These days, the most honest places on earth are in the virtual realm. How often does entertainment news come from a celebrity’s Twitter? On social media, people, especially teenagers and young adults, show their truest colors. And the biggest social networking site, Facebook, is no exception. From photos to status updates to fanpages, you get to see things like how someone talks, what he/she likes, and what activities or hobbies he/she is into.
While we like to think our Facebook lives are for our friends’ eyes only (and even then, that’s not all the time), the truth is that Facebook is becoming less of a personal space and more of a public reference. In times like this, it’s time to get Facewash.
Facewash was created by three college students as a tool to help college graduates clean up their Facebook profiles prior to job hunting. This app goes through all the content that’s ever appeared publicly under your name–status updates, photos, videos, likes, and comments–and alerts you if there’s anything potentially offensive. Facewash doesn’t delete these automatically, but leaves it to you to decide what to do with it.
All you have to do is log in to Facebook on the Facewa.sh website, click Go to App, and give permission for their profiles to be accessed for the Facewash scan to start. Facewash generally tags foul or derogatory language in captions and posts, but users have the option of indicating more specific phrases or words to be on the lookout for. The length of the scan is dependent on how many posts it has to go through, but generally only takes a few minutes. And after you’ve cleaned up the flagged data, you can revoke Facewash’s access to your profile.
How do you know when you should have your profile Facewashed? Here are five signs:
- When you’re looking for employment. The references listed on your resume aren’t the only ones potential employers look at anymore. Many companies access applicants’ public profiles as an additional background check, and to get a better grasp of their personalities. The last thing you want your future boss to see is a post you once wrote slandering his company.
- When you’re starting your own business. With so many businesses getting their head starts on Facebook, you don’t want to worry about clients discovering that racist comment you made years ago. Your public profile speaks for your brand, especially if you’re the head of the company, and you want to keep it as professional as possible.
- When you’re applying to university. Users on Facebook are getting younger and younger. Even babies have their own accounts now. With responsibility for a public profile coming at such a young age, the occasional online discretion happens earlier in life. For high schoolers hoping to get accepted into a good college, it’s imperative that they present a clean image. Having pictures of drunken escapades going around paints an unattractive picture of the students they will become to administrators, lowering their chances of getting in.
- When your family joins Facebook. The greatest fear of many a youngster is of their parents discovering Facebook and seeing exactly what they’re up to. It suddenly makes you think twice about that old YouTube video on your timeline, especially if you know your mom is going to go through everything there and possibly make comments.
- When you’ve entered into a new relationship. This applies to both platonic and non-platonic relationships. In this generation, everything is validated by the Facebook status–friendships are only truly established once you’re Facebook friends, and relationships must be recognized as being “Facebook-official”. Facebook is now such an important part of social life that it is the first thing new acquaintances look up. If there’s anything ambiguous in your past you’d rather not have the new people in your life knowing, then it’s time to get Facewash.
Facewash has come along at a time when maintaining your online reputation is all-important. Facebook has offered its own protective measures for its users’ accounts (such as the adjustability of Privacy Settings to hide posts), but there are times when we miss things. Get a Facewash, and be sure that you’re in the clear.
About the guest author: Celina Conner is a Yoga Instructor, a holder of a Diploma of business from Martin College Australia and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Krizia. She has a passion in cooking and formulating vegan recipes.Follow her adventures on her Twitter.
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