I think my mum is one of the very few people on Earth who doesn’t have a Facebook account. As she has often said to me, ‘What is so fascinating about seeing strange people falling over at a party drunk?’ I have to agree with her. There is a very thin line, but a very important line, never to cross and that is the one between what you do in your spare time, and how importantly you regard your reputation and occupation.
Many people involved with caring for children, whether it be a nanny or a babysitter, have a clear responsibility to those children and their parents to give them incredibly thoughtful and excellent service with nothing getting in the way – like a range of rather questionable photos on their Facebook page. Like most of us these days, we check the internet for answers to our many questions especially ones regarding a prospective nanny or babysitter, but where there’s the slightest hint of someone not being above board, then c’est la vie! There are plenty of other fish in the sea and unfortunately your reputation could be ruined forever.
It’s a vital decision you have to make while using social media that you choose to keep your account private and therefore safe, or public and not. A private account cannot really get you into trouble unless of course comments and photos are transferred from one account to another and somewhere along the line, they fall into the wrong hands – the hands of your employer! If your job revolves around caring for children on a full time or part time basis, you are supposed to be unquestioningly responsible, intelligent, reliable, trustworthy, the kind of person who would help a defenceless grandmother across the road but there you are, balancing a glass or champagne on your head while you stagger from side to side nearly ready to fall off your heels and slide into the pool!
A little tip perhaps? While you are ‘enjoying’ yourself, looking at friends pages and updating what you’ve been up to over the past few weeks, have a thought for the children you care for. Are you being the type of role model their parents had in mind? Are you really giving your position its best shot? It’s so much easier to be free of the discomfort of having to worry about what your employers might find if they look hard enough into your private life. What you may spend hours concerning yourself with on a laptop screen, surely doesn’t come close to the innocent, open faces looking up at you needing your help, your guidance and very importantly, your trust. By keeping your private life private and by drawing a very thick, black line between this and your employer, will give you more confidence to show how much you do care about your position and the new generation you are helping to mould.