Not even five minutes after landing at RDU, I got more Facebook notification than I have had all year. Spring break pics were up before I had arrived at baggage claim. There are four key emotional stages that everyone goes through after being tagged in Facebook pictures:
1. Excitement: 30 notifications and four friend requests — I must be popular. For once I have something to look at on Facebook that actually pertains to me.
2. Curiosity: What pictures am I in? Do I look cute? I hope at least one is profile pic worthy.
3. Nostalgia: You already want to go back and relive spring break 2K15. You remember how much fun you had because it was documented by at least three people that have pictures to prove it.
4. Fear: I’m in a bathing suit drinking a margarita…will any one hire me?? Time to revise my security settings, untag anything questionable and hide the evidence. I need to change my name incase employers try to find me.
After spring break, the job and internship search heats up. Everyone starts freaking out about cover letters, resumes and interviews. LinkedIn has been a big game changer for our generation because it has simplified the networking process and has helped us present ourselves professionally. Another game changer has been our personal social media accounts. Employers can find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (if they’re good).
I’d like to say I don’t have anything incriminating on my Facebook, but would an employer be turned off if they saw a photo of me at a party? Is it unprofessional to have a photo of me in a bathing suit? What if they aren’t a dog person?? You never get a second chance at a first impression, especially when you don’t realize your first impression was made via your Facebook profile.
How do you decide what is Facebook appropriate? Obviously their are some hard lines you don’t cross, but a lot of stuff remains in the gray area. I wish there were a rule book for this kind of thing. Back in high school, people would blur out beer bottles before posting pictures to Facebook. Now that we are of age, I don’t think we need to take the same precautions. But will employers judge you for that? I want answers! I need to know what can stay and what has to go.