Thanks to social media, our lives will never be the same again. Period. Ten years ago, no one knew what the phrase “social media” was, let alone how it would impact our lives. So with the growth of social media came the growth of people saying whatever popped into their heads at a moment’s notice. No one thought about what they typed, they just typed it and sent it out there into cyberspace, hoping that they would get someone’s attention. Well, it worked. They not only got attention, they now have gotten themselves into a dilemma. In other words, people are getting into trouble at a recording setting pace just by what they post on Facebook and Twitter.

In some studies it is suggested that more than 90% look at a prospective employee’s social media accounts before making a final hiring decision. Which means that the line drawn between either getting the job or not getting the job can all come down to what you post or tweet.

One applicant found himself out of the running for the job he applied for because after he joined the group, “I shouldn’t have to press one for English,” on Facebook, his would-be employer branded him as a racist. Another Facebook story is a man who was tagged as someone with, “the potential for violent behavior” because there was a picture of him holding a gun.

A 22-year-old North Carolina waitress blasted two customers over Facebook for stiffing her on the tip and keeping her late. She also took the time to mention her workplace by name. She was fired for breaking a rule about disparaging customers.

And that is not the only thing that can go wrong while using social media.

There was a person who was looking for work who was flagged for “illegal activity” after putting an advertisement on Craigslist look for the drug Oxycontin.

Then there was a woman who had been living off of disability insurance for depression since 2008. But when the Canadian insurance company making the payments, got into her Facebook page, they saw her “relaxing at the beach, hanging out at a Chippendale’s-style club, and generally having a lot of fun.” She immediately lost her insurance benefits.

The only one that has the power on your profile or your page is you. Its a sure thing that people who have gotten fired, not recruited or even hired didn’t think their social media sites would be the reason, but it seems to be the trend. Nobody thinks before their tweet or post- they just tweet and post.

Then there were stories brewing that would-be employers are asking potential employee’s for their emails/passwords combos to their social networking sites.

I just love the hypocrisy of people today.

On one hand you have people who cry that their privacy is being compromised due to Google and due to their online activity, while on the other hand these same people are posting/tweeting information that they shouldn’t. You can’t claim you are a victim when you are the one putting yourself out there.

These people cry foul but yet haven’t changed their online behaviors. . Since there are no true boundary lines drawn as of yet on these social media sites, there are always going to be situations that people and even professionals are going to find themselves in. If we can cut down on the negative uses and abuses of social media we can then start to use social media for what it’s pure intention is: to network, keep in touch with friends and family as well as meet new people. The only way we can curb the negative, such as cyber bullying and just plain stupidity is to force people to think before they post or tweet since our employer’s will be checking in on us from time to time. Cyber bullying would be a thing of the past instead of our future.

The thing that people don’t realize is that what you post or tweet most certianly reflects your employer, your friends and your family. Social media has in turn made everyone lose their common sense, manners, and we somehow have forgotten how to respect each others opinion. We instead mock people, call them outlandish names and intimidate them. Some people decide to unfriend a person in real life as well as online simply because we don’t have the tolerance to accept the fact that everyone is entitled to their opinion. It’s like I have always said to kids when I was a teacher, “ You don’t have to like everyone, but you do have to respect everyone.”

The best advice I can give everyone is this: If you aren’t going to say exactly what you are typing in public or to someone’s face, don’t post it or tweet it. Don’t become a social media troll. Plus, we don’t need to know what you are doing at every freaking minute of the day. Yes, your kid is cute but I don’t need to know that he or she is potty training. I don’t care if you are going to workout, get coffee, go to the laundrymat, etc. What you are in turn doing by letting everyone know where you are and what you are doing, is being open for robbery, theft, or even personal harm. You really don’t know who is “spying” on your page. This goes for when people “check-in” to places. But the personal level of stuff, let me just say that 90% of court cases have Facebook listed as evidence in them. Let’s make social media a place where we show respect, kindness and joy. Remember, there’s a difference between fact and opinion. Your opinion is not a fact. Let’s stop attacking people and using it to incite violence.

Dirty laundry belongs in a basket, not posted on the Internet. Just because it pops into your head doesn’t mean you need to post it.

It’s really that simple. Or is it?

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