CINCINNATI -- Face it: Living in 2017 is pretty darn difficult if you aren’t hooked up to social media. Millions of us use platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram every single day to stay in touch with loved ones, connect with people who share our interests and, most importantly, force our friends and family to look at cute pictures of our pets.
With so many of our best friends just a tap away, it can be easy to forget that the internet isn’t as cozy as a real-life get-together -- there are potentially thousands of eyes pressed to the window of every conversation we have, and moments don’t disappear once they’re over. They stick, and the things your high school self said in 2007 might turn up on a potential boss’s screen in 2017.
According to Career Builder, around 60 percent of employers use social media to look up job candidates, and 49 percent have found information online that caused them not to hire someone. Some college admissions offices have also begun to inspect applicants’ social profiles when making decisions.
“Things people do innocently in their youth can follow them forever,” Jeffrey Blevins, head of the University of Cincinnati’s journalism department, said.
You don’t have to be a monster or a hot mess to have things on your social profile that an employer doesn’t want to see. Posting pictures of drinking or drug use (even legal), ranting about politics and publicly venting about relationship drama are all things that might make a potential boss second-guess their interest in hiring you.
Ideally, your public social footprint should showcase your best possible self -- a person that people who don’t know you would want to meet, hire or accept into their college.
Exercise your best judgment, Blevins said.
“(And) if you have to think twice about posting something, that’s just your internal voice telling you: Don’t,” he said.