Remember when it hit the waves that employers would make it a point to follow your social media pages? Employees (hired and potentials) argued that the method was unethical and not necessary. Why should employers track our every move? Er, every move we post on Facebook and Twitter, rather? It’s not just to label you a party animal based on your pictures. Instead, your page is a source of tracking your business loyalties and staying within the lines of company policies.
A reminder of smart social media activity recently came from an unlikely place! Teen Mom 2, the MTV show about young (mostly single) moms, shares life lessons other than safe sex! When part 1 of season 5 came to a conclusion, Chelsea (22 years old, single mother of 4-year old Aubrey) completed aesthetician school and took her exams to obtain her license. She was nervous about passing the tests, and when part 2 of the season begins, Chelsea learns that her license is being withheld!
“So I just got this letter in the mail — they’re withholding my license because of the wedding I helped you with,” she told her friend Landon on the phone. The two had worked a wedding, but received no compensation for the gig. The rules of
the industry state that unlicensed aestheticians are only in violation if they are paid for their talents.
“They think because they saw pictures online, that means we broke the law and got paid and stuff?” The Department of Labor states in the letter that they learned of the event through Chelsea’s social media outlets, particularly her Twitter account.
Reminders to think twice before posting, whether it seems wild or successful, are popping up every day! Some cases are easy to understand, like posted pictures of food & beverage employees licking the products they serve, ending in job termination. Other cases leave us wondering who was in the wrong. For instance, a school bus driver posted on Facebook that a student did not get lunch because he didn’t have enough money on his school account. When the district asked the employee to remove the post, the driver refused and lost his job. In another instance, a man lost a job opportunity after a successful interview. He tweeted “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” Cisco Alert found the tweet, replied, and informed the interviewing manager.
You can find plenty of other examples on journalism pages like CNN, Business Insider, or time-sucking Buzz Worthy! (Look up the Denver math teacher.) The best guideline is to think about your current or future employees before posting a tweet, picture, or status. Even you think all your profiles are private, assume the worst! The last thing you’d want is to lose a big opportunity due to something that was misconstrued on your social profile.
Until Teen Mom Chelsea’s social media misunderstanding is all cleared up, the single mom (and new homeowner!) cannot work at the day spa where she was hired shortly after completing her education. The second episode of seasons 5, part 2, ends with Chelsea saying she might find a lawyer to settle this. The far reaching consequences of tweeting!