During the process of my apartment search, one potential subletter friended me on Facebook. Nowadays, it seems, Facebook and Google searches are my generation's version of a background check and references.
This process certainly is fallible. In addition to outright lying about information, people can also mislead others about who they are. And of course, like in-person judgments, the judger's first impression can be completely wrong (from law school alone, I admit that I completely read people incorrectly about 1/4 of the time).
However, I do believe that the majority of facebook profiles can accurately tell a fair amount about a person. What groups you choose to join, how much information you are willing to provide (and how organized you decide to present the information), and which pictures you choose to put up (or will not de-tag) can be revealing. Although we may not like to be judged by an electronic page, we are putting the information out there in the same way that we present ourselves in person.
So as I accepted the friend request from the potential subletter, I reassessed whether I think my facebook profile says about me and whether that aligns with who I think I am. I think/hope so.