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Social Media and why some are scared of it

September 27, 2010

You’re read on-line or news print about what not to do or share in the social media sites such as Facebook. The argument goes that more “freaks” are out there that will track you down or future employers might use this against you.

While common sense needs to be used of not telling everyone your house is empty and share your address with everyone, it’s no difference than telling one of your friends over the phone that info & he/she share it with others!

Killers & Molesters have existed before the internet age and will continue to be there just like cockroaches, hard to kill them but can protect yourself from their “invasion”. The internet what it did is moved the info at the speed of light “latterly” since electrons move that fast. So these days we hear about bad news faster & more of it because of the shrinking factor the web produces in bringing far away cities together virtually. Just like the automobile shrank the distance between US cities.

So again the internet is just an extension of technological advancement that might scare us, this how people thought when they went from communicating via Telex or snail mail to calling someone across the US, or idea of carrying your phone with you all the time with embedded tracking device in it. Yes all new phones come with GPS enabled, so your whereabouts are known. How is this any difference from telling your friends online you are not home? Criminals have means of knowing your whereabouts if they know your cell number & we share that with people none stop! I do understand that the web is making it easier for criminal of low IQ to rub you if he/she knows your home is free, at the same token can we really protect everyone from their own foolish behaviors? You choose online posting to share it with friends and family members and you can with tools provided block others. We can’t police people from themselves! Or can we?

Now let us tackle the employee question regarding a person social presence online. Can it really harm future employment; we have read all so called experts that the answer is yes. In my opinion it’s the opposite, I see it as a reference check where it can enhance your employment outlook and employers getting insight on who might fit well within their organization.

Let me explain after those numbers below:

1) There are 80 Million gen Y in the USA alone (born between 1982-1995) that grow up with Myspace, Facebook, youtube, LinkedIn etc, with penetration rate of 90% in this media.

2) There are 100 million users on Myspace, 500+ million on Facebook, 75 Million on LinkedIn, 48 Million on youtube and 100 Million on Twitter.

This current Gen Y has entered the job market and will be fully ingrained in the market by year 2017, when the last person born in 1995 will be working (hopefully). This is the generation that was raised during the information age era; to them the information superhighway is part of their culture just like their parents thought of the telephone or cars. This generation uses less of Landline phones than their parents did, why? The information superhighway provided other means of communications to them, such as Skype, texting, IM, etc.

When this generation has control of the job market future hiring managers from Gen Y will utilize the social media as a resume to look for candidates. Unlike today’s managers who would look at the negative signs of why not to hire that person. Social media can shed light on how future team members can fit in your organization just by comparing his/her various on-line profiles with your current employees online presence (using set of mathematical rules) to find if the person is a match in your organization or opposite (depending on your hiring preference) to me this is no difference than having an organization hire a physiologist to evaluate a candidate before an offer is made (this has happened to me years ago before joining a company) . So let us say two people apply for a journalist position, both graduated from Ohio University well known Journalism school. But one of them has simple Facebook profile, with few updates on it. The other, has active profile, used Youtube to generate his everyday news and utilized various social media for his writing skills. Who do you think should be hired? Think of this as an internship without actually having to go to work at a company.

Another example, we hear this person should not post their party life as it might affect their career. The flip side is this person career taking him to be in wedding business, or event planner!

I hope I made appoint of how you can extrapolate additional information from each person on-line presence to be useful in the hiring process, why would I discount a person that “showed his party days in college” while at the same time we have had the last three US presidents admitting to smoke weed? How is that any different from showing “party pictures”.

YES we can argue its not professional but on whose eyes?


From → Various Opinions

  1. Shadi, I guess I am a part of the Gen Y :). While I agree with alot of your points I do think that in general there are people that post such ridiculous and inappropriate things on facebook! Listen, its not just a matter of safety…. it also comes down to being tactful and mature. On the other token of it there are people who feel the need to post on their status messages where they will be and what they are doing practically every hour of their day! Honestly, if you want your family, and select friends to know then text them! Facebook profiles do reveal alot about people and not only are employers or admissions committee looking at that stuff, but I think it gives them informationn about a person's lifestyle, communication, thoughts, etc that they would not otherwise get unless they knew the person for quite some time. One time of looking at their wall and fb profile they gain alot of insight about a person and whether they can be hired, admitted, etc. You may think its unfair… but I think if people are out of control and not discplined in their private/social lives then it does make you wonder if they can be disciplined and professional at work! You may think, well fb is social for them and work would be professional but I think how you behave outside of work does suggest alot about character. Its not good to have split characters. Yes, I said it, "split." Be true to who you really are and use fb in a modest manner and you won't have to worry about who sees it. There people who may think their boss is not on their "friend list" but seriously why post your hate for your work, etc on facebook. Again, its untactful regardless of whether or your boss or coworkers have access to it. What need does it fulfill for people to post such things on fb? That is my wonderment, I think alot of it is attention-seeking and a waste of time! I understand that fb is social networking and I don't disagree with it. I just think the way others are using facebook to reveal themselves is annoying, unnecessary, and rather attention-seeking. We don't need to see hundreds of pictures weekly posted of the same preson. People need to go out and trul live their lives and be mindful of their experiences and not just focused on what could be a potential facebook profile. I originally liked fb when I first joined in about 2004 because back then you had to have a University e-mail and password to join. It was more contained back then. I enjoy being able to stay connected with the many friends I have around the world. Like usual some people have to abuse things and by posting rude comments, inappropriate things, etc it has made fb less desirable. Again, I don't object fb but I will not deny that I am annoyed how some people live for the hour by hour fb posts they feel the need to make or outings just to have the perfect fb pic to post. Let's not loose focus of the bigger picture in life, let's not forget to actually enjoy living in the moment with our friends and family rather than living for fb posts. Okay that is my thoughts for the night. You have good thoughts on this…

  2. I am part of the Gen Y! When I first joined fb in 2004 or so it was require to have a University e-mail and password. Then overtime it really evolved and everyone starting getting fb. I am not opposed to fb because I have friends and dear people to me, living all over the world and it keeps us connected. I think alot of discretion needs to be used when creating post, messages, pics, comments, etc on fb. It is not just a matter of safety Shadi! It's also a matter of maturity, and tactfulness. There are some pretty inappropriate and appauling comments/pics that are posted on fb. We do not need to know if someone is taking birth control or not and we most certainly don't need to know the hourly schedule of our friends on fb. Yet so many people feel the need to forecast their hourly whereabouts on fb. My thoughts are what fulfillment do they get from that. What need of their's is being met by doing so? That is my wonderment. I believe alot of it is attention seeking. As far as employers and admission committee's looking people up on fb- I don't blame them. What they can see/ and read on fb would reveal to them alot about a person that would take them weeks to even begin to know about a person. If you are tactful and appropriate on fb then why even worry if "you are looked up by employers or admission oficers." While I did grow up with facebook and myspace, I do think it has evolved in a distasteful direction- like usual people have to abuse something that was orignally beautiful and well-intentioned. It seems like people are just living for "facebook moments." Rather than focusing on enjoying living in the present moment they are occupied with taking the best pic so post albums and facebook profile pictures. People need to live to enjoy life and not try to have outing just to make fb memories! My concern is with how far people have taken fb!

  3. I am going to have to agree that too much of a good thing is not always good. Cell phone usage for example, when cell phone first came out very few people had them and we had to pay per minute. Now with the unlimited usage plans everyone and their mother (and grandmothers) are driving around talking and texting! We aren't focusing on the task at hand (driving) we are focusing on socializing. FB when it came out was great, people could locate relatives and others they have lost contact with or just update friends and family that aren't nearby.Now, most people have 100's of friends on fb and they are updating their whereabouts and their day to day activities. Fb friends are socailizing with people here in town that they would not normally share their daily list of activities with. As you look at postings, it all seems to be escalading leaving absolutely no privacy.As far as the "party pictures" leading to a career advantage – I would guess most employers would not appreciate seeing their employees or potential employees over indulging and behaving immature. As you noted, yes three of the past presidents did admit to smoking "weed", but it appears they were not proud of that moment and tried to hide their immature past from the public eye; even to the point of claiming to "not inhale". Maybe Gen Y can have a few private moments that are not posted all over the internet – maybe they can smoke weed,drink a beer or have a disagreement with someone without their parents and grandparents having to see it on the internet. Perhaps nothing will be private for Gen Y and every milestone or trip to Starbucks will be forever recorded on the internet. Camera phones are documenting everystep of the way and this is all being uploaded onto the internet. I prefer to keep a few "private moments" private and undocumented. Hopefully the current gereraion can try to keep some of those moments private too.

  4. I do have to agree keeping some "private moments" private. Leaving something to be discovered about a person at a later date.

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