Call me paranoid, anti-social or hypocritical, but I am not a huge fan of social media (unless it's used properly to help boost businesses and customer engagement). I deactivated my Facebook, refuse to get a Twitter, keep my Instagram really private, and stopped making public reviews on Yelp. Not only do I find social media a time sink, but I also find it an invasion of privacy. I didn't realize how creepy the internet can be until I started recruiting, and was able to find so much information on my candidates (I call it professional stalking). All joking aside, here are few reasons why we should be careful of our digital profiles in this day and age.
1) Digital is forever
How much information do we have about ourselves floating around cyber world? Millennials remember: digital is forever, no matter if it's on LinkedIn, Twitter, FB, Yelp, emails, etc. Whether it be for personal or business purposes, be careful about what is posted and shared because it will be floating around in cyberspace - FOREVER. This means years later, that email or Facebook wall post that you originally thought would be private, could be exposed. Just look at these articles of Evan Spiegel. That poor frat boy can't even party in private.
2) Our children will have an online presence even before they are born?!
I was 18 when I first created my Facebook (I've deactivated it for the last 5 months now), which means I would have had my account for about 7 years this year.
This leads me to think about our next generation. How long will we continue to have our lives publicized on the web? When we have children, will they have an online image even before they are able to talk? Yes, at this rate, the whole world will know who your baby is, what the ultrasound looked like, embarrassing birthday photos exposed -- even before your baby is able to consciously understand what's going around. This completely blows my mind. MIND=BLOWN.
3) Never mix personal and professional
It's always dangerous to mix your personal and social networks, especially on Facebook. I've seen and heard of so many instances where social media clashes two circles groups, resulting in a nasty ending. For example, co-workers ratting one another out for saying they are sick but posting a picture on Instagram. Or, your friends and coworkers battling one another in a heated Facebook feed, even though they've never met. Someone liking and posting feeds on Facebook in the middle of the day, and a coworker calls them out for slacking. These are all real instances that I've heard of in the last couple years.
4) Recruiters can find out information about anything
Most importantly, recruiters/headhunters or anyone else who is good at stalking can actually stalk you. It's not that hard. This goes back to my older post about keeping your address private in your resume. It would also be wise to keep your FB wall, IG, Twitter and whatever else private, especially when prospecting for a new job. Your new employer really should not see or know about those 10 tequila shots you took last Friday.
Be safe friends, and know the internet is a dangerous playground.