I don’t know why googling myself is such an uncomfortable thing to do – almost like you get irrational premonitions of something unfortunate coming up in the results. Luckily, I made sure this wouldn’t actually happen to me long ago, because I was aware of the embarrassing and concerning outcomes disclosing too much about yourself could have, be it purposely or unintentionally.

It might be due to having lived in various countries, where my surname was always butchered somehow, but surprisingly there is nothing to find about my sports rankings and achievements at school – which in retrospect is a good thing, because that sort of information can still reveal your whereabouts. When my then-underage classmate’s (absurdly famous) grandfather died a few years ago, Spanish gossip magazines managed to draw up profiles of her and her siblings without them ever having said anything, just based on Google search results and their activities at school, as well as Facebook pictures, which scared them out of their minds and ended in a lost lawsuit since the information belonged to the domains it was on.

Luckily Facebook now gives you the option of making your account untraceable on search machines, as well as regulate people being able to find you through other information (like your phone number, which is now mandatory to use the messenger), which I’ve definitely made use of. My Instagram and other social profiles don’t have my full name on them – except for LinkedIn.

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I guess we’ve all heard stories about people being denied jobs they were set for after getting their ‘background check’ done – because of “unprofessional” tagged pictures on Facebook or ever so slightly offensive tweets. Obviously I try for (the little) content I post to be unproblematic in the first place, but it’s always best to make sure and not mix private affairs and business to ensure our road to professionalism and security otherwise will go without bumps.

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3 Comments

  1. You’re right, social media play a central role when someone is hired or about to. There had been also stories of people fired for posting inappropriate contents on their social networks regarding their job.
    Usually, with time, people get conscious of what they might be professionally facing in the future, but many don’t select the contents on social media during teenage.

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  2. It’s scary how careful we must be on social media. Even if you hide everything you post, something still might come up on search engines! Therefore, I believe, professional education is needed. I think if we starter teaching kids about online safety and all safety features there are on social platforms from a very young age, just as they are starting to use the internet, they would not repeat our own mistakes anymore.
    One more thing that could help is social platforms themselves promoting the safety features. Just to make sure our future careers are as safe as possible 🙂

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  3. I like your writing style a lot! Can’t agree more with your opinion about the problematic social media use. I am quite interested in another phenomenon you have mentioned in the text that the connection between social media use and career life. Personally, I still insist that our social media is supposed to be driven by pure intention which allows us to share and be informed. However, the actually fact is that people increasingly use their social media as the cheapest and most efficient self promoting platform. In this case, I think social media doesn’t function as it has been argued that it provides more space for transparency, but builds up the wall higher instead.

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