Unless you live under a rock in a native island that is yet to be impacted with the slightest form of modern technology, then you have at least a single social media platform that you frequently use. If you happen to be under the category that is famously referred to as the millennials (those born anywhere as from 1980 to 2000), then the odds are raised, when it comes to social media use. This is because you ever have within reach access to diverse platforms and chances are you have come to be a regular user of more than one platform. Primarily, this is because it has become easier to connect with friends, family, and individuals with similar interests through these platforms than any other channel. Thankfully, enhanced technology and the widespread availability of smartphones has made it even easier as one could be in New York City following on activities happening in real-time in little known town in Lithuania, Europe.
While the suitability and practicality of social media sites can never be ignored or avoided, the use of these platforms is not as private as most people perceive them to be. At the click of a button, that post you made could be trending in pages you have little or no idea about their existence. Before you know it, the information will have reached millions of people, not only within your locality but internationally. This limitless capacity of social media posts going viral and them being traced to whoever posted them, makes the use of these platforms, one that must be approached with great caution. It is not just the ease in different posts going viral that should be a cause of alarm, but the fact that it has become simple to find any profile.
Employers are well-versed in the use of social media sites, and they have not been left behind when it comes to being among the groups that have an interest in your profile. Today, it has become the norm for companies to conduct a social media background check on potential employees before making the final decision in hiring them. So while you might have aced that interviews and meet all the required qualifications, a stumbling block could come from how you use social media sites. What could have been done without much thought with the aim of pleasing your friends or followers then becomes the reason you fail to get that hiring letter, or worse. This is not just a hard spot that job seekers find themselves in, but employees have equally found themselves on the wrong end by making those posts that an employer should never have seen.
For most people, the excuse is that the social media page that they use is private and should never be the concern of an employer. However, time and reason have proven this wrong as what one posts or tweets becomes information that can quickly get to anyone regardless of whether they are in your friend list and followers or not. Your employer is one such person and woe unto you if the post sends a message that is provocative, does not reflect the values of the company, or is borderline crazy. Even away from the workplace environment, there are lots of cases where individuals were sued for what they posted. Therefore, while the role of the Human Resource Manager is not to follow your private life away from work, they can easily come across something that will create a wrong impression about your personality and lifestyle.
A fact that you have to embrace as an employee or job seeker is that social media platforms are too powerful and have attracted billions globally. Therefore, while you have the right to use these platforms freely, there is the need to remain conscious about what they reflect those around you, including an employer. Over time, those different social media accounts create your personal digital brand that cannot be hidden from anyone who wants to get to know you more. This does not mean that you quickly get to delete those accounts and become a ghost without any social media backing but to constantly factor in how you use these platforms. Used rightly, these platforms are a strength that will draw the right people to you, but if they are places where you only show your dark side, then you are bound to have lots of regrets.