In the heat of the moment, it is so easy to tweet, post or Instagram emotionally charged or questionable content. Those posts or content can come back to bite you. That could be why a new survey finds about one in four young adults fear they’ll get fired or turned down for a job by employers who see their more risqué social-media posts.
Legal-information website FindLaw.com conducted a “demographically balanced” survey among 1,000 American adults, asking them questions about their behavior surrounding Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and other popular social platforms. Among younger adults aged 18 to 34, 29% said they have posted a photo, comment or other personal information they fear could compromise their current or future job prospects.
This concern is driving some to take down photos or posts: About 74% of 18- to 34-year-olds have removed something to avoid “negative reaction” from an employer or prospective employer. There is less apprehension among older adults aged 35 to 64, however, with only 36% having deleted content.
FindLaw has some basic pointers for social-media users: Think before you post, check your privacy settings, limit your personal information and seek legal help if you think you’re ever wrongfully terminated. The survey did find that a sizeable 82% of young users “pay at least some attention to their privacy settings,” while only 6% leave the default settings as they are.
“Taking down or removing a post or photo may not be enough, as the information may continue to live on in other parts of the Internet,” Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney-editor with FindLaw.com, said in a release. “It’s best to assume that anything that you post could live on the Internet forever, and to think accordingly before hitting the ‘Post’ button.”
FindLaw’s survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.
Have you ever regretted something you posted on social media, or worry about your digital footprint?