I love social media. As I live away from a lot of my friends and family now it’s great to be able to see what they’re up to. I love looking through my friends photos, and seeing where they check in. And I love that people can do that with me. It’s great coming home from a day at uni or work and jumping on Facebook to my own personal space and my private friend groups… or at least I used to.
Now more than ever, thanks to my PR course, I am finding myself less comfortable with this space and much more alert (and unnerved to be honest) about the ramifications these seemingly harmless sites can provide. I know that no matter the security settings I have on my Facebook, when something gets said online it is no longer yours, and can end up anywhere.
Up the top of my list of the concerns I’m having is future employers. I have written hardly any tweets because I work myself up thinking about what they might think. Do these 140 characters sound intelligent enough? Are they too intelligent? Would future employers rather see some of my personality? – but then again would they really want to hire someone that watches Big Brother? These go round in my head until sometimes I even delete what I’m writing and not write anything at all. Then of course the problem stands that in this industry you should be “up” with all the social media (“so why doesn’t this girl tweet? She mustn’t understand twitter”).
But it’s not just this industry. If a potential employer were to look you up on Facebook and see lots of posts about rocking up to work hung-over or hating your job there’s a good possibility your chances would be impacted in any profession. And it’s not just big things like this – even seemingly small things that just don’t click with an employer could have an effect on your career.
It’s those small things that worry me. I love PR and want to get into the business so much but how much of my life do I have to tailor before it’s all I’m left with? Facebook is my down time. It’s where I can relax and socialise and frankly I do not want to limit myself to particular statuses that aren’t really a reflection of me just in case something is taken the wrong way and ends up costing me a dream job!
In the end I’ve decided that hopefully a future employer cares more about my skills and suitability for the job more than posts that may or may not sound intelligent and whether I like Big Brother (I am pretty ashamed of it.) As long as I double think what I’m writing and don’t say anything stupid (which I hope I don’t too often anyway) I’m hoping that will be enough!