It’s safe to say that the vast majority of people have posted on social media without thinking that it could ever affect their employment status. Whether it be a selfie from a night out with friends, reposting a politically-charged meme, or commenting on a friend’s questionable opinion, what happens on the internet stays on the internet and it can have a huge effect on our lives. Like it or not, even the most private social media accounts can be subject to a screenshot and repost, so it’s best to think twice before posting.
How harmful could it be?
Profile creeping- we’ve all done it. Curiosity gets the better of most people, and sometimes we can’t help but wonder what our high school boyfriend is up to, or what ever happened to that best friend we had in elementary school. Unfortunately for some, social media works both ways, and we never know who may be looking at our own profiles- employers included.
Recently a TikToker named Lexi Larson was fired after two weeks at her new job for posting information about her salary online. Another TikToker by the name of Chelle was also let go for gross negligence after posting a video of a coffee mishap with the sound of her CPO speaking in the background. TikTok is not the only platform that has created some issues with employers though; according to an article written on CBC.ca back in 2012, a man was fired from his job after posting negative comments on a Facebook memorial page for Amanda Todd. A member of the group saw his comments and alerted his employer which resulted in his termination. Similarly, Global News reported on when the Toronto Marlies quickly let go of newly signed Goaltending Coach Dusty Imoo back in September of 2021 after it was found that he had liked tweets about the Capitol riot in January 2021, anti-vaccination opinions and tweets including transphobic comments.
How can we avoid it?
As hard as it may be for some, the easiest way to avoid backlash is to refrain from posting controversial content on a public platform. Most platforms allow users to create more than one profile, so in some cases it may be beneficial to create one very private account to communicate with close friends and family members that you trust and one more public, professional account that employers, potential landlords or nosy former friends can see. The latter should be monitored closely and only appropriate, politically correct content should be posted to avoid any mishaps.
What are your thoughts? Do you think it’s feasible to create multiple profiles to avoid having unwanted people view your posts? How else do you think you could preserve your privacy while maintaining an online presence?
Twitter: Could your employer be creeping your profile without your knowledge?👀 Find out how to protect your #privacy and keep unwanted visitors off your page. (bit.ly link)
Facebook: Take control of who can creep your profile! Keep unwanted lurkers off of your page with one easy trick: (bit.ly link)
The idea of an employer checking out my social media scares me! The amount of silly TikTok dances I posted during the pandemic?! YIKES
I completely agree! It’s not something I thought about until a couple of years ago when my new landlord said she could get a good sense of my personality over my Facebook profile. It’s a little concerning!
I always was scared of being crept on by employers! Especially because I am more open about mental health on social media and I didn’t want to be seen as unstable if found by employers. I was honestly scared away from social media for a while!
It’s hard to find a balance, that’s for sure. But at the same time, I wouldn’t want to work for a company that isn’t understanding of mental health struggles, so maybe it’s a good thing!
Very good points! I actually did some hiring for a business and would take a look at applicants online presence to get a sense of what kind of person they seemed like. I think sometimes it can be used unfairly. Social media is generally for people to show their personality and their likes and dislikes and that should not be held against them for not seeming ‘professional’ online. On the other side of it, I do think some people being held accountable for actions they took online is good. Some people think they can post whatever they want online, whether it be harmful or discriminatory, and think they will not have to face any consequences.
Couldn’t agree more!