With the popularity of Twitter and Facebook it could be said that everyone now has their own digital fingerprint, made up from everything they have ever posted on the internet. What a lot of people don’t realise is that every tweet, status update or photo you have been tagged in, much like a finger print, is unique and is therefore traceable back to you.
In an increasingly digitalised world, the internet and social media have become part of everyday life and both are becoming ever more important to business professionals as well as the general public; from using it as a source of news update and knowing what is going on around the world, to simply chatting to friends whilst on the move.
What I think is most interesting however are the ways people now perceive social media as a digital extension of themselves; often using a platform to vent frustrations, or express personal views on a particular topic, or towards a particular person or group.
The danger of this is that often people don’t appreciate the impacts of using the internet and social media in this way. One of the issues, quite relevant to me, is how what you post on the internet can potentially impact future job opportunities.
For example, with the prevalence of social media sites, often future employers will take to the internet for some pre-interview research (such as LinkedIn or Twitter particularly): a simple Google search can bring up all sorts of information that you would never even consider a potential employer knowing about.
Many people think they can hide behind the computer screen believing they are anonymous or can’t be found (as the issues around the new 10 pound note have highlighted). When, in reality, these tweets and the identity of those who write them will be available to anyone in the world, remaining on the internet as a digital record forever.
This is definitely a pertinent issue for young people today, as far too many people are taking to twitter to express anti-social views without realising the future impacts such actions could have on their future professional careers and opportunities.
Essentially social media leaves a trail of cyber dust leading right back to you, so spare a thought before you post those birthday pictures or decide to have a rant at the cast of Geordie Shore – you never quite know who might end up seeing them!