I always write about how businesses can take advantage of opportunities on Social Media. However, there is a side of social media that is having an adverse impact on young people, and they do not even understand what is happening.
A few days ago I made a post on social media saying that Schools in the Caribbean need to teach their students how to use social media since it can damage their careers in the future. Since then, many people reached out to me to share their own experience and thoughts on that subject. However one in particular really got me thinking.
One of my friends shared with me that her organization was prepared to hire someone, on paper, they were the ideal candidate. However, after checking that person’s social media feed, the organization decided not to hire them. The thing the person was posting reflected who they are and that was not the culture of the organization.
When I came from Mexico a few years ago, I applied for a job in Public Service Credit Union, now, Ariza Credit Union. I got the job, and one day, I was walking, and this lady in the community met me and said, oh, you got the job, congratulations. I was like huh, and she said, yes I was asked about your character, etc. Well, I am a good boy, so she gave good feedback lol.
The point of this is, hiring managers no longer need to ask people in the community about you, they just need to check your social media feed and get a clear picture of who you are as a person. We can have the best resume, spice it up to make us look good and prepare to have the best interview ever. But your social media feed will expose you.
Advice To Teachers and Parents
It is up to us as parents and teachers to ensure we monitor our kid’s social media activities and educate them on the impact that the things they are posting today can have on their future and their career.
Social media is here to stay, and we can no longer hide who we are. I know many kids do not want their parents on their social media, however, left up to them, it is easy to misuse social media, and they will pay the consequences later.
Parents, educate your kids on these things, let them know that whatever they post online is visible to the world and employers are looking on.
Teachers, organize social media workshops or include it into your curriculum, young people need to understand how to use social media responsibly. There is an ad campaign that says “Drink Responsibly” there should be a similar campaign for social media use amongst young people. Let young people know whatever they are doing today for the likes can come back and bite them in the ass later on.
Every school on the Caribbean need to introduce a course on Digital Citizenship,
“Digital Citizenship is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders, and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately.”
Out here in North America, this is something that schools take serious, I have been invited on multiple occasions to speak to students in Toronto on different aspects of Digital Citizenship, including the ten commandments for the digital age as created by Douglas Rushkoff.
Please let’s do something, so our young Caribbean people don’t have to suffer the consequences of their misguided social media use today. Share this post with ministries of education, principals, teachers, and parents.