Social media has become a necessity among those who wish to thrive in the modern market, and for those who wish to stay in contact with people from all over the world in a concise and easy setting. However, with the convenience of contacting others, displaying your personal information can have its downside. Facebook consists of over 1 billion users, with other social media outlets boasting several million, and the chances are that almost anyone can access the information that the user chooses to make available to the public. Now the question is, should employers be able to view this information and to assess your ability to do your job?
At this point, it does not matter if they should be able to assess you based on your social media, it merely matters that they DO assess you based on the information that you place onto social media. Whether it is wrong or not, there have been no major legal actions to stop employers from looking at what you put up on the internet that is not made private. The power is within the hands of the employee or potential employee, one must understand that what they share onto their social media sites has a greater impact on their personal image. This should not restrict someone from showing their personality, just to maintain a professional image that they would feel comfortable sharing with their superiors and potential employers.
On the other hand, you still have rights as an individual to keep your social media private. You may not share certain social media sites by keeping locked or private profiles. This gives you a certain amount of freedom but does not guarantee that this information will maintain its privacy if others have access to it. For example, Instagram has it’s privacy settings and one can make a private profile and only accept certain followers. Yet once accepted, the followers now have access to your information and can potentially be screenshot, or taken then reposted by another causing something to become much less private.
If an employer where to ask you for your social media passwords, then they have overstepped their line. This was actually becoming a more common practice in recent years, yet it was quickly shut down due to it’s seemingly over-personal nature and made illegal in 2013. This law extends to universities and schools as well.
At the end of the day, you should look at your social media as a precursor of your resume and it maybe one of the first things a potential employer looks at. They will be impressed to see you keep it professional, updated, and with a positive image.