How Being Careless on Social Media Can Impact Your Brand and Your Future
Warnings About Your Social Media Life and How it can Ruin Your Future
Social Media has only really been around for about a decade. Yes, Myspace has been around since the 90’s BUT the modern way of how we think of social media is still fairly new. That could help explain why parents don’t understand how to properly protect their kids from posting all of their stupid antics online. The parents of today’s teens did not have to navigate social media during their turbulent years of acid wash jeans and black out drinking. That also explains why today’s young job seekers don’t seem to get it either.
Here’s the thing that seems to be whizzing right over the heads of some folks using these sites: if you post a pic on social media, you have to assume that everyone from your past, present and future will see it. Even if you decide to take down those party pics in the morning, there may be screen shots that could live on for years. Like through your college years and right on to your job searching years.
If you are reading this as a young entrepreneur, just beginning to think about your personal brand, you may feel like you’ve been punched in the gut. Go now, delete everything that could hurt your brand and hope that no one who really hates you has screen shots. Any boss for any job you apply for will type your name into Google and Facebook and Twitter and Snapchat and Tumblr and so on and on and on. And starting now remember this rule: if you don’t want your boss, parent, or significant other to read it, don’t post it.
If you’re a parent of a “some-day- entrepreneur” teach your kids about how these pictures WILL impact their future. Picture dropping off your 12-year-old off in Times Square with no direction or guidance. Handing them a smartphone and expecting them to be OK is the same thing. Plus, consider your own behavior online, if you would be upset with your kid for saying it then you shouldn’t post it. Both parents and soon to be job seekers need to take a look at the following list.
Below are just some of the examples of people who lost jobs, endorsements, and entire careers because of something stupid they did or said via social media. These are just a few of the many, many, many examples.
- DJ Gardner: Basketball/ Mississippi State University
- Ray-Ray Armstrong: Football/University of Miami
- Ryan Spadola: Football/Lehigh University
- Marlon Williams: Football/Texas Tech University
- Scoop Jardine: Basketball/Syracuse University
- Yuri Wright: Football/University of Colorado
- Courtney Fortson: Basketball/University of Arkansas
- Will Hill: Football/University of Florida
- Jamal Shuman: Football/Elon College
- Thomas de Thaey: Basketball/ North Carolina State University
- Bradley Patterson: Football/University of Alabama
- Michel Mortadella: Olympian/Soccer Player
- Stephanie Rice: Olympian/swimmer
- Paraskevi Papachristou: Olympian/pole jumper
- Mike Bacsik: Former Baseball Player/ Radio host
- Elizabeth Lauten: Communications Director for TN State Representative
- Gilbert Gottfried: Actor/spokesman
- Paula Deen: Celebrity Chef
- Stuart MacLennan: British Politician
- Matt Watson- fired from job after blogging about customers
- Carly McKinney- math teacher fired after tweets about her “hot” students and how she likes to smoke weed
- Timothy DeLaGhetto- fired after he complained via Twitter and YouTube about company uniform
- Olivia Sprauer- resigned after racy photos surfaced on social media
- Michael Allred- prison guard fired for rape jokes online
- Jessica Harr- bartender fired after racist remakes on her Facebook page
Let’s hope your name or your child’s name never appears on a list like this one. Be mindful of how you use social media. It’s fun and it should be a great communication outlet. But just like most things in life, it should be used wisely.
Founded in 2001, RUSSO is a strategic branding agency. RUSSO utilizes consumer insight to develop branding initiatives that effectively change the conversation — forming emotional connections between the consumer and the brand. To learn more, visit brandrusso.com. And of insights on the go, be sure to subscribe to the RazorBranding Podcast HERE.