OK, so I’m a typical Gen Xer: I’ve got MySpace, Facebook, Quechup, LinkedIn and SecondLife profiles; I subscribe to blogs and list serves and have been known to podcast. But, it never fails to amaze me how many of my peers think what they broadcast on the Internet is private. Excuse me, but if you’ve got a LiveJournal or profile page set to public, people are going to read about how you chose to play golf instead of go to work.
Once something hits the Web, it’s out there. I’m not surprised that pictures a naughty flight attendant posted got her fired. And she shouldn’t be either. If you think what you post on these sites won’t get back to employers in the digital age, you’re so living in 1995, my friend.
Now that companies have their own MySpace profiles and are conducting virtual business, no one has six degrees of separation from anyone anymore. According to Rob McGovern, president and CEO of Jobfox, employers now are investigating social networking sites as a part of the job interview process. And anything you type in about your friends or company is going to get back to them, eventually.
So, if you’re feeling the urge to post images of last weekend’s revelry or you really want to rant about your boss, first ask yourself: “Do I really want everyone with Internet access to know about this?” If not, buy a paper journal and keep it to yourself.