Social Checking Services are Watching You

August 5, 2011

 

The work place and technology keep changing. It used to be easy to get a job. You fill out an application, do an interview and you either get hired or not. Simple. Now most corporations have you apply online that takes close to an hour to fill out. They require 2 phone interviews before an in person interview. Then background checks and drug tests. A lot of prospective employers even google your name to see what they can find out about your activity on the internet. Personally I’ve wondered if this has been a reason I didn’t get a response on many job application in the past 5 years or so.

 

The past few years some companies hire “social checking” services to go beyond the general google or any other search engine findings. A recent study by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) shows that 50% of employers are taking advantage of the new services up from 34% in 2008 and 20% are planning on using the services. These “social checking” companies specialize in watching and reporting applicant’s activities on social networks like facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc. looking at everything from blogs to photo albums.

 

It’s entirely legal and complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Some question whether it is invasive of individual’s privacy come up but it seems pretty cut and dry. Most of us know by now that what we make public on the internet is open for anyone to see if we don’t make it private. Even if a person makes it entirely private there are ways around it.

 

The question of reliability of the information gathered because people present what they want to say about themselves and try to give the best not necessarily the most honest version of themselves on the social networking sites.

 

Personally I’ve been aware that what I post and say and do onine can be seen by everyone. Some of my sites, blogs, pictures, statements etc are definitely a bit risqué and even pornographic at times. I’ve accepted this fact as an artist and writer. I am willing to put myself out there to be true to myself. My art and writing has never been mainstream and I have nothing to hide. It’s more important than hiding everything to please others including prospective employers.

 

I know a lot of people that won’t have anything to do with me online due to the nature of their careers. They keep everything private and hide out only connecting with their closest of friends and family members.

 

If I’m ever hiring I might use a service but I’ll be looking for honest people not the ones that seem “normal”. I feel bad for the people that don’t think about it and have pictures of their parties and drinking and wild side that a social checking service finds and may ruin their chance of a career that they wanted.

 

Then again is the real you the person that sits in front of an employer for an interview or the “you” you project online? Either way there’s some kind of deception and some honesty.

 

For me, I am just going to keep doing what I do. Post what’s on my mind. Or maybe start my own service. Hmmmm.


Are You Guilty of facebook Nonsense? I am.

August 19, 2010

Weird how what comes around goes around. Irony. One day I’m complaining about people “deleting” me on the almighty networking site facebook and the next day I want to delete people for expressing themselves. It’s not the expressing that bothers me as much as it is when I see people attack others through comments and status entries on there. Some even attack others by name. I have to remember that I’ve been deleted because people don’t like what I post. I have to remember that I’ve attacked people when I was angry on facebook as well. I didn’t use names but there was enough information for the people that knew the person figured it out.

I am going to stick to my guns for now. I made a resolution to not respond, attack or delete someone for their behavior unless it’s extreme harassment or threats or something drastic. Say what your going to say and I’ll deal with it. There is an option on facebook to hide people that you don’t want to read their statuses. I’ve used this before for silly stuff like being tired of hearing about what a person is eating every hour or their break up updates every few hours or even minutes. I still like these people and want to be friends with them and I can always unhide them at another time. It’s not as bad as Twitter.

Ok, I admit that I spend way too much time on facebook and I enjoy it. I go on to have fun and socialize especially when the real world bores me or I’m feeling anti-social in person. I try to be respectful, playful and fun. I understand that my interests and sense of humor may be offensive at times but that’s who I am and I have to work on not taking it so personal when someone doesn’t like it. One facebook friend got offended when I “tagged” her in a semi-sexual photo I posted. The term tag means I posted her name on a picture and then it appeared on my page and hers. She was very polite in her confrontation and she let it go and we are better friends for it.

Maybe one day I’ll get a real job and a real life and not be so concerned with such trivialities. These are just the thoughts of the moment and I’ll forget about it later while I am “poking” my friends on facebook while ding 10 other things on the computer. Ha.


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