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Privacy and The Internet Don’t Mix

Remember when back in 2007 Facebook jumped onto the scene and we all enthusiastically set up our new profiles and started connecting with friends, excited that there was now a fun platform on which to connect and share with our select friends in a private closed group?

Then remember how we quickly realised that actually, it wasn’t that private because we were getting friend requests from the snotty nosed kid in our kindergarten class that we never liked?

But then Facebook came up with a solution – they gave us the option to make our profile private!

Hooray! Thank goodness that we can still all post photos of the *wild (*not so wild in hindsight) parties we attended without our parents seeing! (Yes, I am part of the Y-Gen).

Fast forward nearly a decade, and as grownups we now realise that actually the privacy settings aren’t so private and, shock horror, the internet is not the safe and secure playground we thought it to be.

Or rather, most of us have realised.

Too often I see really talented and suitable candidates miss out on opportunities all because of what they have decided to share on social media.

You can be 100% sure that when you apply for a role, or are put forward to a business, the FIRST thing that will happen is a google search.  They are going to scroll through all of your photos, have a look at the kind of comments your friends have made on your photos and from this, can quite accurately put together an idea of what your life looks like, and potentially, what kind of person you are.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, whichever way you choose to look at it, we live in a world where our private lives and our professional lives have now overlapped so much, that the distinction between the two is not recognisable.

It will not matter how many awards you have won or how many new managements you brought on last month, if you have inappropriate photos or content on your Facebook/Instagram /Pinterest/twitter/LinkedIn page, you WILL miss out.

Whether you’re a business owner (yes, the social media stalking occurs in the reverse too!), someone looking for a new job, or you already have a job that you’d like to keep, my advice would be to proceed with caution with regards to what you post or comment on, on social media.

My rule?  If I wouldn’t want my Grandfather/Grandmother/Father/Mother/Boss/client seeing my post, I will not post it.

Alison McGavin

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