Untag It: Social Media and the Professional World

Untag It: Social Media and the Professional World
Untag It: Social Media and the Professional World
Social media plays a large role in the lives of many young adults today. It is a means of keeping in contact with someone, sharing photographs and memories, and even reconnecting with long lost friends from middle school. However, your social media account, when not being monitored closely, can also cost you a great job opportunity or draw your online life into a collision course with your offline professional life.

To "Facebook" someone is to search for someone on the social network giant, Facebook. There, you can also "friend" (and occasionally even "un-friend") someone and look at their profile page, assess their likes, dislikes, favorite movies, favorite books, and everything else you ever wanted to and didn’t want to know about that person. On MySpace, the same rules apply. On Twitter, followers read the "tweets" of others on Twitter. The social networking scene is involved and a culture all its own, full of people trying to craft an online identity for themselves out of thin, digital air. Yet, social media’s grip on modern society, and particularly on young adults, can also be detrimental. In the seemingly safe haven of the Internet, social media users can become too comfortable and engage in decidedly unprofessional behavior. In fact, many social media users also post photographic evidence of their involvement in such unprofessional behavior. But those actions can seriously harm the chances of the user landing a job and can even result in the user being reprimanded outside of the Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter realm.

The infamous "Drunken Pirate" case is a prime example of just that. In 2006, student-teacher Stacy Snyder was denied a teaching degree just days before her graduation when her school became aware of a MySpace photograph where Snyder was posing with a plastic red cup. The photograph was captioned "Drunken Pirate." The university deemed that the photograph was evidence of Snyder’s being unfit to teach due to her inappropriate behavior, even though the photograph was taken off-campus. This case serves as a reminder to soon-to-be-job-seeking college students that everything uncovered on their social media profiles can be potentially used against them. Many hiring managers now look up the social media profiles of job applicants to see what they can find. In fact, approximately 79 percent of hiring managers use the Internet to better research applicants, according to 2009 survey conducted by Microsoft.

In these digital times where social media pervades many aspects of our lives, it is important to understand that your online identity could very well affect how those in the professional world see you offline. Be careful about what you and your friends post on social networks as anything inappropriate could come back to harm you in the long run.
http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2010/03/

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