During my sophomore year of college, I was using my procrastination skills to avoid an English essay when I logged onto Facebook to stalk a few of my favorite people. When I logged on, I was mortified to discover a “News Feed” on the main page that publicized all the content I posted and all the actions I was making in real-time. Panic set in: Oh no, was Adam (i.e. cute guy from Econ 101) going to know that I had his profile page open for almost ten minutes during lunch?!?
Amidst this momentous (and slightly traumatic) event in the lives of Facebook veterans like myself, I could never had predicted what I’d be doing just few years later. Ironically enough, it is now my job to be on Facebook and carry out the social media strategy for my client. Good thing Mark Zuckerberg promised us that no one would ever know how long you were gazing at someone else’s profile and I decided not to deactivate my account. However, Facebook and I almost broke up a few years later when I called my mother for our weekly phone conversation. She started by saying “So I was on Facebook…”
WHAT!?!? You were on WHAT!?!?
Discovering that members of my family, teachers and potential employers are on Facebook has been slightly disturbing to me. It felt like my friends and I were part of this fabulous and exclusive club when suddenly my mom pulled up in a conversion van to take me to church. However, after attending ERE’s #SocialRecruiting Summit in NYC, I finally recognized that people of all ages are using Facebook and won’t be leaving anytime soon. My arrogance had to be put aside when I transitioned my account from purely personal to appropriately professional.
I realized that the growing popularity of Facebook creates fresh and more valuable content generated by people with more diverse opinions, backgrounds and experiences. Perhaps their contributions can give me something to think about? They are utilizing Facebook to see pictures of their friends’ weddings, “meet” their newborn grandchild for the first time and catch up with their best friend from high school. FamilyLink enables sisters, brother-in-laws, and second-cousins-once-removed living across the country to stay up-to-date with each others’ lives. New users and new features remind me that Facebook allows me to share and gather information with individuals I would seldom or never connect to, which also helps me do my (really awesome) job. I am a recruiter in the Midwest looking for candidates in countries I’ve never even been to via Facebook.
So I bit my lip and accepted my mother’s friend request. My most recent status: Yes, I am now friends with my mom on Facebook. To all my friends, please be sure to post inappropriate pictures of me and swear profusely on my wall. Thanks.