Most of us joined Facebook years ago… on average, about 3.5 years ago, to be exact. Since then we have collected many “friends,” posted loads of pictures, and have updated the world on our ever-evolving thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Over this period, however, many young professionals have also evolved and changed drastically in their real lives, both socially and professionally. If you still have photos of your party days, are still friends with some now-questionable types, or if old status updates about former jobs or relationships still linger on your timeline, you may want to consider spending a quick afternoon cleaning up your Facebook.
An extension of your resume
The main motivation YPs have for cleaning up our FB is due to the popularity of employers now requesting to see profiles as a sort of extension of our resume. Whether it’s to simply get a feel for what type of person we are, or to see how big a following we have (common in fields like marketing, sales, publishing, etc.), potential and even current employers are interested in our personal online presence. Though our FB profiles are supposed to be just that, personal, and we should be free to use them as such, there is a level of discretion and maturity expected of young professionals. In order to both enjoy using FB for its personal and social purposes, but also maintain a high-quality YP reputation, consider giving some of your old content the old heave-ho.
Everyone’s there, even grandma!
Beyond concerns regarding employers, also consider the image you are portraying to the rest of your world. We all know that FB is essentially a perpetual high-school reunion, but nowadays the invite extends far beyond just former classmates. Past and present flings and foes, teammates and teachers, colleagues and college buddies, not to mention grandpas, aunts, and family friends, are now using FB, and they want to connect with you. If you choose to press that accept button, consider what your new “friend” might just see if they happen to scroll down to 2009. Don’t shock grandma and don’t disappoint your fave teacher; get rid of those pre-YP-era pics and old relationship rants, for good.
Your hair is different and so are you
Finally, our twenties and thirties are a time of tremendous change. Your hair colour, suit size and political preferences have all likely changed because you as a person have changed. Cleaning up our FB profiles can be both cathartic and empowering. You’ve moved on from that bad relationship, that impulsive period, or that one summer you tried dreadlocks – so add to your current positive progress by ridding your online presence of evidence of those less than stellar times. You don’t have to erase your past, of course, but with just a little editing you can put forth into the world a Facebook profile that truly reflects who you are today.