For crying out loud…
Clean out your social media!
You clean out your closet, right? What about your garage? Or your car? You know it’s time to clean out these things when they become cluttered or messy. So why don’t people clean out their social media?
Is it time for some spring cleaning?
Laziness could be the reason why people don’t clean out their social media profiles but it’s more likely to be that people are just plain oblivious. I think most people honestly don’t know what others are able to dig up about them from their social media profiles. Even a profile that is private can reveal a lot about a person. Certain information such as profile pictures, likes, and friends can still be viewed by others with a simple search of your name. You might think that nobody is looking at this information but trust me, this stuff matters.
Why does it matter?
The small things can have the biggest impact when you are forming an opinion about someone but have limited information to do so. We quickly form Implicit Bias which are stereotypes that we have unconsciously about certain groups of people. Even in the early hiring stages, a candidate’s resume picture, their name, or their hometown could influence your opinion more than you think. Nowadays, companies screen the social media profiles of prospective employees during the hiring process so it’s vital that your presence on social media represents you as a professional and that your values align with those of the organization. In a study, 78% of employers stated that they believe that employees should maintain a work-appropriate social media profile. The limited information others can see about you on social media can make the difference between leaving a good first impression or tarnishing your reputation before having the chance to build one.
What can be found?
Your current and past profile pictures show how your style has changed over the years and provide insight into the type of people you surround yourself with, which in turn tells a lot about the type of person that you are. Comments and likes made on your profile pictures give insight into people’s sentiments towards you and the context of the photos gives information on what you consider important, whether that is family, friends, travel, partying or breaking the law. The “friends” section is also a section that should be carefully vetted. Another profile section that never seems to disappoint is the “About” section. This section includes favourite TV shows, liked pages, reviews and profiles that you are following. A comment that you made, a page that you liked or a photo that you posted 10 years ago might not reflect who you are today; but that wouldn’t be so obvious to anyone who doesn’t know you personally.
If reading this blog hasn’t fully convinced you, I implore you to open Instagram, hit search, click on your top result, and scroll alllllllll the way to the bottom of that person’s profile. Maybe then, you might be convinced to start your cleaning. Did you find anything embarrassing while cleaning your social media? Let me know in the comments below!
This was really well done! I’m a big fan of the social media purge. Often Facebook will send me a memory of a certain post from years ago, which is totally cringe worthy! That’s usually a good opportunity for me to delete that post!
Great job, James!