A Few Reasons to be Careful with Social Media: Life in the Digital Age

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.

When I was 22...

I'm turning 26 in about a month (!) and it's recently hit me that I've been out of college for over 4 years now.

The last 4 years has been quite tumultuous, with lots of ups and downs, uncertainties, career changes and moving around.  Though things are still quite uncertain right now, I wanted to write some thoughts that had inspired me after reading this article.

First off all, when I look at the course of my career (and observations from my friends careers), the common theme of post-college graduation life was that we all wanted to accomplish big things.  We all had big dreams and ideas that popped up in the back of our minds of what we "wanted to do when we grow up." I've had many friends who wanted to go to law school, dental school, pharmacy school, business school, art school -- "the world was our oyster" as some would say.

While some end up taking actions towards pursuing their dreams, others  kept their dreams on pause and it eventually fizzled up, as daily life duties, school rejections or money problems kept them preoccupied and content. Others keep delaying because of timing (but really, when IS the right timing?). It was clear who was a "say-er" versus "do-er".  For those that are currently in pursuit of their 22year old dream (or any life goal in general), I'm so proud of them for going to seek it out.  For those who gave up on chasing dreams altogether, it frightens me to see a generation with so much potential lose their drive and ability to do so much more. 

All in all, I completely understand that it's easy to choose a life of stability and contentment.  I've been told to "take it easy" and tune down my Type A personality (lol, psh yeah right. can't help it- It's the INFJ in me). But, I'm a firm believer that NOW really is the best time to set your foundation for your future career and to stop making excuses.  It's so much more difficult to try and juggle your education goals when trying to juggle raising a family, mortgage, etc.  It's also much harder to work to that ideal dream job/dream company if contentment just keeps weighing you down.

When I was 23, I read The Defining Decade and the statistics around how our 20's really matter completely it kicked me in the butt.  Especially the part about how the first 10 years of a career have an exponential impact on ultimate earnings. Reality check: I'm halfway through my first 10 years of my career, and I really don't want to stagnate.