Living life online is a fact of life these days, whether you choose to or not. Employers look you up, making sure they’re not hiring the worst person in the world (made clear by inappropriate posts and pictures). What I find most interesting about the use of social media is that people are more likely to post candid thoughts on Twitter, as opposed to Facebook. This is interesting to me because people tend to have private Facebook profiles, but public Twitter feeds. People are willing to say whatever comes to their mind to random strangers, but not when it comes to “friends” they have to actively confirm.
This strange logic leaves young Twitter users vulnerable to a negative online presence, which most employers don’t encourage. I mean, I get it. I tend to feel more confident in front of strangers than in front of friends, probably because the threat of subsequent meetings has been removed. You don’t know who’s listening, so why bother censoring yourself for their sakes? This dangerous thinking, though, permits bad habits of saying WHATEVER you want online.
Parody Twitter accounts don’t help matters much. Yes, of course they are enjoyable to follow. Who doesn’t love reading KimKierkegaardashian‘s tweets? From the clever to the punny, these fake accounts are part of the larger social conversation. What happens, though, when that conversation drags down everyone with it?
There are several accounts associated with Mizzou, but not all of them have a positive light. Mizzou Makeouts and Mizzou Passouts are popular accounts that exist in a “Gossip Girl” sense. With more than 11,000 followers each, they tweet submitted photos (I’m sure you can guess the content). I’ll admit, I follow both feeds, wondering if my friends or residents will show up. Is this really worth Mizzou’s time, though? What happens when the concept escalates? As a gossip monger, I can’t put myself above the mild entertainment of seeing my peers make fools of themselves. Maybe I should. I can’t help but wonder how employers see it, though. Who deserves the job least: the subject of a questionable photo, the person who submitted it, or the followers that tacitly allow it to continue?
I guess it’s time to re-think who I follow.