One of the perils of having an online presence is that you can be looked up by anybody with access to the internet. This can include prospective/current employers and, in the case of teachers, pupils and their parents.
I’m on Facebook, but have avoided some of the other sites like Bebo and MySpace. I try and keep my profile slightly work-related, and just use it to keep in touch with friends and colleagues. I’m also going for the world record for the number of application invitations I am currently ignoring!
Many new teachers are making the transition from student to teacher and in September there will be another cohort starting their first teaching posts. Most of them have Facebook accounts and so can be found by pupils and parents. It’s another level of complexity from having your profile read by your boss for those in an office job.
Setting your Facebook profile to limited access is one way to stop unwelcome visitors finding out what’s on your wall, or some of your personal details. But it’s going to be harder to stop friends and colleagues posting material that contains you – such as the xmas party photographs etc etc.
It’s a shame you can’t set up private and professional versions of your profile – one only viewable by friends and one for colleagues. A kind of TwoFaced Book.
Of my group of 21 Primary PGCE students that I teach, 19 have Facebook profilesand only two of those have a viewable profile. The rest have them set to friends only – so at least the message is getting out there to protect your online identity.
Here’s a nice parody of Facebook, that really rings true. If it’s not acceptible in real life, why is it OK on Facebook?