Obama School Speech Addresses Facebook for “Glass House” Generation

The transparency of social media mandates that you need to live your life as if your mother is watching, because what happens in Vegas stays on YouTube.  Based on President Barack Obama’s speech to our nation’s schools yesterday our commander-in-chief is in agreement.

Obama cautions students about what they post on Facebook

Obama cautions students about what they post on Facebook

When Obama was asked for advice on becoming President from a group of 14-15 year old students, he replied:  “Well, let me give you some very practical tips.  First of all, I want everybody here to be careful about what you post on Facebook, because in the YouTube age, whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later, somewhere in your life,” Obama said.

This advice is in relation to several recent studies that show employers are background checking on popular social media sites like Facebook and MySpace.  One study by CareerBuilder.com indicates that 45% of employers have used social networking sites to research job candidates and 35% indicated they rejected a candidate based on what they found.  Top examples noted from the CareerBuilder.com study were:

  • Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information – 53 percent
  • Candidate posted content about them drinking or using drugs – 44 percent
  • Candidate bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients – 35 percent
  • Candidate showed poor communication skills – 29 percent
  • Candidate made discriminatory comments – 26 percent
  • Candidate lied about qualifications – 24 percent
  • Candidate shared confidential information from previous employer – 20 percent

Obama further went on to explain, “And, when you’re young, you make mistakes and you do some stupid stuff.  And I’ve been hearing a lot about young people who – you know, they’re posting stuff on Facebook, and then suddenly they go apply for a job and somebody has done a search.

For anyone that believes social media is still a fad, it was  interesting to see that our President dedicated some valuable time to social media during a very important speech.  “You make your own future,” said Obama.  My guess is that future will include a large dose of social media.

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Related Links:

Mercury News: South Bay students react to President Obama’s speech by Lisa M. Krieger and Lisa Fernandez

Reuters: Obama warns teens of perils of Facebook

CareerBuilder.com Survey


7 responses to “Obama School Speech Addresses Facebook for “Glass House” Generation

  1. Adam here again. I see the points that you’re making as far as building up a strong portfolio goes, but it doesn’t put my mind at ease. I didn’t put my question out very well in the first place. I’ll try again:
    In a growing world of free information, does an online portfolio of work really help? or does it just fuel the minds of others who are also working for free? Is the market for skilled writers diminishing because there’s no incentive to pay for information?

  2. Hi Erik,

    I agree with your reply to Adam and think there is more to be said.

    As a writer, posting to social media sites is a direct reflection on my skills. As a marketer, the things I put onto social media sites make me more, or less, attractive to prospects.

    Employers and clients want to hire qualified, real people.

    Post about your hobbies and interests. One of mine is photography, and I use Facebook to display the photos I take.

    When it comes to employers searching social media sites, it seems very much like judging a person by how they dress for an interview. Be careful about how you dress your profile.

    Thank you for the post, Erik.

  3. President Obama is a tool – a very smart one, but tool nontheless. No one gives a crap about what “he” actually has to say. It’s the genius marketing team and dedicated research staff that deserve ALL the credit for anything said in this post.

  4. My question is:
    Is there anything you could possibly post on YouTube or Facebook that would ENCOURAGE someone to hire you?
    Adam @Advent Creative Web Design

    • Adam:

      If your an actor, dancer, film editor, motivational speaker, creative director, etc. some of the clips you can put on YouTube should help get you hired. Thanks for adding to the conversation. – Erik

    • Blog about what you’re studying. If you’re aiming to get into a specific field as a career, interact with professionals who are already there. Treat it like homework. Post something relevant.

      YouTube, Facebook, MySpace… all social networking sites have a silver lining that makes them useful.

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