shamed in sherbrooke

“Just like in every social setting, online interactions have their own set of etiquette rules. Evolving over time, the rules of online communication involve knowing when to ‘like’ a status, how to write a comment, and when to stop commenting.”

– Gulf News, January 17th, 2015

Dear Meryl,

I recently applied for an internship at an advertising agency in my hometown. I was the front-runner as far as experience and interviews went, but I didn’t get the position. I emailed the agency to ask what had happened to my application and they told me that upon further inspection of my social media, that I didn’t seem like I ‘emulated the qualities’ they were looking for.

I have a lot of photos on my Facebook and Instagram that reveal a lot of skin, but is that really an issue? I like to have a good time and I don’t care about showing it online. Do employers really mind if I drink and smoke.

The advertising industry in my hometown is small and I’m afraid that I won’t be able to get a position anywhere now.

Is this true, Meryl!?

Sincerely,

Shamed in Sherbrooke

Dear Shamed in Sherbrooke,

A good reputation, once lost, is not easily regained, and in a time when your every day actions are documented and published online, this is truer now than ever before.

In the past, people could have varying lives and personas according to situation. For example, a person might act very differently at work than they would on a weekend. Now however, a person’s persona and reputation is wrapped up in the social media profiles which are easily accessible to the general public (depending on your privacy settings). Therefore every action and posted item counts.

Regardless of your own personal views or your habits, you must always be cognoscente of public opinion based on these aspects of your life. If you value your career or reputation as a whole, social media has to be a reflection of how you want to be viewed by the public, and not a photo-log of your less than kosher behavior on weekends.

Be careful, Shamed. Clean up your social media act if you value your future at all!

Sincerely,

Meryl

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