With social media creeping into every aspect of our lives, it comes as no surprise that more and more people are beginning to fear that they may be turned down or fired from a job because of an inappropriate social media post. Legal information website, FindLaw.com, recently conducted a survey of 1,000 “demographically balanced” adults, asking them about their social media behavior. The overall result of this study showed that 1 in 4 adults fear that their social media behavior will come back to bite them.
When this figure is broken down a bit more for age, we see that in the group of adults age 18 to 34, 29% said that they have posted something on social media that they fear could be damaging to their professional careers. In order to help control some of the potential damage created by past posts, 74% of people in this age group have removed past activity, like a photo or post, to avoid the negative reaction from current or potential employers. As to be expected, this number is lower in the next age group, 35 to 64, at 36%.
Perhaps the most simple way to avoid making these social faux pas is using common sense. Three basic pointers to follow when using social media are:
- Think twice before you post anything
- Check your privacy settings and make sure they are set appropriately
- Do not make sensitive personal information available online
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is once you put something online, it stays online. It is almost impossible to completely delete something from the internet, so it is paramount that you take a little time to make sure what you are posting is, and will continue to be, appropriate. It is so easy to post, tweet or update these days that mistakes are all too easy to make. What may seem like an innocent expression of your feelings can very easily come back to haunt you. We have said it before and we will say it again — think before you post!
– Mike & Samantha