revisiting facebook, jobs, millenials

in light of this post, i'm revisiting this post.

i wonder if this is going to change.

me, i am a brand. i embrace my inner brand and utilize it. i am the CEO of the brand of the girl Riot™. however, even CEOs get to go home. no one is Cheerios, or BMW, or Adidas all day long. even Adi, Adidas' founder, shares the responsibility with other well-titled folks. at one point, you go home. you sleep. you see friends. you connect with other people. you know... a la the point of social media: being social. and after hours, i'm sure they don't all sleep in Armani and talk jargon in their theta-state.

what gives you the right to inspect a person's private life for their job?

isn't that what applying is about? references, presentations, self-craft. now we're pushing away from that, toward transparency. "twit-pitch me. tell me what you're after and how you can help me--i'll do the background check. nevermind that you can't control what pictures other folks put up of you. nevermind that you can no longer access accounts to things you created, age 14. nevermind what exploration you did in your youth years that made you a good creative--i don't want to see it."

then how transparent are you, really? you want the real person--but only after they've covered their tracks? deleted their pics during those college years everyone had but everyone is supposed to deny? it's a shame facebook wasn't around when you Xers and Boomers were younger. are we handling this like 50s prudes asked to sit in on a sex addicts' meeting in a church basement? if you don't want the "full story" then why are you looking? keep it to the "legit" side of things. we craft those.

sure, check out their blog, their website, their portfolio, newspapers who reference them, other blogs who link to them. i'm not saying don't Google search. i'm saying to assess your digital detective choices--chances are you won't find that information solely on their facebook accounts. to me, that level of invasion borders on pervy. all 100+ pics of me on facebook? i haven't uploaded one. not one. i don't care if it's "personal and public"--it's discerned as a private space for friends (unlike, say, Twitter, which is searchable, Google tracked, and anyone can follow). just like your brand is not my friend, my employer is not my friend unless i invite you in. those spaces are not about you. they're about me.

and i'll be damned if you want me to censor my life to fit your desk job. you wanted a forward-thinking creative, you wanted experience and intellect--this shaped me. this is who i am. and yes, my stuff is on private. but then you're going to want to know why it's on private, aren't you? i'm supposed to connect with friends but not with employers. can i have a "only folks born 1986 or later can access this profile" option? why do i have to keep my personal life private if the whole reason of having the profile is to share?

moreover--will this disdain for (supposed) transparency change as more millenials enter the work space?

and if you think just cos i can do a keg-stand that i'm going to do one with your client, then i'm really concerned. my maturity isn't directly related to my flip cup abilities (which, mind you, are stellar). don't ask for transparency (look at personal sites) if you don't want it. my brand is excellently crafted. my personal life isn't. and if you can tell me how to control all aspects of your personal life, that's really a blog post worth writing.

so i return the question to you all:
how well do you expect someone to cover their tracks? what are you really looking to get out of trawling potential employees' facebooks and myspaces as opposed to their blogs, LinkedIns, websites? ...what are you really expecting? --and will those expectations change?

[post script & further transparency--i had a really engaging conversation with Jason Falls about his post; this is not an affront on his views: i actually highly value and understand them, and respect him, which is why i engaged in the conversation to begin with. after all, my facebook is on private. i'm just arguing that it shouldn't have to be.]


Anonymous said...

Yeah...I read this and immediately pulled an "apple-N" and opened my facebook profile to reassure myself about what I had posted.

Oh, social networking...

Anonymous said...

Riot I agree with you.

I understand where Jason's advice is coming from, and yes my facebook is private but I should be able to post whatever I want on my PRIVATE facebook account without it being used against me. What I do in my private life should not be held against me by an employer.
You can't discriminate against someone for their religious beliefs which are part of their private lives, but something that is displayed publicly.