can survive 2007, then I can get through RA Training/Formal Recruitment/Greek Week.

I routinely tell myself that if Britney Spears can survive 2007, then I can get through RA Training/Formal Recruitment/Greek Week.

Even with this brand new work-appropriate Facebook, I have certain rules. I guess the biggest rule I follow is that I don’t friend students. They can friend me, but I’m not going to make them feel weird and awkward by friending them. I’ve also been in the awkward situation of seeing pictures of things I shouldn’t have seen – namely my underage residents clearly drinking in their residence halls. I’ve spoken with my boss about this and unless it’s a matter of health and safety, we are not going after these kids. I’ve worked at schools with different policies, so it was good to have this chat with my boss early on. If I see a picture of a kid drinking in one of my buildings, at the most it’s going to be a chat about making good life decisions regarding what you put on the internet.

How do you navigate using Facebook as a professional? Do you have multiple accounts or do you have everything on lock down? Who do you accept as friends? What do you do if you find something “unbecoming” on Facebook? Tell me that and more in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “Facebook

  1. I have super-high privacy settings on my facebook account. When my jr. high and high school students ask if they can friend me on facebook, I always tell them that they’re welcome to send me a friend request after they graduate high school, but not before. I know teachers that “friend” their students, but I think it opens too many potentially problematic doors if I allow that while they’re still professionally under my care. I’m OK with keeping in touch once they’re no longer minors and not my students anymore. And yeah, I don’t send out the friend requests to former students myself. That’s just weird.

  2. Cindie says:

    I’m not in student affairs, but I also make it a habit to not friend students. The few work study students or other students that have friended me are on a specific privacy setting that doesn’t allow them to see pictures (not that my recent pictures are anything to be ashamed of, but if anyone was really curious and scrolled back to 2006, wellllll…).

    When I was in school, I took it upon myself to learn the privacy settings, and as an Orientation Leader, my orientees that friended me were put under their own privacy setting as well. It was a lot easier to navigate all these settings back in the day, now I think the best bet is to just have a separate account like you do.

  3. djohn138 says:

    I also work in housing, and this is my first year. I decided before I started that I needed clear boundaries for my personal life and my work life-and that includes Facebook. I have very strict privacy settings on my personal account-at one time I wanted to be an elementary school teacher-so I am unsearchable, super private, etc. There are definitely benefits and downfalls-I was talking to someone who works in HRL who said “I only have one Facebook-I don’t have anything to hide!” For me, I don’t have anything to hide either-I just need to keep personal things personal and work things work things. There are some things I don’t necessarily want to share with students and coworkers that are only meant for friends and family-life updates, personal struggles, etc. It’s not that I’m being “inappropriate” on Facebook and broadcasting my life story, but I feel in order to maintain professionalism, I need separate accounts. Most of my former supervisors have also done the same, and so far it’s been working out great.

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