Can you get fired for using Twitter? Check out this article for the answer. OK the answer is yes. Well sort of. Yes if you are an idiot. All kidding aside, it is articles like this that almost perpetuate these urban legend like tales of Internet stupidity. They make it seem like you have to be a total loser to negatively affect your professional career via social networking sites. I must confess that I was and often still am conflicted about blogging and networking while still retaining my anonymity.
Only recently did I get back into the Facebook game, start my own blog, and start writing tweets. I have always had some apprehension about what image I am portraying to a potential employer. Recently I weighed the benefits of staying connected to those I care about, exploring my beliefs and ideas through blogging, and expanding my network of like minded individuals with my fears of negatively affecting my future employment opportunities. If I was an employer the first thing I would do with an applicant is Google them. Please don't take this as self indulgent, but I have Googled myself. Its a very interesting exercise and one I recommend especially to those who are particularly forthcoming with information online.
The reason I decided it was worth it to start putting myself out there into cyberspace was the fact that I really don't have anything to hide. Sure there are some things on this blog that many people may not agree with. But I started thinking, why would I want to work for an organization that doesn't embrace who I am? Why would I want to work for an organization that stymies creativity instead of unleashing it? Do I write the occasional mindless post about metal, 80's pop culture, and the latest and greatest watering hole I have frequented? Yeah I do. I think my college coach said it best when he said, "our guys aren't angels, but they are good character guys." No one is perfect but as I said before I have nothing to hide and hopefully my Internet fingerprint emphasises my positive attributes and shows my desire to consistently be a better person than the day before. Who knows it could backfire on me, but in my experience people generally fear the unknown much more than the known. I figure if I keep working hard I will eventually end up where I am supposed to be.