Facebook is an online social networking service that becomes “booming” over the past years. Facebook that was officially invented in February 2004 has shown a rapid growth in the quantity of its active users, starting with only 1 million active users in the end of the year 2004 to currently millions of active users. A recent study (Wilson, Gosling, & Graham, 2012) predicted that the latest calculus in 2012 corncering the number of active users on Facebook reached more than 800 million.
For its renown, Facebook later becomes known of being the latest phenomenon to the society. Unwittingly, since millions of people using Facebook, there is a possibility of the professionals using it too. Despite of the fact that some professionals use Facebook because it is “trending”, Facebook also has several useful functions, namely, Facebook can be summed up as a tool to bound people together. Lampe, Ellison & Steinfield (2008) elaborated on the practical usage of Facebook obtained through surveys.
From the surveys, they pointed out that the place to find new connections, the source of information of acquaintances and the tool to keep in touch with old fellows as three most common useful functions of Facebook. Moreover, it is impossible to ban professionals to keep pace with the latest trend (since it is fair for Facebook to be called “a trend”) and to utilize Facebook as a social tool, undoubtedly professionals have social life too.
At Miscrosoft company, most employees have used social networking sites (Skeels & Grudin, 2008) In fact, some companies started giving social network tutorials to their employees, it seems like becoming “social media pro” (“Facebook pro”) is now written down on the job descriptions, however, each social media platform has certain reputation, and Facebook is not considered as a generally business site. (Klamn, 2010) The main concern is that Facebook itself makes it easy to blur lines between professional and personal purposes.
But, it is believed that professionals using Facebook for professionals’ interests will lead them to negative professionalism judgments. According to Skeels and Grudin (2008) Facebook describes itself as a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. Since Facebook pictures itself as a connection from those who work and study together, it is plausible if some professionals utilize Facebook to be connected with their professional fellows and unconsciously for professional interests.
For example, in a professional world, such as in schools Facebook is used by certain teachers for their teaching purposes. Madge, Meek, Wellens and Hooley (2009) conducted a research project at a British university and found that particular teachers used Facebook to assist their teaching. Mazer, Murphy and Simonds (2007) came up with another finding relating to teachers using Facebook for their professional purposes. They noted that teachers utilized Facebook to foster staff-student relationships while constantly advising to do it with caution, such as, to put merely self-disclose appropriate information.
The main reason for teachers using Facebook for their professional purposes is because they found out a large number of students are checking their Facebook accounts daily, hence, it is the most effective strategy to post latest announcements regarding to school work on Facebook. However, this idea of using Facebook for professional purposes is not only keen in schools, in the year of 2009, current president of U. S, Barrack Obama utilized Facebook to assist his campaign and this approach is still considered to be a brilliant approach that leads him to a major success. Aaker and Chang, n. d. )
Obama might also take the fact that Facebook is a social media that has been flooded by millions of people into his consideration, just like the teachers did. Yet, they may not notice that using Facebook for professional interests is invasive. (Klamn, 2010) Looking at the overview of Facebook, it does not delineate a professional site. Facebook profiles are extensible, they optionally include martial or relationship status, religious and political views, hobbies, birthday, favourite books, movies, music and quotations. Skeels & Grudin, 2008).
Even though particular professionals utilize facebook for professionals’ interests, Facebook was not originally designed for it. There are several illustrations supporting disadvantages and negative professionalism judgments after Facebook is involved in a professional matter. Mazer, Murphy and Simonds (2007) reported that the tensions were aroused when teachers added their students on Facebook, this could happen since the students were anxious about their personal information might get revealed. In the professional world, personal things are definitely things that have to be put aside.
Moreover, some students stated after being added as a friend on Facebook by their teachers, the students personally felt the power distance between teachers and students was a bit loose. There is a chance of the prior established relationship being threatened. Since power distance is slightly loose, it may be possible that this may trigger students to be less respectful to their tutors. According to Madge, Meek, Wellens and Hooley (2009) the idea of being contacted by tutors via Facebook is not overly keen by the majority of students. This explains why students were shocked and found it inappropriate to be contacted through Facebook.
Madge, Meek, Wellens and Hooley (2009) also clearly stated that the use of Facebook was most importantly for social reasons not for formal business purposes. Apart from teachers’ reason for using Facebook for professional matter stating that most students access Facebook daily, so Facebook is an effective means to inform latest announcements, there may be trouble encountered while discussing professional things on Facebook, since it may later engage personal things and may lead to an unsuccessful attempt of maintaining the image of professionalism.
To sum up, to professionals, it is best to maintain their professional image and Facebook does not assist on maintaining it. However, this does not conclude to ban professionals from using Facebook, Facebook is an open site and everybody can utilize it. Professionals may use it but obviously not for professionals’ interests, other types of means will work more efficiently than Facebook, such as, Email, and the newest social site, called Linkedin. Moreover, the examples of unsuccessful attempts of professionals trying to use Facebook for their professional purposes. eing outlined above might give insights on another party’s viewpoint (in this case, students’ point of view) and their reaction towards using Facebook for personal interests. In addition, Facebook itself was not constructed for professional matter (Madge, Meek, Wellens and Hooley, 2009). Although connecting people is Facebook’s main principle, professionals have to be smart and know to what extent Facebook can be utilized.