As a mature user of social media (most sites didn’t even start until I was well into my twenties) I don’t think I’ve ever for one moment lived in fear of my digital footprint being detrimental to my employability. The very public nature of social media sites has often been a concern for me. Owning a computer in the early boom of the late 90’s/early 2000’s has always sort of drilled the concept of privacy and constant vigilance about your online identity to me.
Which of course isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy some sites that would make me look less employable. Or adult for that matter – I just happen to really love TV a lot. I like to discuss it. Talk about it. Write about it. But I’ve always kept a secondary e-mail account for those sites, for just that reason. It’s the smart thing to do.
Likewise with my social media sites. MyFacebook is locked down – I’ve never been a fan of their fast and loose changing of their privacy settings, so I do tend to go in and check that my security settings are as I wish them to be quite often. I own two Twitter accounts – one is locked and one is public. I Google myself regularly – it’s a bit of a morbid curiosity – but also the fact that I have a bit of a unique name. I can’t really hide amongst the crowds on Google.
I think overall, being an older user of social media when it really emerged really helps me be aware of what I attach to my name out there, online. I’ve always been conscientious about it, usually out of a fear of my own privacy being infringed upon. Now it’s more of a sense of not wanting to put anything too personal, or detrimental out there.
Overall though, it’s common sense. I wouldn’t put anything out there digitally that I wouldn’t want the world to see. For me – it’s less what I plan on doing and more what I will continue to do. Be conscious of what I say, and where I am saying it at all times, because even deleting accounts doesn’t necessarily make things go away. It’s okay to have your fun on the internet, but do it in a way that can’t really be connected back to your ‘brand’.