Some moron friend requested me a few weeks ago although I’m not on. They must have typed in my email or uploaded their address book. I had a friend over last night and she showed me her profile. I don’t like that timeline feature at all.
I wish I weren’t and I’ve long considered deactivating it. The damn thing has gotten me in so much trouble with the ladies over the years… It’s just a giant deathtrap. Still, I keep it because its the best tool I have to keep in touch with friends who are not in the same city as me.
Ok, I don’t understand the whole “facebook blah blah blah HR, blah blah blah info on the web” argument. It’s called security settings, learn how to use a computer people. I have my settings cranked up as high as they’ll go. Basically only my friends can see anything on my profile at all. Their friends can’t see anything. So if I tag them in a photo, they can see it, and our mutual friends can see it, but their friends who aren’t my friends can’t see it. Same with posts, etc. You can’t even search for my profile on FB, it doesn’t show up. Same with google (and google cache). I prune my friends list about once a year (takes about five minutes) and keep it usually down around 60-70 people I actually talk to. It’s not rocket science.
I was just joking about the HR thing. Though it is an issue, as is the privacy you give up by being on those sites. But, that’s not at all why I don’t use them. They just annoy the piss out of me. I’ve managed to stay in touch with the people I like just fine without them.
That Onion article hits it on the head. If you decide that your life is better without Facebook, cellphones, penicillin, or whatever, that’s fine. But if you’re hoping that other people will be impressed by (or even interested in) your stance, you’re probably going to be disappointed.
This urban legend that HR spends their time scouring the internet for profiles for potential and current employees is comical to me. And not having a presence in the internet is not necessarily a good thing. If you claim to be an expert at something and there is nothing out there to back it up you probably aren’t. Linkedin is pretty much mandatory to be on from what I have been told. And Wendy, get back in the kitchen please…
I’m not in HR, but I always have a staff member look for online profiles when we are considering making an offer to someone. We even tell good candidates during the interview to be sure there is nothing on their FB page that might be problematic.
I actually mostly-believe this urban legend. As Higgmond suggested, I suspect that there is not a person in america that gets hired these days without at least one thorough google search of their name.
This I agree with. In fact, I’d take it a step further and say that not having a Facebook account is not necessarily a good thing. When I’m trying to get the lowdown on someone and see that they have several hundred Facebook friends, I actually consider that to be a positive and reassuring sign. (ie. normal, likable person) And consider that unless a user has decided to crank their Facebook security setting all the way to zero, some random potential employer can’t see anything beyond their name, chosen profile photo, education, etc anyway.
I can say with absolute certainty larger firms check your online profiles. This shouldn’t be that hard to believe. HR’s job is to research job applicants. Googling you is the first thing they do. And, since it’s not at all resource intensive, it would make a whole lot of sense smaller shops would do it too. And, it’s entirely possible to have a presence on the internet without being on Facebook (et al). Sure, there are some networking benefits, but no one adds any professional credibility by posting a sweet status update. Get published on SeekingAlpha or something similar. Hell, start your own blog and build a track record of awesome ideas. I do know of people that have been not hired, and current employees that have been reprimanded for things they post online. In fact, our PR department automatically searches all those sites for mentions of our company’s name. A coworker in my division posted something to 4 square (not even sure what that is) that simply said “Urgh, work.” Not sure how it works, but his comment also automatically posted on Twitter and his iPhone automatically identified his currently location (maybe that’s a 4 square thing, whatever). End result was his tweet, which he didn’t actually manually send out, posted a simple “urgh, work” with his current location and our firm’s name. He received an email the same day from PR with his manager and HR cc’d firmly reminding him of our online policy regarding social networking sites. All that said, Linkedin does provide some professional benefits. It’s an absolute must for financial advisors. Though I’m in sales and have gotten by just fine without it. Before the market crashed in '08 and we let a whole bunch of people go, we actually had someone in our division that would set up and maintain your Linkedin profile for you if you didn’t want to do it yourself. So I (and my employer) agree it’s not without its merits. tl;dr - It’s not a myth, your online footprint does matter. It can be beneficial for work, but not beneficial enough for me to bother with it. Stop posting stupid status updates. No one gives a shit.