In the era of massive digitalization, despite numerous opportunities for protecting one’s data, the concept of privacy is something that is likely to be forgotten soon. However, it is not only because of cyber-attacks that users’ personal information can become revealed.
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Every individual, whether consciously or without awareness, constantly shares numerous episodes of his or her life. Social media platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram, or employment-oriented services, such as LinkedIn, allow any person to seek the needed professional or personal ties. What we frequently forget, though, is that by posting some seemingly innocent content on our pages we risk being misunderstood by someone truly important. More and more often, such “someone” is the HR manager from an organization where a person might want to apply.
I have carefully reviewed all the online materials available about me. Also, I have analyzed some cases when a person was not hired or got fired from a job because of online posts. Thus, I can make some assumptions about the potential of my web content to affect the likelihood of being rejected a good position in a company of my dreams. First of all, I would like to talk about Facebook. This social platform is the one I use most often and where all of my friends can find out about my mood, journeys, crafts, and other personal things. I update my profile picture every time there is some major change in my image.
I try to keep this page up-to-date so that my friends could know how I am and what is going on in my life. Having reviewed my Facebook profile for the past year, I can say that it contains no data which my prospective employer could find negative or offensive.
On my Facebook page, I post some inspirational quotations and social adverts, such as against animal cruelty or for poverty reduction. I sometimes post YouTube videos with classical music or some funny cartoons. None of the content on my profile is offensive, rude, brutal, or inappropriate. I think that the potential HR could not find anything against me as a person or a professional there. My posts on Instagram are somewhat different from those of Facebook, but they are still quite peaceful and proper. Unless an HR manager considers too many pictures of food as a bad quality, I am safe.
I enjoy cooking and traveling, and I post many photos of these processes on Instagram. A lot of people follow me because they like what I share. There is only a slight possibility that HR may find some of my comments to other people’s posts inappropriate. That is because when my friends and I are exchanging ideas, we do not pick the most polite words. However, I still do not consider Instagram comments as a serious threat.
Finally, I would like to mention my LinkedIn page, which contains only professional information. I tried to make this page as informative as possible but at the same time, I did not overload it with facts. The most crucial educational and professional achievements are listed there, along with the titles of organizations with which I have cooperated at different points of my life. All of the social platforms I have discussed both offer an opportunity of advertising oneself and pose a threat of being misunderstood or misjudged. Personally, I think that the privacy of each Internet user is in their hands.
If one posts some offensive content, he or she should not be surprised or insulted at finding out that someone does not want to hire them. It is up to every person to protect their image through careful selection of priorities not only in real but also in virtual life.