Recently, someone said to me ‘you must live the happiest life ever’ I was shocked and said, ‘Why, do you think so?’ to which she replied ‘Well, your Facebook is full of pictures of reading, or going places and doing things and unless what you’re posting isn’t true – you’re living a happy life.’ I stammered a bit and assured my friend that I was not posting things that did not happen and that yes, it was all true. I even confirmed that I live a pretty happy life. But that conversation has made me think.
Several days later I related the above story to my friend Dawn Bugni. Dawn is a Master Resume Writer (one of only a handful in the world) and she is always insightful in her comments. We were having dinner and as is common for our conversations we started talking about social media – Dawn and I met via Facebook, we learned twitter together back in the day, and we both successfully use social media to drive business to our respective ventures. When I related the above story to Dawn her reaction was ‘well, yeah! You don’t post a pic of cleaning the toilets, paying the bills or arguing.’ This naturally lead to discussions on things we have seen posted via social media that are inappropriate.
Here are a few examples:
- status updates that nearly always contain some form of alcohol consumption;
- status updates where you complain about money (especially if you often post about extravagant purchases – people put two and two together);
- status updates that contain personal relationship information (I don’t want to know that much about your sex life – good or bad);
- status updates that complain about an employer (yes, we all know why you change jobs regularly)
- and the list goes on and on.
According to the consumer reports survey ‘Insurers, employers, and college admissions officers sometimes use social media to evaluate people. They may, for example, turn to a service such as Social Intelligence that scours public postings on Facebook and other social networks as part of a background check.’
69% of Human Resources managers say they’ve rejected job applicants because of what was on their social media pages and 25% of College recruiters say they are using Social Media as a means to determine to whom they send letters of acceptance.
It seems obvious that what you say in public reflects on you, on your life and on your character.
I like to believe that I do live a happy life and if you read my blog you know that is an active pursuit for me. I also learned at my mother’s knee that you always put your best foot forward in public (I don’t think that is just a southern thing). My father was a man who loved to build things; he often said to me ‘measure twice cut once’. It really just means be sure of your measurement before you make you cut. I believe this is an adage we can adapt to social media postings. Be sure of the picture you are painting of your life via social media.