[TT] If They Look, They WILL Find You

At the orientation day for my courses, I was reminded that going into school for my chosen career meant that I was now a representation of said career and, as such, I should reflect on my internet activity.

Image courtesy of Occupy.com

Employers as well as teachers are also people who have access to the internet and a few keystrokes could render some information on anyone. I have heard that many teachers and employers search on social networks, such as Facebook and Instagram, to evaluate their potential students and employees.

Of course, the natural reaction is to either A) not be present in social media networks, and B) limit visibility of profiles to protect privacy. To which I ask, should we really be judged on what we do on the internet? I don't mean by what's done on the internet at work because that's a regulatory issue. The concern I have is that there are countless people (that I know) who can have a "good time" (that would be deemed by a teacher or employer at a range of risqué to incredible indecent) and it would have no direct impact/effect on their work. Just because there is a picture of you drunk or someone is holding a joint, does not mean that you can't buckle down and complete tasks set out by your authorities. Have we not been taught that one should never judge a book by its cover?

Not only is it a concern about the fact that employers and teachers have the ability to search online for people's information, but it is impossible to predict what goes through the employer or the teacher's mind when they come across your information. We all hold the freedom of expression and speech and yet we must live in constant fear that someone will misinterpret your internet activity and recreational behaviour as a sign that you are suddenly "not worthy".

This issue seems to be another advantage (or disadvantage) of the accessibility of the internet. Tell me, how do you feel about employers and teachers "looking up" potential employees and students?

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