During a recent conversation with a hospitality educator, we somehow got on the topic of Facebook and if it’s okay to use for business. Yes, I said. It would be against the norm, in my opinion, if a business wasn’t using Facebook or some social media to market or promote itself.
(They call it “social,” but I use Facebook mostly for work. Aside from an occasional picture of my latest catch from the river, most of what I post are articles or other industry-related bits.)
The educator asked me if Facebook should be used for school. “Isn’t it already being used?” I asked. Wouldn’t most of us be surprised to know that some colleges and universities are not using it? I know many an educational institution is using Facebook for, at the least, their departments and programs. But what about for individual classes? I can’t see anything wrong with it.
I’ve done only a little in our industry as a formal educator, but wouldn’t it make sense with school audiences (aka young people) to intertwine Facebook with school work? Won’t they be using it for their jobs when they graduate and join the workforce?
The educator mentioned that a handful in his students weren’t even on Facebook. I was flabbergasted. There’s a Gen Y kid out there not on Facebook? Get out!
But it reminded me that not all six billion people in the world are on Facebook. At last count, it’s about 800 million. It also brought me back to the idea that some of us still would rather communicate with friends, families and even coworkers via different or conventional means.
However, the idea that Facebook simply isn’t safe for information or may make a business, organization or school look bad isn’t a new concept. If you don’t know how to manage your information here, you shouldn’t be using it.
We’re beyond the fear of how social media may or may not make us look. Even members of Congress now know that if they send a picture of a certain body part via Twitter, it’s going to come back to haunt them. Facebook isn’t the only social media with vulnerability. Most of the Internet has its weaknesses. It’s up to us to use it, not abuse it.
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