When you are in the process of growing older and learning to be your own person outside of the family, you learn a thing or two. You may learn how to cook for yourself, take care of your belongings, do laundry, etc.
However, something that all individuals seem to learn differently is how to present yourself when no one is there to back up your character or pick up any extra slack for you. Not to mention, you are now expected to create your own set of boundaries, standards, and expectations for yourself. If you are anything like me, you grew up knowing what you could and could not do to avoid getting into trouble, grounded in my case.
While it comes naturally for some people, for others it may take a little more time in addition to extra effort. I'm two weeks into my sophomore year of college, and I personally still struggle to make my own decisions and be fully self-sufficient. I still occasionally call my mom when I am at the grocery store, tell her what is in my cart, and ask what I am forgetting.
My age group and those above me are approaching and or experiencing some of the most liberating years of our lives; however, we are reminded daily that everything we do now will affect our future.
With an increased use in social media, we are not only at risk in the sense that we are diminishing our social skills; everything that we put out there has the potential to come back and haunt us somewhere down the road.
Employers have access to essentially everything that we have associated our names with, and I genuinely do not believe that there is enough emphasis put on that. Technological advancements can be detrimental to humans in a number of ways if we let them.
You know there is no shortage of material for people nowadays. Everyone has that one girl who posts photos of every meal she ever has, but I would rather be that girl than the one who posts a photo of everything I drink. It has come to my attention that we as a generation simply do not care about anything unless it is in the present.
Hearing my older peers, coworkers, and family members discuss this matter has opened my eyes greatly. You see it happen all the time — tweets, Snapchats, iMessages are all notorious for cheating people out of job opportunities that, on paper, they would have had in the bag.
We often times post things, myself included, that we do not think twice about. I was reading an article recently on the 'People' website discussing social media related reasons that people have been fired, and one reads as follows, "A former colleague of mine posted about how he was going to use up all his sick leave then quit. He posted it at 9 a.m., and was told he didn't have a job at 11 a.m."
Whether the context was posted for humorous purposes or not, such a thoughtless act can have so many repercussions in this digital world that we have let consume us.
After reading the 'People' article "20 Tales of Employees Who Were Fired For Social Media Posts," and attending a social media workshop, I have decided to not only leave it up to my discretion what I post but my future self as well.
It is of the utmost importance that we keep our social media clean — we are living under a microscope. The working world never slows down, likewise, neither does job competition.
Unfortunately, it is presently a hot commodity if you can present yourself well.
It will make all the difference if you look presentable in aspects outside of just paper and your person.