Your Social Media past can come back and haunt you?
We may not always realise it, but what is shared on social media is more than likely to stay on social media, sometimes even if we have deleted what we have shared. Many of us that will read this blog will probably be of an adult age where social media come along many years after we were at school and we’ve only been Tweeting, updating and sharing during our adult years, times when we are sensible (though maybe children still at heart).
Others who will be reading are probably new to the world of work and social media formed part of their growing up years, was used when they had less responsibility and was a tool to communicate to friends at school, mates at their club/associations, other family members etc.
So, how can social media come back and haunt you and in some cases, affect your business profile going forward?
In most cases people in their business careers will go forward unnoticed, hold a position that isn’t in the limelight or public domain, but others will push ahead with roles that will be spotlighted and at times, reported within the media and be open to criticism and praise on a larger scale. As an example, within the UK property industry, you can be either a negotiator at a local branch of estate agency or you could aim to hold the position at the head of the NAEA or even go down the role of politics and be the housing minister etc. These different level roles, though within the same domain of ‘property’, hold a vast difference in how open a person will be to the way they work, opinions they share and importantly, their past.
When I say, coming back to haunt you, I refer mainly to our younger generations and those who will be heading towards a successful career in the limelight of either an industry sector, ie property as mentioned previously, or even nationally / internationally recognised for what they do. This is when you really need to study how you have used social media previously and content you may have shared for this is what could prove to be a downfall going forward.
If you are heading towards a top position, I do suggest that you look at what you previously shared on social media, especially anything that you feel would leave you open to criticism as many people will try and dig up stories about you as your position in business grows in importance. That rather innocent video you shared on YouTube or the update on Facebook, may leave you in a position where you need to explain yourself. If you remember having discussed topics such as religion, politics, immigration, government policies etc then you’ll need to track back and either delete them or look to make your social media accounts private and study those who follow you and have access to your content. Though in many cases, what we share on social media is purely fun, informative and light hearted, what in your mind may seem fair to have discussed, if taken up by the press or other medias, could be used against you.
Many of the 16 to 18 year olds entering the world of employment, will have had already ten years potentially of using and sharing on social media, that’s a lot of time to voice thoughts, opinions and suggestions – Make sure that if you are someone who has had their fair share of usage on social media, that you seriously consider what you have posted previously when going forward in your business career.