Online Gone Bad: 4 Social Media Habits Professionals Must Avoid

social media habitsAs social creatures, the need to connect and bond is natural. It’s why platforms like FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram fuel the days of millions. Social media habits differ. Some use social media to pitch potential employers, others for finding a love connection, and some sign on to communicate with far-away relatives or people with whom they have common interests.

According to a study by Pew Research Center:

  • Facebook remains the most popular social media platform, with its users visiting the site more regularly than users of other social media sites.
  • 76% of Facebook users report they visit the site daily (55% visit many times a day, and 22% visit about once per day).

But no matter what your goals are, or your “choice of poison,” it’s crucial to keep one important thing in mind: your social media habits can make or break your career. Even grey areas result in pink slips.

Consider the following stats provided by Career, based upon a study conducted with over 2,600 employers and over 4,300 employees:

  •  22% of employers have terminated workers for Internet usage that was not related to their particular job function.
  • Almost 1/3 of companies prohibit staff members from writing about and sharing company information via social media.
  • 50% of U.S. companies track employees’ Internet usage.
  • 54% of employers block access to certain websites for staff members.

So here are four social media habits you must break. Otherwise, you run the risk of ruining your good name and professional image…

Bad Habit No. 1:

Publishing negative or profanity-laced rants on your blog or Facebook page about bad bosses, bad clients or bad co-workers.

The Reason:

Besides being bad business, these activities could brand you as immature, bitter, unsavvy or in need of a good therapist. Remember that Freedom of Speech isn’t always free; it may liberate you from your job or cause detriment to important relationships. If you need to vent about work woes, an entry chronicled in your personal diary might be a wiser option.

Bad Habit No. 2:

Posting pictures of your “Happy Hour” activities at the local bar via Facebook or Instagram.

The Reason:

Though a picture “paints a thousand words” the image it portrays can be quite subjective. Your girls-just- wanna-have- fun photo can be viewed by your employer or clients as unprofessional, irresponsible and in poor taste. And public access means you never really know where those pictures might be viewed and by whom. Better safe than sorry.

Get the picture here?

Bad Habit No. 3:

Facebook relationship status updates.

The Reason:

“It’s complicated.” Here’s a potential scenario. You and your significant other have a break up or major fight. In the heat of things, you change your status on your profile page. Even worse, you document the dirty details of what went down.

Here’s how it comes across…

You can’t exercise restraint and proper discretion in your own personal affairs. So how can your employer be sure you won’t divulge company secrets or confidential matters? Trust is crucial. The bottom line? Private matters should be kept private.

Bad Habit No. 4:

Engaging in word wars with people who clash with your views, political position, religion, or blog commentary.

The Reason:

No matter who is right or wrong here, these situations rarely end well. If you must disagree with someone, don’t be disagreeable. Take the high road. Your online reputation should be as impressive as your resume for optimal results.

In Conclusion…

Whether you’re hired as a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker, as long as you are employed by others, your social media habits become a reflection on you, your employer, and their investors.

So, post wisely.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Jobscan Blog!





This entry was posted in Social Media and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.