Don’t air your dirty laundry

Air your dirty laundry is one of those phrases that everyone has heard, but hardly anyone pays attention to.

JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin

Someone who airs their dirty laundry is revealing something about themselves to the general public. Now in times gone past, that wasn’t so much of a problem. Sure if you stood in the street and argued with a neighbour during the middle of the night, eyebrows would certainly be raised, but it wouldn’t go much further than that.

These days it is a different story entirely. One misstep on social media and your innermost secrets are laid bare to the entire world. That could have serious implications for you and for others. For example, a survey performed by Career Builder back in June 2014 showed that 43% of employers used social media to research candidates. 51% of those that used social media said that they had found content which caused them not to hire that candidate. The other side of the coin is that even if you are already employed, you can land in hot water by posting the wrong thing at the wrong time. Holiday snaps on Facebook is a big mistake if you are on sick leave for instance.

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That same study indicates a large proportion of employers also use regular old search engines to research candidates. If you are in a position where you are looking for work, one very good method you can use to ensure the top search results are favourable for you is if you claim a domain name with your name and have a website to go along with it. Think of it as the ultimate CV. If Joe Bloggs is looking for a job, then a website called coupled with a careful use of social media could be just the ticket.

Now generally speaking, sharing is good. Lots of brilliant and wonderful things are shared online and I strongly encourage people to share and interact. Just be mindful of your audience. If something is better left unsaid, then don’t say it. Either that or use the tools the social network provides to share only with the appropriate people.

The rise of the internet and social media sites means we are in constant communication with people from across the entire world. The world has become one giant global village. Try not to be the village idiot.