I came across an interesting article earlier today about tagging and un-tagging photos on Facebook in the UK Daily Telegraph, http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/gen-y-not-look-fab-put-on-your-best-facebook/story-e6freuy9-1225904123524. Did you know that 32% of Gen Y-ers (that's us) un-tag themselves in photos that are unflattering? I'm not surprised - I'm guilty!
I thought this was an interesting concept to further explore. What exactly are your rules when it comes to tagging and un-tagging? Students and young professionals who need to be perceived as professionals (which really is everyone right now) need to have that conversation with their friends, the people they hang out with at night, their sorority sisters and fraternity brothers, and even their family - about what is appropriate to not only tag but to upload in the first place.
As a member of Gen Y, I deal with this issue all of the time - it's not just college students. Young adults need to be careful about how they are portrayed on Facebook. When I spoke about Facebook in 2008/2009 the message was "watch out, you never know who is watching". The message has changed to emphasize the fact that EVERYONE is on Facebook now. Most of the employers, internship coordinators, and human resource managers I work with are on Facebook - not to mention a majority of my friend's parents and even grandparents.
Wouldn't it be great if everyone abides by the same Facebook tagging and un-tagging rules? We all have that one friend who tags everything - appropriate or not.
Here are my rules for photos/tagging/un-tagging on Facebook:
1. If I'm doing anything inappropriate in a picture-even making a weird face that could be portrayed wrong-please don't post it in the first place. I'm a professional now and that's inappropriate.
2. To avoid sour feelings, if you are hesitant to post a picture of me online, please just email it to me and ask me or just let me post it if I feel the need.
3. Please don't tag me in pictures where I don't look good. I understand that everyone on Facebook must post pictures of themselves to make it look like they always look perfect and have the most fun in their life - but if I look gross, just avoid tagging me. Everyone I know doesn't need to see that pop up in their Facebook feed.
4. Tag me as little as possible. If I feel the need to share a picture with my entire social network - a great percentage of everyone I've ever known in my life - I will tag myself.
5. Please remember the consequences. My current employers and future employers are more than likely on Facebook and active. Baby boomers are the largest growing demographic on the site. Please be cautious. You are supposed to be a "friend".
6. If I'm feeling self-conscience and un-tag a photo because I don't like how I look or I think I'm being portrayed incorrectly, don't get mad at me. I have a right to voice my opinion and click remove tag.
7. If I send you an email asking you to remove tags from photos or just remove a photo in general, don't give me a hard time. Unfortunately, tagged or un-tagged, your entire network is exposed to whatever I'm doing in that photo. You can send photos around the internet with the click of a mouse and if I feel uncomfortable with that, please respect my feelings. After all, you are my Facebook Friend.