I’ve been on tumblr a lot lately. There’s a few people I follow that are posting heavily on the Ferguson front right now and basically a lot of cops behaving badly stories. Now, whatever side of the argument you might be on, there’s one thing that these type of events universally do, and that’s bring a large amount of people to start commenting in public forums about how they feel and what they think. It doesn’t have to be long detailed blog posts, it’s all those other smaller things like Facebook comments and something as short as a tweet.
Thing is, as much as you might have privacy settings on your own stuff, that might as well be all out the window once you start commenting on some other corporations FB wall. Go to the St. Louis Rams FB page and every post they have up, even if it’s about something completely unrelated, is having a huge war in the comments section about the players who came out with their hands up in solidarity of Mike Brown. It’s there, your name is out there, and that is your opinion. Freedom of Speech, go for it.
Now, here’s the thing. Employers are going to google you when you apply anywhere. It’s like a mini-background check. And whatever you posted out there will be used against you, or for you really. If you posted some racist comment, that could backfire. Equally, if the employer is racist themselves, it could work for you, you might fit right in at their establishment. The point is, it’s a helpful tool for employers and for anyone you might come in contact with really. Let’s say I meet a guy I like and before our big date, I decide to google him and find images or comments that I consider a deal breaker in anyone I associate with. Well, I might just cancel my date and be thankful I learned we were incompatible before wasting anyone’s time.
So I’m on the Rams FB wall and I’m horrified to put it mildly. But hey, I don’t know these people and thanks to their vocalness, I don’t have to know them. I can do a search on my new neighbors**, make sure they aren’t on a sexual predator list, find pictures of them in blackface on Halloween, and know what I’m up against.
* source: Mike Bacsik Becomes Latest Cautionary Tale: Twitter Plus Alcohol Equals Trouble / “damn dirty apes” is from Planet of the Apes
**just an example, my actual neighbor seems like a cool dude, but I haven’t actually googled him.