Are social networks our best friends or our worst enemies?
We are all aware of the power of the internet and we also know that the digital content plays a central role in today’s society. This is the reason why all of us have integrated this tool in our everyday life.
As a matter of fact, we, as social networks addicts, web addicts in general, wake up sharing a #selfie, we eat a tweet-flavoured breakfast, we take the tube with our dear friend Instagram, we take “Facebook breaks”, we have lunch with Vine, we google just about anything and everything since “google is our best friend!” we fall asleep on Pinterest… We just consume all sorts of #hashtags all day long!
Of course, it has become the norm also for companies to explore this new virtual world. As a result, our bosses or potential employers pay close attention to our web activity. It is so easy to get carried away online. For example, a Facebook conversation on a friend’s wall can quickly get out of control after an exhausting day of work, training or university; we may let ourselves go and leave not so “sweet” comments about our boss, teacher or university.
Not many people reflect on what they’re about to publish, they do not consider their friends list nor do they check the different groups’ privacy settings, etc. If we’re not careful, it’s easy to lose control of what we say on social networks and this can have very negative implications for our professional present or even future.
We are not perfect, we may make mistakes. As professionals, we might publish something on social networks using the wrong account. For example, we might end up publishing a private post using our professional account which does not look good and could have serious implications for the company.
For all these reasons and many more to come, I would advise you to be careful when you publish something on social networks.
Moreover, thanks to the social networks, companies find out about us, some even hire “web investigators” in order to find us and to form their opinion about our personality, taste, reliability, lifestyle, etc. This is no longer a private sphere (by private sphere I mean private life as you understand) which is now completely integrated in the professional sphere.
A name change won’t protect you because if you look hard enough you can find anything. Who has never nosed around on Facebook looking for somebody? The most persevering among us will always find a way!
So be aware of your online activity because we will all be hunted down at least once in our lifetime.
No need to get paranoid, but do not take this lightly either.
A word to the wise!