They say that everything that you post on the Internet becomes part of the public record, and could affect you down the road if a potential employer decides to do a little social media digging to see whether you really would be a good employee or not.
Sure, some things could be attributed to a little venting in your status updates, but there’s also the possibility of trends emerging that you may not see unless you’re looking at your profile with a fresh set of eyes.
Luckily, there’s a website that does a lot of the work for us:
WE KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING is a summary of data that Facebook and Foursquare release as part of their public API that is being used to show how much of your private information is available to anyone with a little technical skill and know-how… and how taken out of context, this information can show how much of a partyier you (or your friends) happen to be.
Which shows you a good example of how others could perceive you if they’re outside your social circle and just happen to stumble across your posts. For example:
- Drinking problem? Meghan O’F said: Oh sweet devine baby Jesus I don’t remember ever being this hungover in my entire life. I think tramps slept in my mouth
- Work issues? Anastasia R said: Im getting so mad right now I hate my boss Jay I hope he dies better yet I feel like killin him if you in a bad mood don’t take it out on everyone at the job like wtf its way to hot to take your crap
- Like pot? Ryan A apparently likes to: Smoke weed everiday
Other things the site pulls up is your actual street address from your Foursquare check-ins (just perfect for those stalkers trying to hunt you down), and doing the same thing by combining Foursquare with all your Facebook friends, so you can see were everyone is at one time.
So what does all this mean?
First, you should probably stop using Facebook and Foursquare. But Web Watch knows that’s likely not going to happen.
So do the next best thing: stop posting public Foursquare updates. Stop posting potentially damaging Facebook statuses. Change your privacy settings to only be visible by those you want to see your stuff.
Social media can be a very good thing when the tools are used appropriately… but not everybody bothers to check to see what they’re saying is visible to the entire world or not.
Sometimes what you say CAN really hurt you.