Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks are now used daily by most of us to post, share and tweet information about ourselves. If you think it's just your friends and family that can view these, then you are mistaken!
We can post on social media with the click of a button or a tap on the screen. We share what we have been doing recently, how we are feeling, and our opinions on various subjects. Social media is, without a doubt, a fantastic way to communicate with others.
Long gone are the days of finding a pen and paper to write a letter, buying stamps and posting. We had to sit and think about what we wanted to say. If it was wrong, we simply erased it and started again.
Yet now, with a quick tap (without much thought needed), we communicate our views, opinions and activities to a far more extensive network than a recipient of a letter.
Once you have broadcast something onto your social media profile, it may be hard to erase it entirely. Sure, you can delete a post, but what if several people have taken a screenshot? Or shared it before you had a chance to backtrack? You can quickly lose control of what you put online.
Your reputation could be in tatters depending on what you have liked, shared, or tweeted. Similarly, your comments on others' posts are there for so many people to see, not only those on your personal friend's list. Your social characteristics are laid bare for all to see.
This could be devastating on a personal level, let alone the detrimental effect on your career and future ability to get finance.
Many employers are active on social media platforms and use it as a way of deciding what kind of a person you are. They now often base their decision on whether to hire you or not down to what they see on your social media sites. You may have a very impressive C.V., but if your potential employer sees something they don't like on your social media, it could cost you the job. This is not limited to:
- Inappropriate photos
- Evidence of drug and alcohol abuse
- Poor communication skills
- Derogatory remarks about previous employers
- Anxiety and complaint levels
- Prejudiced comments about race, gender or religion
- Political innuendoes
Even if you mean any of these as a joke between friends, it may get you into trouble. It is a sure-fire way of turning off a recruiter swiftly. A simple 'like' on a friend's lurid post may get you into trouble. Although it wasn't you who posted the status, an employer can make assumptions about your personality based on what they see.
Lenders can also use the same tactics when trying to build up a social profile of when assessing your creditworthiness. It can have a significant impact on whether you are accepted for a loan or mortgage etc. by a lender. Lenders want to verify certain things before they lend to you. This includes that you are who you say you are and that you are someone to trust and will repay any money loaned to you.
If you post statuses that imply you cannot be trusted to repay your debts, or that you gamble, it could mean you leave yourself open to being rejected for that loan you wanted. They will look at your social media to see whether there are any discrepancies between your loan application and your online posts. As you can imagine, this could have a more substantial influence than just your credit score.
So, be careful what you say on social media. If you don’t want it to backfire on you in the future, think before you hit that button!
If you are concerned about how your social profile looks to the outside world and would like to get your social score, sign up here for your Notty Account. You can see your fraud and loan score which is very similar to the one lenders will use.