By VANESSA CAMARGO
Social networks have become a popular way for people of all ages to connect with each other, although teens and young adult find it harder to censor themselves on the Internet.
One of the first networks, MySpace, helped introduce online interaction to the public. But in less than a decade, Facebook and Twitter have dramatically changed the way communication is viewed and discovered. People now tweet their stories and individual opinions, they upload personal pictures and most often this content overexposes the individual to a degree that can jeopardize current and future job opportunities.
“I’ve been kicked out of my job on countless occasions for ‘slandering its reputation,” Rago said. “Shoprite has like a separate company that follows people on Twitter and monitors what you say.”
Dylan Rago has worked at ShopRite for the last three years. His uncensored tweets about his job have gotten him in trouble even to the point of pending termination. Rago’s last tweet about ShopRite put him on the watch list. Store managers screen his Twitter weekly.
Employers look at social networks too
Jobs have been looking into possible employer’s social networks to become more acquainted with the person they might consider hiring.
A 2012 CareerBuilder survey reports that 37 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. In December 2012, Facebook’s Key Facts webpage reported that over a billion people actively use their Facebook account each month. Out of those users, 82 percent of them are outside the United States and Canada. Employers can track down information on anyone through these networks, regardless if you are in the country or not.
The risks of social media have become common information, teens and young adults are still putting too much on the internet that can leave them in a tarnished light.
“I guess I just don’t think about it,” Kendra Barry said. “I don’t know. It’s kind of my own memory book or diary. When I look back on this when I’m older I’ll be able to see all the things I did when I was younger.”
Many teens think their accounts are safe if they set their profiles to private. Today’s employers have the technology to bypass the privacy setting on accountants and look at a candidate’s entire page.
Young adults need to censor themselves more now that technology has advanced so much. It is easy for thing to reach the eyes of another. Explicit photos and offensive statement should be removed immediately if you ever considered having a career.
Business and organizations want someone who will best represent them. When you post something up on your network it not only represents you but the people you work for as well.
“I think I’ll worry about it a little farther down the line,” Barry said. “I know the importance of all this but I still have time to change things if I really wanted to.”
[AUDIO: Listen to Miranda Becker talk about social networking. Listen here.]