June 24, 2016

Accountability and Your Digital Footprint

As digital media progresses and advances, your social media presence will play an increasing role in painting a picture of who you are as an employee, consumer, and person. Just ask serial entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban. In a video for Inc.Com, Cuban lays out a vision of the very near future where your privacy on social media is disintegrating faster than you can say “delete those tweets!” As Cuban says, “every person you retweet, repin, repost, renote, regram on social media defines who you are.” Your presence online will continue to have an even more tremendous impact on you in the job market. Cuban elaborates “they’re going to run an…analysis of you and use it as a psychological profile”.

Your digital footprint might be more important than your driver’s license in identifying who you are.

Everyone, whether looking for a job or not, should be more vigilant and mindful in crafting their online image. It may sound dark and ominous, but the future is already here. From advertisers targeting you using specific data on your Facebook, to streaming services suggesting movies on Netflix, your digital footprint might be more important than your driver’s license in identifying who you are in the modern digital landscape. Predictive software and AI are becoming more advanced every day. This isn’t Minority Report, this is 2016.

Cuban explains that, even if you can’t see it, there’s a holistic portrait of your activity and behavior on the internet; the good, the bad, the shameful. As a potential employee, how can you be proactive in ensuring you have a reputable online personality? Be careful what you post and share. Once you send out a picture or a text or a post or any morsel of data, it no longer belongs to you. As Cuban puts it, “you have zero control over it.” It’s no longer about hiding pictures of you holding a beer; anything you post publicly is fair game.

People who want utter privacy can move to the forest. But if you’re using social media, the internet, or any mobile device, you are going to be held increasingly accountable. Your web presence is your identity and your career, people need to be made aware of that.

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