Thursday, December 13, 2007

Facelift: Video on your wall

Shared media creates a common language. If we've seen the same movies, read the same blogs and heard the same news, we have a common culture and frame of reference. In this context, the Facebook Wall features are great. You meet someone new, or someone old, and you know something about their frame of reference. I am quite happy to get all kinds of interesting videos, graffiti, etc. on my wall.

Unfortunately, some people use little discretion in what they post on their wall, or what they send to others' walls. For anyone who hasn't got perspective on this yet, one sentence should do: My boss is one of my Facebook contacts. If that sentence wasn't enough, consider that your boss is probably on Facebook too.

You know, I like nudity as much as the next person, and I have heard and laughed at many a dirty joke. But do I want them displayed where past, present and future business associates can take a look and see what level I will stoop to? I think not.

Long ago, I managed to train all my real friends not to forward junk to my inbox. Occasionally, friends send things they know I personally will like. The only people who send me "inappropriate" jokes are people who know me really, really well, and know just what kind of inappropriate is funny to me. And, of course, that is my private e-mail inbox that my boss and IT manager aren't looking at.

The other thing that absolutely amazes me is WHO sends me these posts. On Facebook, the people who send me the most inappropriate posts are people who I know briefly through networking. This amazes me most of all. Supposedly, they are connected to me for business networking purposes (otherwise they would have asked me to coffee by now). I assure you that posting a video called "Stripping" on a business associate's wall will not make a positive professional impression. Especially if the associate is a woman.

Also, chain letters. Why are you sending me a chain letter if we are barely friends? Is it too obnoxious to send your real friend a chain letter--but you are afraid to be cursed with 1000 years of bad luck for not forwarding it? I get it, you want to curse me with the bad luck and not one of your actual friends. That's something that is sure to make a good impression on me.

And that teddy bear who is travelling around the world? Hello people, he is not travelling anywhere. Absolutely nothing will be achieved by posting him on someone else's wall.

If you want to say hi, there is poking, hugging, waving, and sending messages. If you want to create a common language, do please post on my wall. But don't just forward me garbage to remind me of your existence or because it is easy. You will be defriended.

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