Hi, my name is Jade and I am a social networking addict.
I guess the majority of people reading this can admit to that as well. Whether it’s the joy of “checking-in” on Facebook, stalking on Twitter or endless browsing on Instagram there’s countless websites now which can offer us the joys of “social networking”. Personally, I’m a compulsive checking-in person, as are the majority of my friends so it’s easy for anyone to know where I am at any point of the day.
If I had any stalkers I’d be making life extremely easy for them.
I have a friend, however, who’s one of those construstive social networkers. He’s got a Twitter and a Facebook account, both of which essentially revolve around his love for interior design. Similarly with a friend on a phsychology course. Both of these have their own websites, blogs, and all of it is full of these topics. Both of these friends now have solid foundations for that dream career and wow, has it helped them out a lot. Both have had new job offers based solely on these sites, and one has even been offered several tv appearences.
You’d think that would encourage me to think a bit differently about my own profiles.
It did, I privatised everything. And now I’ve deleted my Facebook. I’ve set up a new Twitter account which will revolve around current education issues, (@jade_kneen) though I’ve yet to get to grasps with the concept. I’m picking back up on this blog which, though not entirely education focused, will enable to continue writing which I love doing- hence my dream of going into research. But ultimately, I am a nosy person, again a great reason for going into research. I use social networking sites to find out the latest gossip, to talk to my friends, to make plans. I don’t see this as a crime. This makes it all the more scary though when you hear more and more about these things endangering your career prospects, when potential places of employment are requiring to log onto your private accounts during the interview.
It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had my job threatened by my Facebook. I was 17 at the time and I’d lost my phone for the day, to find it on my bed and with five missed calls from work. By this time work was closed, and since I had a few collegues as “friends” on Facebook I’d decide to write a jokey status about getting fired. I got the response I’d expected, and one explained that they’d wanted cover so I knew it was nothing serious- and like I’d said, I’d lost my phone so I wasn’t avoiding work. Then I went in for my next shift and the assistant manager confronted me about the status. I didn’t have her on Facebook, apparently someone had passed on what I’d said. Though it was a joke, it wasn’t until something happened a few weeks later that I realised why she’d been so annoyed with me posting on Facebook though it was nothing to do with me personally. More recently I found out that a collegue, in a different work place, had pre warned my manager that I would be taking an opportunity to work in America which would mean I would be off for several months. Again, I had posted it on Facebook out of excitement but since I didn’t know any set dates I’d chosen to not tell my boss until I could be specific- now when I do explain I know I’ll be questioned why I didn’t let him know sooner. Admittedly these two scenerios have made me a lot more weary of what I post on Facebook, and I make a point now of using it more to make sure only to put on what I want specific people to read.