Thanks to social media, the world has simply become a smaller place! Your long lost friends, people you have lost contact with are all available there, and to top it all social media has also helped many people build professional connections. It also is a great marketing tool and platform, which many brands and companies use today.
However, as much of a benefit social media can be, it can be rather harmful as well, if not used thoughtfully and carefully. In fact many employers now Google candidates and even employees, and the content present on their social networking page can be rather damaging.
The argument is that most social networking sites are for personal purposes, and the employer should not be concerned with that! While this is true, the internet has simply broken the barrier between one’s personal and professional life. It is there for everyone to see, so why not your boss? So it is also important to be careful to understand what you want your employer to see and what not.
In this context, this is very much like the TV test. Only thing is that it is multiplied tenfold. The TV Test states and asks a simple question like; would you be comfortable if this behavior, action, statement, opinion or association was broadcasted on national television? Well… in social media it has more stronger and everlasting results.
Social Media can harm your chances of getting a job. Like I said earlier, the internet simply is open for the world to see, anything that goes on the internet leaves a trail and it is NOT private. So all your comments, updates, photos, blog posts, status messages, notes… simply everything is trackable and can impact the way people see and judge you. So even if you feel that you can delete a comment, photo, post or anything, it simply is a false alarm, in reality even these can be retrieved with a little bit of effort.
So if there is something that you would not want to be shouted out off roof tops, you should not share that online. Be it radical rants, racial statements, inappropriate pictures, comments, drunk remarks… all these are big red flags and can be completely damaging. There is another thing about the social media networking sites, it’s the Privacy Settings. Actually, they are not infallible and can only give you an illusion of privacy.
It is not that social media networking is all bad and it harms everyone, it is about using it in a positive manner to enhance your growth and potential. If used correctly, it is the perfect for those who want to network, connect and grow.