Facebook. I’m sure we all have one. I’m positive we all know what it is. I’m going to tell you what I think of when I hear the word Facebook anyway. When I hear the word Facebook I think of a collection of my life over the past five years or so. This brings me to my first point, five years is a long time and makes it virtually impossible to keep track of everything I have ever posted or been tagged in on Facebook.
Five years ago was in 2007, when notifications were on the bottom right corner of the webpage and sending people bumper stickers was the best part of Facebook. Five years ago was before Facebook had all of these crazy (and amazing) privacy settings it has now.
I’m sure many of you had Facebook accounts long before 2007. Do you remember every picture, or status, or video, or wall post you’ve ever posted on Facebook? Do you even have an idea? If you do that’s great, you’re already doing better than most people I’m sure. If you don’t its okay, I don’t either. I’m just trying to plant the seed of self-consciousness in a sense in your head. Facebook is the Internet, and what you post on the Internet belongs to the Internet forever. And its not very forgiving.
Recently, it’s been very hard for Millennials to find work and job opportunities. As if that’s not bad enough, many jobs have been using our precious creation, Facebook, as a means to check up on us when applying for a job. Employers have been not only checking on applicants Facebook profiles, but many of them have been requiring you either log on and let them see through your things or some even go as far as requiring you provide them with your username and password.
This is a tremendous invasion of privacy, even for those people who have their Facebook so private you need to cross the red sea and hop three times in order to see it. I think employers should only be allowed to see what you make public to the Internet world. Obviously there’s no such thing as “privacy” on the Internet; I say if they can find it on their own so be it but if not its just intrusive and a huge turn-off for many prospective workers.
Many people have been offended by these requests and have withdrawn their applications to employers seeking their Facebook info. This can be good or bad depending on where you stand in this mix. If you can scan and eliminate anything inappropriate or offensive off of your Facebook before you go for an interview than you can stand a better chance than many people who are ignorant to the protocol. This would be good for you because you may open yourself up for more job opportunities.
Another good thing about the Facebook invasion would be using your profile as a means to generate good energy around your name and show potential employers how well you use social media, as well as showcase your talents in your career field. This is a smart tactic and will really help you get an edge over the other applicants.
Another place Facebook has been causing a bit of a ruckus is in the education department. According to a study Kaplan did last year:
- Nearly a quarter of all selective colleges use Facebook as a factor in the admission process
- About 20 percent of those colleges used Google to research prospective students
- 12 percent say what they found “negatively impacted” the applicant’s chances of acceptance
While not every school turns to the Internet to gain information on their applicants, its still important to make sure you always look best. As I mentioned before the Internet isn’t very forgiving.
So this brings me back to my point. Do you know what’s on your Facebook? The Internet is a scary place. As Millennials we literally have the world at our fingertips. I don’t think most people understand the severity or the power the Internet holds.
Once you put something out there, it can never be completely erased. There will always be a trace of it somewhere. So be cautious and mindful about what you say and how you say it, and what you post. You never know who’s going to go digging and find it!
Kirstin Mohammed is a Featured Blogger for Mobilize.org’s The Millennial Report. From a young age, Mohammed has been concerned with poverty and world hunger. She also shows concern for many other issues brewing in the world. She believes in always being happy and flashing a smile.