Social media sites are here to stay. Most of the young ‘uns embrace them, older ones aren’t always so interested (fuddie duddie stick-in-the-muddies) and, funnily enough, the really older ones with teenage grandchildren and time on their hands are quite the dab hand at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Pinterest and the like. These sites all fulfill a purpose, swapping photographs, sending videos to your nearest and dearest and folk you barely know. All of this is just fine. You can have a fun life and share it with the world, that’s what it’s all about.
Once it’s on the Internet, it’s there forever. Your Sweet Sixteen, you sitting proudly in the car your parents gave you for your graduation (“Yeah, right”, you cry), you atop a mountain somewhere exotic….all brilliant and in the decades to come you can look back and think, ‘Didn’t I look young/happy/thin.” But wait a minute…you looking decidedly inebriated at your best pal’s 21st….you giving rude gestures to the photographer…..
And those are just the photographs. What about the inappropriate rants about your less than favorite Professor, your ex-boy/girlfriend, how you forgot to take your medication, how your Parole Officer is not happy with you?
Ok, I’m getting silly here….but the point is, the world – potential employers, staffing agencies, in-laws – are judging you on this stuff, and initial negative impressions are very difficult to overcome. You wouldn’t drunk dial old flames, would you? (Would you?). In the same vein, don’t be posting information and photographs that the next morning you wish you hadn’t. It may come back to bite you in the posterior and there have been many examples of employers deciding not to hire people because they had tacky info about themselves floating in the ether.
Of course, Merit Personnel candidates would never do anything awful….I’m writing this so you can pass the advice along to your friends.