How would you feel if Owners asked you to add them on social media before accepting your application? I’d feel better seeing some history on Facebook/Instagram just as another way to gauge someone.
Good morning @marbymarbs and welcome to the forum. This is a great question and I think you’ll get plenty of varied feedback from our members.
As full-time sitters and nomads we’ve always been totally transparent on the internet and I have several homeowners who we have connected with on my personal Facebook page (which pretty much just documents our travel lifestyle). This has happened most often as the result of a great connection at a handover where we realise we have lots in common
But people use social in so many different ways, I have friends for whom it’s much more of a family space and more intimate, and who only connect with close contacts, preferring not to be as “out there” as we are
So I think you may get different views on this depending on how people perceive this and their privacy. It also raises the topic of trust and reassurance for owners, and sitters.
I know many sitters have specific Facebook and Instagram accounts used for their house sits and/or travels to keep this part of their lives separate from their personal accounts and to share pet pix with owners where they’ve given permission (not all owners like their pets shared on social).
There are lots of different ways to build trust and reassurance and it will be interesting to see what others think about this topic. Thanks again for sharing, all the best and we look forward to seeing you around the community.
P.s. I deleted the duplicate post, just in case you wondered where it had gone
I don’t connect on FB with anyone I’ve not met IRL. That said, most of my posts are public so if the HO could find me, they’d be able to get an idea about what I’m like.
It would not bother me. I don’t put anything on face book that I would not be happy doing or saying to anyone in person. It actually would probably be a good way for a home owner to judge my character.
If a sitter had an issue with this I would first think what are they trying to hide. I use social media when i’m recruiting, first place I look once i’ve read their CV. When you’re letting someone into your home and to take care of your beloved pet I don’t think its a crazy request.
You can always unfriend after the sit.
If there were concerns over family pics of their children or its a young female and they have pics in bikinis and they are concerned who will see them. My thought process is they shouldn’t be on the internet in the first place, once you post a pic no matter how private your profile is, that picture is out there for anyone to access if they really wanted to.
Welcome to the forum, @marbymarbs!
Honestly, I would be quite uncomfortable with a homeowner wanting to connect on Facebook before accepting my application to sit. My Instagram is open so anyone who finds it can see my pictures, but I only use Facebook with friends and family. I have nothing to hide as the comment above suggests, but appreciate my privacy and don’t think adding each other on Facebook is necessary. I would find it an awkward and, truthfully, pretty invasive request.
I am a reliable and trustworthy sitter and if someone doesn’t get that feeling about me after reading my 5-star reviews or speaking to me in a video call, then maybe it’s just not a good fit, and that’s ok
I’m not a big fan. Some owners did send me a friend request before a sit, which I accept, just cause it’s weird not to, but I’d never send them a request first.
If they add me after we met, I’m fine, but before the sit it feels a bit like spying to me. Not that I have anything to hide , but I usually only add people I met or know.
I have a FB account used by and for friends and family only.
When I inadvertently had my posts " public" for a very short time I had friend requests from folks that had no connection to me past or present.
@Mslaura I’m entitled to my privacy without it being seen as having something to hide.
Having a profile and reviews on THS should be enough.
of course I am from a different generation who doesn’t see the need to have my life displayed in the social media domain.
Have a good day folks
I don’t think it would bother me, though people would find my page quite dull. I’ve connected with several HOs after sits and it’s nice to see how everyone’s getting on.
I am a sitter, and I will assume you are a homeowner. You have used the term ‘social media’ in your heading, and yet specifically identified Facebook and Instagram in your post, neither of which I am active on. However, this THS forum is also social media. I always wonder why forum members do not embed their profile and/or listing in their forum username. After all, embedding this link serves as a promotional tool. That is a far more valid question, to me.
My sitter profile is linked in my forum username. In my THS sitter profile, in the initial content I share my forum username. I have nothing to hide and everything to gain. I stand by anything I post here. I am respectful in my comments, and respect the privacy of all homeowners I’ve encountered, whether or not I was chosen. It’s my opinion that nothing posted here should negatively impact a person’s chances on a sit, or being chosen for a sit, provided your comments are framed respectfully.
If a homeowner reads my profile carefully, they will see information to reach my blog. From there they can see a link to my Twitter profile. From there they will see a link to my LinkedIn profile. Not all of the content on these other social media is housesitting related, although it is the primary focus. At that point they will also have my full name, and searching me on the internet will show results of various volunteer organizations I’m involved with. Lots of information available, without a need to be friended in any way.
I am happily transparent with any homeowner, as I will once again state that communication is key. However, if after reading my application, with a sitter profile of likely an above-average number of reviews and references, I will happily answer any questions on a video call. How that conversation might proceed then, with respect to social media, will either raise or lower any flags for all concerned.
I don’t see the point of allowing an owner to see my social media accounts before being confirmed as a sitter. I’m currently on my 33rd sit through TH and this has never been requested. As I’ve got 32 great reviews that’s the best way for owners to read about me. However I am connected with quite a few home owners I’ve sat for, who’ve become friends, in NZ and the UK where I’ve sat so far.
I’ve nothing to hide but, as I post about other things on social media including my sits, the reviews would be more relevant I think.
I agree with this. Any HO who thought that me not deserving any privacy is a reason not to choose me isn’t likely someone I’d want to sit for anyway.
I don’t use Social Media.
@Snowbird says that this Forum is a form of social media but I don’t put any personal details on.
I have never had a HO ask for any other details apart from my listing.
Interesting topic, @marbymarbs . I don’t have much of a social media presence other than this blog because I am concerned with privacy. I have a FB page with practically nothing on it so I can access the FB pages of businesses. I created a couple of private FB group pages for organizations I have headed, and I also get lots of friend requests that I may have inadvertently clicked on, so these people and their postings are associated with me although I almost never read them. I have a few AirBnb reviews that are all good, but very brief. A HO will probably not be able to learn much about me from the web, other than to see my name associated with organizations. I would probably refer them to this forum where they could do a search on my username.
If I were a HO, I would be very interested to see the FB page of the applicant, especially if that sitter did not have enough information on their profile (reviews, references, pictures, copy) to reassure me. And I would take no offense as a sitter if a HO made this request of me. But if as a HO I needed any reassurance about an applicant, I would more likely ask to be connected to the HO from one or two of their previous sits.
One HO asked me, very politely, after we’d agreed to the sit, whether it’d be OK to friend me on FB. I had no problem with that–and we became friends. We are peers in many respects, which I think made the difference.
I used to have hundreds of friends on FB but a couple of years ago I had a clearout - I realised I didn’t actually know some, or some never responded.
So now I have just over 100 friends, mostly family or close friends and my settings are, I think, not public, so I would not accept a HO request to be a friend.
Nothing to hide.
I am for the most part an open book.
My THS profile is chock full of photos and info about me.
I’ll answer any question from a HO, at length.
If they live within 2 hours of me, I’m happy to come to their home and meet them (and their animals!) in person before the sit.
When requested by a HO I want to sit for, I give a list of references they can contact personally.
If they need more reassurance, I’m usually happy to provide that in whatever way I can.
I understand that they need to know how trustworthy I am, and I go out of my way to show them who I am.
But most of my social media is private and a place I use to connect only with close friends who don’t live near me. So I wouldn’t “friend” a HO on social unless we had actually become close friends.
I very much value and honor a HO’s privacy and boundaries.
And I like for my basic privacy and my few boundaries to be respected as well.
As you can see here, we all use social media pretty differently!
We use FB more like others use Ebay or to have access to certain groups (e.g. for cat sitting). Still we would rather withdraw our application if the HO seems overly distrustful (we have all the verifications and over a dozen reviews).
My social media accounts are public ,and I actually have my link to my Facebook on my profile, as well as the link to my business website, so people can easily look at it if they so choose.
That someone asks for that in and of itself is not really an issue. But if I did have a private profile, I may hesitate not because I post stuff I may not want them to see, but because I am all about vibes and connecting with owners who are more easy going about the process.
If after reading our profile ,and 30 reviews they still weren’t sure about us, that would suggest to me that it wasn’t the perfect fit. Everyone approaches this differently and owners need to do what makes them comfortable. Sitters who may be put off by this purely from the stance of the principle of privacy are totally valid in their thinking, but have to understand that any owner doing something like this ,is in a frame of mind where that will be perceived as a ‘red flag.’
This topic speaks to the importance of not getting too attached to assignments and letting ones go where it doesn’t feel like that perfect fit between the owner and the sitter.
I have no issue with someone following me on Facebook, IG or Twitter. All of my accounts are default to public as I’ve worked in communications/marketing for the majority of my adulthood. I have no interest in what most do, but anyone is welcome to peer in and read up on my random posts.