I’ve been getting quite a bit of advice about my personal life and social presence from several important people in my life. I would like to address their concerns and explain my reasoning behind my decisions to remain opinionated and active on Facebook, Twitter, my blog and in my life.
First, YES I do understand that the content you publish on Facebook, Twitter, and various blogs is public information and can affect hiring decisions in my future career. However, the same is true for my political affiliation, money choices, gender, desire for fair pay and health care and various other tidbits of information. I have made a deliberate choice in my life to not falsely represent myself on social media, in part by refusing to use the threat of “it could affect your job” to determine what I feel safe posting or not. I consider Facebook and Twitter part of my personal life similar to the way I vote or the football games I watch on the weekend. They are done on personal time, as a person, not as a representative of my school or workplace. More often than not they are just things I’d like to share with my friends and family without having to worry about their impact on some future job or promotion.
These things should not affect hiring decisions in my opinion, but I do recognize the reality that they can and do. I personally believe that employment decisions should be based solely on job performance; not on your religion, political affiliation, opinions, or actions in your personal time. That said, I do carefully consider everything I post on Facebook and Twitter and who has the ability to see my posts. Sometimes I get rash and don’t think as hard, but that is part of who I am and both y’all and I will have to deal with that fact.
Secondarily, I’ve been advised occasionally to use a pseudonym or post my opinions anonymously. And though I appreciate the thought and caring that I know are behind the sentiment I refuse to post opinions and comments that I am not willing to have associated with my name and me (and live with their consequences). I live in a country that offers a much greater freedom to speech than many places in the world and I refuse to waste the opportunity that people have literally fought and died for to speak my opinion.
And just as I have the freedom to speak my opinion YOU have the freedom to refute it, ignore it, believe it, share it, or dismiss it. If you don’t want to listen to what I have to say then stop reading my Facebook wall or my Twitter posts, unfriend me, block me, stop talking to me. I really am okay with any of those options and I totally understand, and I won’t hold it against you. I hope everyone understands though that if you want to keep in touch with me then you will be getting me, opinions and all.