Well folks, it looks like posting Spring Break pictures and engaging in long, incoherent rants against strangers actually can come back to haunt you. According to a recent study, approximately 10% of people between 16 and 34 have been turned down for a job based on something they’ve posted on their social media sites. Notice that the study includes people 16 years old. I repeat: some 16 year olds are being deemed incapable of bagging groceries at the grocery store because of some of the crap they post online.
Which I think is great – seriously, the way my groceries go into those bags is a really big deal to me, and I’m glad they’re being discriminating about who they will and won’t hire. The bigger problem, though, is that most young people still don’t realize how powerful a tool their social media sites can be to make sure they never have to suffer the oppression of a steady paycheck. Fully two-thirds of respondents don’t think their social media presence has any bearing on their ability to get a job. That’s a level of ignorance that I find appalling. I mean, if you want to avoid working, you should be aware of the things you can do to avoid it. Sure, maybe you’ll luck into unemployment by accident, but that’s not a real strategy.
So, in my continuing effort to make sure all of us can play all the video games we want, here are a couple ways to ensure that your social media platforms assure the world that you are effectively unemployable:
Never Delete Anything! Every living cell has mechanisms in place to deal with extra, unhealthy, or unnecessary material. Most of us have developed a habit of semi-regular showering to deal with the slow accumulation of dirt, sweat, and powdered cheese whiz that would otherwise destroy the temple that is our bodies. Hell, even dogs occasionally groom themselves. But your social media outlets should suffer no such indignity. The more you refuse to clean up your pictures and posts (and more importantly, other people’s comments about your pictures and posts), the more evil you’ll allow to seep into what was once a beautiful thing. Remember, ignorance is bliss – unless that ignorance is categorically impossible because it’s freely available to every human being with an Internet connection.
Construct Your Social Media to Please Your Friends Only! If you’re 12, this is perfectly fine and harmless. If you’re 73, this is also perfectly fine and harmless. But if you’re drowning in the middle section that others like to call ‘the working years,’ then you’ll have two competing audiences to appeal to – your friends, and your professional connections. On the one hand, you have people who might pay you; and on the other, you have people who sometimes pretend to have forgotten their wallet at home so that you’ll be stuck buying their movie tickets. Your friends will tell you that you’re awesome, and your employees will give you the ability to buy a supersonic jet boat so that you can prove that you’re awesome. Wonder which one it’s more important to cater to?
Complain About Your Employers To Your Friends! There’s a good chance that you forgot you friended your boss a few months ago. There’s also a good chance that your boss occasionally reads your posts to see if you’re saying anything that doesn’t represent the company well. And there’s also also a good chance that you hate your boss and want everyone to know it, but that you’re too scared to just come out and say it. Which is why we invented the Internet. The best of you will pepper your posts with so many curses that it’ll be difficult to know what your actual point is. Oh! And maybe post a picture of a donkey or something with your boss’s head on it! So many options.
Enjoy, my little out-of-work grocery baggers. I was a grocery bagger myself for a few months back in high school, and I can honestly say that the car I bought with the money they gave me was hardly worth the pain of having to do stuff. Don’t live the life that I’ve had. It may be too late for me, but it isn’t for you.