by T. Katz
Q: Is it true that you can get fired, or not hired at all, because of what you post on your social media? I can’t believe that’s true. What I post in my private life is my business!
A: Since I don’t know your first name, darling reader, I’m going to call you “Naïve.” You DO realize that nothing you post on social media via the internet is private, right? Let’s break some of that down, shall we?
Social: Adj. – Relating to society or its organization. Noun – An informal gathering. Synonyms – party, gathering, soiree, etc.
Media: Noun – The main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the internet), regarded collectively.
Even with privacy settings, once you’ve posted photos, memes, comments, or anything else it is no longer yours. You’ve released that bit of you into the wild and it is free to roam about the country (or world) and you have to take responsibility for any ramifications of that. You most especially have to take ownership, if what you’ve posted leaves you at the center of some sticky issue regarding your employment (or lack thereof). This posting of your life … where you go, what you do or eat and who you know (or what you do with them) on ANY internet platform is less about freedom of speech and your privacy, sweetie pie. It’s about your character. Say it aloud. The word CARE is the first thing you hear, isn’t it? And you should.
Once upon a time, what you did in your daily life, out in your community, directly impacted your world and the people in it. Your family, friends, employers and others looked you in the eye and communicated with you, based on the words coming outta your mouth and your behavior. That hasn’t changed. In fact, the concept of “community” has grown even larger. You still have to monitor how you conduct yourself, so that you are seen as a valuable member of society. Remember, it’s Social Media. Not Antisocial Media. You should care about what you’re posting.
The internet is a marvelous instrument for communication and self-expression and I’m all for that! In fact, the more diversity we are able to experience through social media, and the various other platforms associated with the online world, I believe the bandwidth of our hearts and minds will expand. But, every one of us needs to be logical and understanding about how we choose to live our lives and the documentation and posting of these lives via social media. You don’t live in a bubble. You live in a snowglobe, where everyone can see you shake things up.
Your footprint, and I’m not talking about your carbon imprint, leaves marks wherever you walk. Don’t kid yourself that it doesn’t. Whether you walk in virtual reality or in the real world, you make a move — you leave a mark. You have to decide if you want to be followed in those footsteps, or implicated in crime.