If you’re just beginning your advocacy journey or have been fighting the good fight for awhile now, it’s important that you take a minute to protect yourself. By protect, I mean to literally keep you and your family safe, to protect your personal information, but also to ensure you keep yourself balanced.
There are two areas of Facebook for you to address- your personal page and your advocacy work- whether that is a page or a group you oversee.
- Friends: consider this rule- you only accept friend requests from people you have met in person. I recently did a bit of purging and found myself trying to place how I even knew some of the people I was friends with. Remember, what you post can also be seen by friends of your friends (you can adjust the setting for this).
- Advocacy Page: here anyone and everyone can like and follow along your advocacy journey; you can pick which posts you also want to share on your personal page, so you are still reaching your friends (who should hurry up and like your page of course!)
This is a tricky one for me. I have a public account that shares all aspects of me. You can find my cat, what I had for dinner, and facts about my disease. But here is what you won’t find anymore:
- Photos of my children: up until last week, you would find photos of my teens mixed in with my injections and favorite advocacy t-shirts. But not now. Why? A few reasons- my profile is public which means anyone and everyone can see what I share. As much as I would like to think that everyone in the world is wonderful and has good intentions, that’s not accurate. And more importantly, my children should have a choice in what goes up online about them.
- Your data: make sure prescription and medical record numbers aren’t visible in your photos. Same goes for your address, phone numbers, and names of your physicians.
- Where I am at all times. Enter the #latergram. Again, privacy.
If you’re like me, you check your email often…maybe a little too often. My inbox is full of school newsletters, potential product reviews, things I *need* from Amazon according to Amazon, new posts written about my diseases, events/conferences I should consider, and tons of health updates. All good things that prompt some type of action from me.
- Split up your mailboxes. I have an email for my blog that was just sitting out in gmail land unused. Recently, I’ve started moving all of my “health” email content to that address. Why? Every email I read made me immediately think of what I could do with that information- do I share it on my Facebook page? Write a blog post about it? Tweet or Instagram it? Now when I’ve read my important emails (such as one about school closing early or a message from my doctor), I can go over to look at my advocacy updates. It’s a simple effort in self care for me as well.
Have you made any changes like this to your online presence? Please share what has worked for you and what I may have missed in the comments below!