Social Media Posts Affect Your Professional Reputation

Aussies need to be more diligent when managing their social media accounts

It was December 2011, I’d called in sick to my call center job.

I wasn’t sick at all, I was off to the cricket at the MCG.

I had a ripper day out with friends, the Aussies had a win, does it get any better?

Fast forward to Monday and my supervisor calls me into his office, he pulls out his laptop and shows me a picture on Facebook.

In the picture is me and a bunch of friends enjoying a little bit of cricket at the MCG.

(AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

That was my last day at that call center job.

The memories of that experience came flooding back today after I read that computer software company McAfee had released the results of a study into Australian’s attitudes towards social media hygiene.

The research found that what we post on social media can have a negative impact on our professional reputation, ala me chucking a sickie at the cricket circa 2011.

The results from McAfee were a little alarming.

With social media accounts primed to share memories we’d rather forget, over a quarter (28%) admit they’ve either never, or can’t remember the last time they checked their timelines.

Two-thirds (67%) of people own up to being embarrassed by their social media.

Two-thirds (66%) of people have at least one dormant social media account.

40 per cent of people admitted they’ve not even thought about deleting inactive accounts or giving them a clear out.

A quarter (25%) admit to only deleting posts after a crisis and even eight percent confess to posting negative content about their current workplace.

11 per cent admit they have no idea how to change their privacy settings on social media.

Almost a third, (30%), say they haven’t done anything to change privacy settings despite knowing how to.

23 per cent have, or know someone who have, had career or job prospects negatively affected by social media content they’ve posted, or been tagged in.

And 19 per cent even admit they could lose their job over their social media content.

And to finish off with a little bit of fun, here’s the top 10 posts Aussies are most embarrassed by on their social media.

  1. Drunken behaviour
  2. Comment that can be perceived as offensive
  3. Wearing an embarrassing outfit
  4. Wardrobe malfunction
  5. In their underwear
  6. Throwing up
  7. Swearing
  8. Kissing someone they shouldn’t have been
  9. Sleeping somewhere they shouldn’t
  10. Exposing themselves on purpose

I suggest you have a little look at all your social media pages tonight.