It seems that the phrase “Anything you say can and will be used against you blah blah blah,” is no longer just a part of your Miranda rights. Replace the word say with post and voila; You have one of the greatest challenges of our generation.
Post a picture in an attractive outfit, you’re a slut. Post a Stalin quote, you’re a communist. Post a joke about Obama, you’re a racist. Post an update as the sun is coming up, you are clearly a degenerate! Well I for one aim to disperse this mentality.
What our generation is guilty of is simply not practicing discretion. We live out in the open, we like to brag, we LOVE recognition and a pat on the back or an fb “like”, and we absolutely crave relevancy. So yes we post questionable material on Facebook and Twitter, and Instagram, and wherever else we can get attention.
But here is my reality, and I am willing to put my hand in fire and say this is my reality for the many of my generation who are “unemployable” because of their internet presence.
Today, we don’t just go to college. We work, not because we want to, but because we have grown up in economic conditions that leave us with no choice. We are involved in student/ community organizations, again not necessarily because we want to, but because in this day and age you spend a whole lot of money for a bachelors that is probably worth nothing unless you have valuable extra-curricular resume cherries on top that add to your skill set and value as a professional. Add to that the the pressures of having the responsibilities and relationships of an adult but feeling like you still want to do keg stands and draw dicks ony our passed out friends. Put that all in a blender and out comes today’s academic milkshake; a students who sleeps too little, and has more stress in their lives than any other generation did in their college years. The result is needy individuals that share their entire life on Facebook, to convince themselves that despite all the stress in their life, They still “Rock On”.
This summer, after perhaps the most stressful year of my college career, I decided I wanted to travel every chance I got. I went to California (twice), Puerto Rico, New York City, The beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Hells Cay in the Everglades and Orlando. At each place I took 543896734985 pictures and posted most of them. I tried interesting cocktails, I ventured into very questionable places with alligators and snakes and dolphins, I befriended a lot of strangers whom I stayed with to save a buck and documented every bit of it. So if my employer were to see my most recent albums what would they say?
Problem is, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I work close to 50 hours a week. I take no less than 12 credits every semester, I am a contributing member of a business fraternity, and I still find time to devote to service. Soooooo those very few moments when I get to partake in leisurely activities I make sure 1. That I make the most amazing memories and 2. That I document them so that my mundane routine of class, work, class, study, feed my puppy, study some more, sleep for 4 hours and do it all over again, is decorated with spurts of pure joy!
And now you’re asking well that’s great but why post them on Facebook? The answer is simple. Aside from the vain reasons, like wanting people to notice that I’ve accomplished some great things with my body this summer, I aim to inspire my peers to travel, to enjoy life even in the face of adversity, and to find balance in their lives.
So NO employers, the 34863786 pictures of me with drink in hand does not mean I’m an alcoholic. The revealing clothes I wear in those same pictures do not mean I’m a slut, and they certainly do not mean that I don’t take life seriously.
I am willing to bet that those applying to positions in your company are probably in a similar predicament otherwise they probably wouldn’t be applying in the first place. Although I do agree that some people share way too much the average Joe just wants 47 likes on that picture of their new muscles just as Sally LittleBlackDress wants to be reassured that she is sexy.
With that said, please ignore everything I just said. The average employer will judge you by your internet presence before they even meet you. So make sure you use social media to be as fake as possible. After all, a boring person who can only talk about their expertise and never has fun is guaranteed to be the best employee ever.