Someone once said: “You can’t take something off the Internet – it’s like taking pee out of a pool.” As a social media user, I can see that exposing your life on the web has a downside. It’s an interesting issue happening as twenty something’s leave college and start looking for a full time job. Remember, this is a generation that grew up revealing the most intimate details of their lives on their social media pages. Pictures of getting drunk in Cabo, fooling around on spring break, or other goofy stuff is becoming normal on many profile pages. But what they don’t expect is that as soon as they leave a job interview the first thing a prospective employer does is conduct an internet search on their name.
And guess what comes up?
Thousands of kids are finding it difficult to convince employers of their maturity after seeing a few shots from their social media pages. I was in Miami recently and listened to a statewide public service radio campaign attempting to discourage young women from posting suggestive or explicitly sexual photos on their websites. The spot made clear that once it’s posted, the photos can easily be copied, redistributed, and viewed by pedophiles, stalkers, the leering neighbor next door, or perhaps most embarrassing of all, their dad.
The Associated Press reported years ago that prosecutors had begun using photos posted on social networking sites to embarrass and damage the reputation of defendants. There is a strange mental shift taking place when people post to a social networking site which is available to untold millions of viewers, and yet feel that it’s somehow a private space.
So the next time you start to upload that picture of you with underwear on your head, remember how hard it is to take pee out of a pool…