Online posts can damage prospects

by | Nov 28, 2014 | News

Shannon MacDonald
News Reporter

Think twice before putting yourself online for everyone to see.
David Brake, a journalism instructor at Humber College’s Lakeshore campus, has been researching the relationship between people and technology for more than a decade and to this day, he says he still finds it intriguing what people will share online.
“People seem generally to act differently online and off,” Dr. Brake said. “People tend to be much more open online compared to what they would be willing to tell people face to face.”
Brake recently published Sharing Our Lives Online: Risks and Exposure in Social Media, a book that serves as a reminder for people to rethink everything they put about themselves online. Until August, the former lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire studied the way people behave online in the U.K.
“Unless you are 100 per cent confident of what your security settings are on whatever it is that you’re saying, imagine that what you said ended up on the desk of a future employer,” he said.
An exile from most social media, Colt Molson said what people put online should be monitored carefully.
“Being in both marketing and fashion I have to market myself in order to proceed and expand my career,” the second-year marketing student said.
Molson said he abandoned most of his social media accounts a few years ago. All he kept was his Instagram account where he can effectively manage his brand.
Employers have the ability to see what their prospective employees posted online about themselves to get a good sense of the kind of person they could be hiring.
Ashish Aggarwal recently sought out employees for the National Health Service, while working as a team lead in occupational therapy in London.
“If a company is willing to pay, they can get old, archived information stored on social media like Facebook,” Aggarwal said. “So even if you think it’s deleted and gone, that’s not always the case.”
Aggarwal said people should be vigilant when it comes to what they decide to share, or who can share on a person’s behalf.
“If you go to a party and get really drunk, and your friends take pictures, they can post those online and tag you in them. Then people comment on them full of profanity, you write something equally as profane, then that looks terrible on you,” Aggarwal said.