Settings –> PRIVACY!

I have a good story to tell about online visibility and invisibility. A friend of mine was studying in an important University in Italy and once graduated he was planning to go to the US to do an MBA. He spent his whole life planning this MBA, he desperately wanted to go there; he studied a lot, he did lots of internships and he hired a tutor to complete the application in the best possible way. Long story short, they didn’t accept him despite his amazing resumé and his excellent grades because they found him on Facebook and he had a picture with a joint in his hand. The “fun” part of the story  is that he doesn’t even smoke, it was just a joke.

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From that episode on I have always been scared of sharing my private life online, not because I have pictures of me wasted in a club or smoking weed but only because I believe that my private life should remain private. In each of my profiles as Instagram or Facebook everything is set up as private. I share my pictures and my information with my friends only and I don’t want strangers to be able to look into my life.

 

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6 Comments

  1. That is a good story! It sounds like something my mom would tell me to scare me away from posting anything private online. But it is a very good example of a very real problem that not everyone seems to be aware of. Because I have heard a lot of stories like this, from the time I started using social media I have always been very wary of what I post on the internet, especially when it comes to pictures which could be incriminating in the eyes of future or current employers. Based on what I’ve seen some people who I’m friends with on social media posting, not everyone always thinks of the fact that once an employer has your name, email, phone number, address (all things which you give them when applying for a job), it’s easy as anything for them to find every one of your social media profiles. But I suppose this conversation always begs the question, should employers have the right to possible and current employees online? Should they have to right to fire an employee due to incriminating behavior on social media?

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  2. I think it’s normal that employee reserach people on social media, because if they want to hire you, they want to know what kind of person are you then they know whether you are suit this job. But for my point, I think you can’t judge a person just according to their social media pictures or what did they say on social media.

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  3. I know many people who have abbreviated their family name on social media before applying to universities for the exact same reason. Even though their social media profiles were ”clean” they just wanted to be on the safe side, to not give universities a reason not to accept them. I for example don’t have my full name on social media and there is no particular reason for this but after reading this story I am glad i made this choice because I feel better knowing that I am not under surveillance. I hope.
    In response to @ginaagallagher I don’t think employers should have the right to fire an employee because of social media behaviour unless the thing they have done affects the employer and his company in any way or the employee has done a terrible thing.

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  4. I always get upset when I hear stories like this becauseI don’t always agree with recruiters turning down a person based on a picture like that, because it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t well suited for the job. I do, however, think there’s a big difference between a picture of you holding a beer, and a picture of you hugging a toilet seat because you had one too many drinks. I know someone who got their college football scholarship taken away because he tweeted vulgar song lyrics. I thought the college was WAY too harsh, but the incident did teach me that even when you’re quoting other people, the wrong words can come back to haunt you. So even if one day I find myself listening to a Kesha throwback I probably won’t ever tweet her “TiK ToK” lyrics “before I leave brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack, cus when I leave for the night I ain’t coming back,” just so people won’t think I have a similar morning routine and be frowned upon.

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  5. Unfortunately it is a very good example of how little things that are posted online can change the entire image about a person. I have not previously experienced something like this , because I try to keep my life private and offline, however I still keep my Instagram profile open because I know that I control everything that I post there.. It is very important to have all the private setting set properly, otherwise people are in danger of getting into situation like this or sometimes even worse.

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  6. Just by reading your post, I’ve understood the horrible consequences that too much online visibility can bring. I admire your mindset when using social media, because although I’m also quite restrictive with what I share, I sometimes can’t help posting a few photos of events like Halloween parties and similar. I think that as media students, when we eventually come out to work in the media, strengthening our online visibility will be beneficial to us. My question is, do you think that as you develop your studies and employability for the media industry, you will become a bit more lenient towards what you share?

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