Social? Yup! That’s me!

It’s all my sister’s fault. She kept nagging at me to get a facebook page. She had joined back when you had to have a college e-mail account (I had already graduated) and she was looking for a way to stay connected (she lives in GA).

So I joined. I threw a picture up there and jumped head first into the realm of social networking. I approached facebook like I do with most new things, especially technology related things. I rush in with the intention of being TOTALLY involved, check my page several times a day, spending time poking around on all my friends profiles, until eventually my life gets busy with the next new obsession and my passion decreases or disappears all together.

While I no longer spend hours on the site, or feel desperate to check in at work (okay, I don’t check it *often*) I do find that I check my facebook account as regularly or more so than my e-mail account. It doesn’t take me long, and it helps me check in with what my people are up to. I really resonated with what Michael said over at Read and Burn about connecting with people that life had previously separated, like my bff who moved in 10th grade or my college roommate who spent 3 years in Japan.

I’d like to comment on some of the articles we read about using Facebook from a professional perspective. I especially find Judi Sohn’s article about 12 Ways to Use Facebook Professionally. For example, while I’ve never thought of it this way, I do follow the principle of decorating you profile like you would decorate your desk. Of course, on my desk right now is a stuffed dragon, a mug from the show Wicked and a golden snitch made out of Model Magic. So YMMV.

One of the pieces of advice I have not followed is being selective about my Apps. Of course, I don’t use facebook purely as a professional tool, and none of the apps that I have chosen to include are particularly embarassing. (and I don’t care how unprofessional it is, I ❤ Flair. period.) And there are also some fun apps available for librarians. I have visual bookshelf and worldcat search, and my causes are banned books and creative commons. I need to look more into the Librarian App.

One thing I wonder about is the difference between personal and professional when it comes to beliefs. Obviously, I’m not a person who has a hard time sharing her opinion, but as I espressed in this previous post, I have chosen not to list my religious and politial affiliations on my Facebook page. My reasoning for this is, as a librarian, I need to present a neutral persona, so that all patron can feel comfortable in approaching me. But it’s really hard when I see cool groups I want to join or flair buttons I want to add. What are others doing about this? Do you think it is appropriate to display a political or religious statement on your facebook or blog?

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4 Comments

  1. October 20, 2008 at 12:15 am

    That is a good question. I think it is smart to remain neutral persona, but I myself find it rather hard. For me, being civic minded is a not a bad thing as long as you are not attacking people. But now I am thinking I should take the politics off my facebook. Perhaps I will wait till after November 4th. 😉

  2. KJ said,

    October 20, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    “…one thing I wonder about is the difference between personal and professional when it comes to beliefs.”

    My split accounts have really solved my issues of personal censorship. I let fly on my personal account because I know it is locked down except for <20 folks of whom I all call close friends.

  3. bgood said,

    October 23, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    I think it’s appropriate to include whatever you think is important. I’m comfortable about telling people I’m a Christian, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to preach to them, and I certainly don’t look down on anyone who practices a different religion. I guess you just need to know your audience, and don’t give them anything that you wouldn’t want to be passed beyond that audience. Being neutral is OK, but being yourself is better.

  4. ginnybelle said,

    October 23, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    bgood,
    I get your point about being yourself, and I do agree.
    Here’s my concern: You’re comfortable telling people that you’re a Christian, and you are tolerant of others. Great!
    What if a patron at your library wants information about evolution, or abortion, or gay rights?
    It’s not really a matter of your comfort level. If that patron knows that you are a Christian, they may not feel comfortable asking you for those kind of books.
    You know that you’re not going to preach to them, but how to they know that? It’s like saying Merry Christmas to someone who’s Jewish. They can take it as a greeting or an affront.
    I’m not disagreeing with you, I’m just pointing out a possible complication.


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