My teenage mentors have been keeping me up-to-date on Facebook ‘rapes’. It has nothing to do with sexual offences. It is essentially a game or a prank. It refers to a situation when you are logged onto your Facebook page and pop to the toilet or go off to make a drink, and then someone gets onto your computer and for a bit of fun goes and posts embarrassing updates on your Facebook page for everyone to read. So it looks like you have posted them.
Facebook is an extension of young peoples’ lives. What a contrast this approach is to the actions of many organisations who still ban people from using Facebook in the office; and contrast the fear of Facebook among organisations with young people who are swimming with it.
This disconnect between how young people use Facebook and the corporate attitude to Facebook has to change – otherwise young people will feel totally alienated from the values of the workplace.
The best potential recruits will probably turn their back on the old fashioned communications methods of organisations and set up their own more dynamic businesses where they can freely use the most effective tools for communicating; or they will join companies who are integrating collaborative Facebook-like tools into the workplace.
Facebook ‘rape’ also explains some of the so-called mistakes created by younger people which have triggered off crises on the web. Often they are triggered by young people posting updates on a friend’s web page in the office as a prank. Living out the practices of their own culture, they forget the implications of what happens when corporates publish such messages. The gulf between the online culture of young people and the outmoded command and control, top down approach of corporates is going to create lots of issues this year and beyond.