Facebook: Are you really who you say you are?

Will change personality for work…

During my junior year participating in the National Student Advertising Competition team (NSAC) I became very close with a girl on my creative team, Nicole. Over the summer we both acquired jobs at different advertising agencies in our college town.We liked to joke around about how important we were and would call our lunches together, “Executive lunch dates.” Little did I know how truthful this title was.

Another friend, Yackjaira, had applied to be an intern at the agency where Nicole worked, and they wanted Nicole to research her via Facebook. Nicole and Yackjaira are not Facebook friends, so Nicole requested to use my Facebook to snoop on my friend.

I was presented with a moral dilemma. I am vehemently against the use of Facebook to decide a stranger’s character. On the other hand, I love Nicole, and I didn’t want her to disappoint her boss. How could she actually bring her job to our executive lunch dates!

As an aspiring advertiser I know that companies expect their potential employees to be well versed in all social networks. This expectation has an unwritten disclaimer that all information posted in their social networking sites be G-rated, which to me is the same as lying.

I know the company is attempting to keep its name clean, but by fabricating profiles with generic info they are making their social media employees more like computers or “men in black suits” than real people. Taking away their identity by forcing them to tone themselves down seems like the opposite of progress.

The saddest part is that it happens. All of my friends are beginning to look for jobs and cleaning up their Facebook, Myspace and Twitter accounts to make sure they fit into the cookie cutter mold companies are looking for.

Honestly I am not excluded. It seemed so easy for me to adjust my interests after the parental clean up. I have realized my Facebook is just another place for me to list my accomplishments instead of express myself. Has Facebook become Linkedin? For me it has, and I’ve found myself on it less and less. Just FYI employers, you can no longer trust Facebook to be a fair representation of your potentials; for those who have wised up these are just an extension of their resumes.

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