Should Your Social Media Habits Be Judged in Real Life?

A huge number of the world’s population has access to the internet and either is aware of or actively participates in some form of social media. Unfortunately, Facebook and Twitter follow you everywhere, even if you don’t have an account and records your browsing history and habits. Social media is the big brother we’ve feared all along. Conspiracy theories aside, it’s becoming a trend for a permanent record of you to be held on the internet for the entire world to see and all of your actions, posts and browsing history is available for potential employers and other figures of authority to judge.

People are losing jobs and job opportunities because of their habits on social networking sites. Sometimes these are good precautions that companies are making and sometimes it seems like an unnecessary invasion of privacy.
I read a post on Reddit recently where a guy’s application to adopt a dog from his local animal shelter because he made a comment on Facebook two years ago about how he thinks places like animal shelters shouldn’t be looking into your internet habits to make judgement calls about adopting dogs. I have no way of confirming if this is true, but the thought of it is sickeningly stupid. First and foremost, social media is not the same thing as a background check. If the guy was a sex offender against animals, had a criminal record of abusing dogs or had judicial action taken against him because he neglected or hoarded animals then I could understand the shelter denying him. However, you can’t find this sort of information out on Facebook and Facebook is not a reputable source of information anyway. I’m “friends” with someone who claims he was born in 1986 and is actually 17.

I’ve heard of a case where a woman was on some sort of medical leave of absence for depression and was later fired when her boss discovered pictures of her “having fun” on a vacation on Facebook. Who knows if the pictures were recent but how does that show evidence of fraud? Would the woman be fired if she took all those pictures and looked miserable? Apparently, employers will also do a search for you when considering to hire you and make a decision based on what you do and say on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Even if you aren’t doing anything illegal such as drinking underage, doing drugs or beating dogs in your profile pictures, an employer will make a decision to hire you or not based on your political views, religion, attitude, interests and hobbies. Mind you, two of these things are illegal to discriminate against.

Employers and pet shelters are taking the “public knowledge” thing too far. Yes, everything you do on the internet has a trace and you should not expect things you purposefully share with the world to be private. However, there is a distinct difference between the guy trying to get the job and the guy at home and companies should not be allowed to make a decision to employ someone based on their “off-duty” habits, especially if the person is more than qualified to work for them. There’s absolutely no reason for this sort of thing to exist.

We live in a society where we are not only attached to our social media but we’re also terribly paranoid. People want to do the whole “Minority Report” thing and try to predict whether or not they will have issue with someone based on their habits, regular people are guilty of this too and this is very prevalent in the online dating community. People will look up and “stalk” potential dates on Facebook to see what sort of person they are. I can see how this is a good idea, people often lie no their dating profiles and are less inclined to do so on Facebook. However, you’re not going to find out if your date is a serial killer this way.

The fear of being rebuked for a job or fired at the one you’re currently at leaves people feeling as though they have to censor themselves. There is common sense that implies if you’re a racist are battling sexual urges with children, you probably shouldn’t mention that on Facebook. However, if you have an opinion that does not hurt anyone else you shouldn’t be forced to only post about the stuff that’s agreeable across the board. We have a right to free speech in this country and your social media identity should not be tied to the rest of your activities and responsibilities.

Giving Your Community a Bad Name: Kim Davis

Everyone in the US is familiar with the case involving a County Clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, despite the federal court deeming that the ban on gay marriage is considered unconstitutional. The issue of her standing up for the “authority of God” and going to jail for contempt is divided. You’ve got the heavy handed Christians saying that her failure to do her job despite legal standings is some sort of religious martyrdom and then you’ve got the gay community who feel like they’re still facing persecution for their sexual orientation. Both sides are trying to ride the same fence and neither want to share.

Here’s the thing; regardless of what you believe, if your job requires you to do something you feel that strongly against LEAVE YOUR JOB. It’s that simple. Punishing other people in order to get media attention is not only childish it’s flat out unnecessary and the sad thing is if this was taking place with another religion in another situation no one would be on that person’s side.
Say for example a Muslim was working at the DMV and refused to issue drivers licenses to women because according to his God and his beliefs women should not be able to drive. That guy would be strung up in minutes and the media would have a completely different take on the situation. He’d get backlash from not only the proud Americans who still believe anyone who isn’t a Christian is the Devil, but feminists too. No one would be on his side, no one.

I’ve said already in a previous post that no one is bound to their job, no one in this country is held under strict do or die circumstances when it comes to their employment. Since the law was passed in June, Kim Davis had the last two months at least to get her shit together and leave her job if she did not agree with what her job required her to do now. Instead, she tried to do what a lot of stupid people do and make themselves out to be some sort of icon for their community and in this case, Christian’s love martyrs.

People leave their jobs every day for less serious and attention grabbing reasons. People leave because they’re not being paid what they believe they should be, they don’t like their coworkers, they hate their boss and even something as simple as they really just don’t like doing their job anymore. The working class always makes it work and they don’t turn it into a scandal. Granted, if I were to refuse to take women’s pants at my dry cleaner where I work because I believe women should be wearing dresses or skirts because of my religious beliefs; I’d probably be fired, not to mention the same problem with the feminists. I expect that sort of knee-jerk reaction to me being petty instead of finding a new job because that’s how common sense works. It’s the simple, plain truth that if at any point you’re working with the public, your opinion does not matter and you can’t force your opinion on other people and make decisions for them. It’s neither your place nor part of your job to do that.

We have to stop making everyone’s personal problems a whole community’s problem. If one person wants to be a dick you can’t turn it into a religious or race war. It’s fine to stand up for what you believe in and support those who believe the same way as you, but going against the law is making yourself out to look ignorant. It’s also common sense to know when to leave something alone and know when to get the pitch forks out. If it’s not causing any harm to anyone physically or emotionally, why get upset about it? More importantly, why make it everyone else’s problem? If you don’t agree that gay people should get married or exist for that matter because of your religious beliefs, then don’t be around them. You’re free to believe whatever you want but when you take it out on other people you’re creating senseless conflict. I believe based on my upbringing and personal tragedy that child molesters and pedophiles are terrible fucking people, it enrages me to know that they are out there hurting little kids. If I find one, however, I’m not going to murder them. I don’t want to go to jail. If I end up working for someone who wants me to give special treatment to open pedophiles, I’ll quit that job because guess what? I can!