The Internet is a great thing. I like it a lot (not only by the fact that I earn my money doing stuff on the Web, but it´s a great database of knowledge and to keep in contact with friends and people all over the world).
But I recognized a change in the usage throughout the years. A one I have to admit is not that cool. In the early days (I´d call it Web 1.0 …around 20 years ago…really 20 years ago?!?! I´m old!!!!!) it was a funplace. I had chats with people I didn´t know all night long. I paid a lot of money to stay online and talk to those people. I didn´t had that much interest in getting knowledge.
Today…especially in the so called “Social Web”…things changed. Are we really this person that we show others in Facebook or Twitter for example? Am I the person in Facebook? No…it´s part of myself. The positive one…my “sunny side”. You will for sure only get a glimpse of what I really am. Facebook lost a lot of it´s fun potential. Facebook today is for me an extension of Linkedin or XING (a German counterpart for Linkedin). I have clients in my buddy list…my Head of Staff and (former-) supervisors are in my buddylist as well. I signed a Code of Conduct for how I have to act on social platforms in regards of my job. Ok, in general i´s ok to have such a Code of Conduct. It prevents my company for for suffering damage caused by comments by it´s employees. That´s ok. Fair deal.
In Germany we have a speech:

“Don´t bite the hand that feeds you.”

So I don´t actually need such a Code of Conduct…I pretty know what to write and what not. So I will never ever write something bad about my company or post internals there. But is that enough? Thing is such a Code of Conduct only says how to deal with information in regards of your company. But in Social Web you are a permanent representative of your company. What ever you do or say, you can always be countable. So I wouldn´t post any naked pictures of myself on Facebook or on the web, cause they might get into hands.
But it´s not only this. We want to present us in a best way for possible recruiters that might offer us a job. So they should, of course, only see our best sites. Especially in Online-Business it´s not only the professional networks where the headhunters and recruiters look for potential new staff…they also look on the social web. What does the person do in the web? Does he/she has an own website? What does he/she does on Twitter…
And so it’s just a natural reflex to present yourself in the best way…but is this you? Nobody is perfect…we all know that. But if you look at some Facebook profiles you might get the feeling that there are a lot of perfect people surrounding you.
I had just short time ago a chat with a friend of mine. She was “reorganizing” her Facebook profile. But she did it not because she has some “tick”….she did it because of her job. She want s to make a good approach on her new team… I say: THIS-IS-WRONG!
What we tweak online-self to make it suitable for others we don´t know? Come on…this can´t be the right way.
I´m not perfect….I´m very very far away of being perfect. Some things I´m pretty good at…other things other people can do much better. That´s ok. That what makes teamwork so good. If you have different people, with different skills come together and chip in the skill something good will be the result. If everybody was equally “perfect”…what would be the “result”? Perfection? No, Standard would be the result….because of the fact that everybody would be as perfect as anybody else…the result can only be the same. So it´s the balance of skills that makes work and life fun and each piece of work individual…and good.
I´m highly emotional…it means once I´m convinced that the thing I´m doing is great…I´ll try to make it the best project possible. It means as well, that if I´m f*** up because things didn´t work out that I had planned them, cause someone else gives a f*** on plans I made. There´s a high chance that I kick a trash can through the office or shout out “F*** it, I need to get out to get some fresh air!!!” (I didn´t harm anybody so far…and I wouldn´t do that, because I´m a peacefull loving person), but I was told, that my behaviour was not professional. I tell you…this “unprofessionalism” is my fuel to do my job as good as I´m doing it, and that why I earned my reputation…AND this is what I´d like to say in public without fearing any consequences to my job or my privat reputation. I want to speak out the way that I am without censorship from outside and from myself. I´m far away to say, that I free of this inner censorship, because (mostly) I know what I´m writing…and who might read what I post. But I will improve on that.
So I say as conclusion…
to all you Heads of Staff and Recruiters:
Look twice on somebodies “Social Web Profile”. Pointing out weaknesses is not something that really shows weakness, but it shows more honesty this person put´s on itself. Consider this when you have to choose between such a person and someone that has a “perfect” Profile.
to all YOU:
If your purpose is to look good on the social web, and hide your true self. That´s ok. It´s a choice. But always keep in mind, that hiding yourself and modify your “public self” will affect yourself…
And now I´m getting myself a cup of coffee…YEAH !