Discretion and Social Media - [website] Email Print
Published: 13th of Sep 2017 by: Carolyn Kessler

A group of workshop delegates and I had a very interesting discussion, centring on the level of privacy we can justifiably expect when populating our social media pages with personal information.

One lady felt that our personal activity on social media was just that – personal!

We live in the real world and, quite aside from whether it is fair or not, it would be naïve to expect the personal information we share on these platforms to have no unforeseen impact on our lives. Most notably that of the negative kind.

The discussion became quite heated as the first delegate restated her belief that one had the right to put whatever they want ‘out there’, irrespective of what inference a third party might draw, rightly or wrongly.

We soon came to the conundrum of potential employers trawling a candidate’s social media activity in order to gauge a better understanding of the applicant’s suitability for their organisation. Most of the delegates agreed that this was to be expected and had set their privacy levels pretty high or were suitably discreet in what they posted.

I come from a background in recruitment and am fully aware that many future employers use this as an avenue to form a more rounded picture of an individual. For instance, I would be reluctant to engage someone who displayed a complete lack of discretion when sharing personal details. Is this fair? It was a split vote for the delegates on this particular workshop. One gentleman stated that he’d never considered the matter, but would be much more careful going forward with regards to what he allowed others to glean from his Facebook profile.

Before you get all indignant, answer truthfully one question for me. Who amongst you has never had a peak at the Facebook page of an ex-spouse or future partner? A quick look-see to ascertain if they’re flourishing without you or languishing. In fact, if they were in a bad way, they’re most certainly not going to breech Facebook etiquette and portray their life as anything but perfect!

My advice would be to investigate your privacy options and make it a rule that you share only what you’d feel would not impact negatively in any area of your life.

That wonderfully rabble-rousing photo of you could seriously hamper your career aspirations – what’s funny in the moment could prove to be your undoing.

Staff Training is a soft skills training provider. Contact us at 0861 996 660.

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