I was having my coffee this morning when a commercial for a cell phone company came on that caught my attention.  Normally, over morning coffee, I zone off or talk to my business partner about issues of the day; I ignore commercials.  But, this one caught my attention.

The setting is a dad camping with his kids and he zips up the tent and snuggles in with his children who are both playing games and watching movies on his smart phone.  Huh?  Admittedly, I am not a camper, but doesn’t sitting inside a tent watching movies on a smart phone defeat the purpose of connecting with other human beings?

Using my smart phone, I spend countless hours on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.  It is part of our culture and I LOVE knowing what all of my friends are up to, but sometimes, just sometimes, it is just TOO much.

Imagine walking into a room of 500 people.  Some of the people you know, and some you don’t know.  Imagine walking up to a microphone and rattling off some of your Facebook status updates.  Would you realize sometime during the monologue that you don’t even really know some of the people in the room?  What if you noticed that somebody from the job fair next door slipped in and was listening to your rants about politics, your lunch or the friend that made you mad?  Suddenly, you realize that pictures of you are on a screen behind you for everyone to see.  Where did those pictures come from? I didn’t even take them, why is my friend’s pictures of that crazy birthday party up there?  There are pictures and status’ updates that don’t paint you in the best light. Wait, isn’t there security?  Isn’t this an invite only room?  How did they get in here?  O no, I am never going to get these words back.  WHAT?  There is somebody recording it, with dates and time for the whole world–until the end of time to see?  

Welcome to the world- wide -web.  In an attempt to get and stay connected, we have created a whole new problem for ourselves.  NOTHING is sacred.  Absolutely nothing.  Why put a blog like this on a job site?  Because it is the newest reason why you will lose a job opportunity.  What you think is private can (and will) find it’s way into a hiring authorities hands.  And you, well you, lose the opportunity.

What is the answer?  I don’t know, as I certainly have been guilty of too much information on my pages as well.  And, I can’t control what others post on my page.  These are my friends, but they don’t often share the same value set as I do.  I can monitor it, or change settings, but seriously?  Just recently, somebody posted something to my timeline on Facebook that was embarrassing for the 10 minutes it was there.  It was not something I did or a place where I was, it was personal information that I didn’t need the whole world to know.  It lasted for 10 minutes, but still, yikes!

Certainly, make sure your privacy settings are the highest you can make them.  But more importantly, before you post that next status, envision yourself at a microphone in a room where anybody can come in a listen to what you are saying.  Be the kind of person that hiring authorities want to hire, and make your social media sites reflect who you are.  If you were to die today, what would your status updates say about the kind of person you are?

Finally, don’t take a smart phone in a situation that is meant to connect with people.  This world is moving so fast that we are disconnected from people on levels that we can’t measure.  It is time to go back to the basics.  We need to learn how to co-exist with technology but still connect with people.  Social media is stealing our social skills, and there is still no app for people skills!

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