Is it me?

By Anita Jaynes on 1 December, 2015

John Davies is a senior corporate partner at leading commercial law firm Thrings.

Each month John addresses a topical news or business-related issue and gives his thoughts in a frank and comical way, this time he furthers his discussion on the power of communication and the use of social media.

It seems that my last article about communication and the power of written letters touched a few hearts, with quite a few of you letting me know that you’ve decided to write to someone (I’ve even received a couple of letters myself which was lovely).

It got me thinking even more about the world of technological communication, especially via social media. I’m old enough to remember when the platform Friends Reunited first appeared. It revolutionised social connectivity, bringing together long-lost pals, igniting old flames and often putting pressure on some marriages!

But that was just the start. These days we have Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to name but a few – and they are all as dangerous as they are brilliant if they’re used without a modicum of thought.

As an owner of a business and someone that hires and interviews, I can tell you now that when the name of a candidate appears before me the very first thing I do is look them up online. We all do. It’s become human nature. The web has given employers a much greater insight into the lives of their prospective candidates. We know where you’ve been, what you like to eat, what you like to wear, what you like to do, who you like to do it with and how often you like to do it. And all this before you’ve even got to the interview!

I guess the purpose of this article is to send a warning to any ‘over-sharers’ out there. Some things are great to share, other things not so much. If you’re looking at becoming a lawyer, perhaps it’s best not to post pictures of yourself half-naked on a dentist’s chair in Ibiza drinking shots. It might also be advisable to bury those images of you dressed as a body part while handcuffed to a Smurf a good six feet under.

Don’t let me stop you doing it. What we do in our own time is private, or at least it was. And that’s the point – just have a little think before you take that phone out of your pocket and capture the moment. Once you post it, it’s out there forever and your eDNA is quite hard to shake off.

My advice when it comes to posting stuff online: take a second and ask yourself, “What would my mum think of this?” If the answer makes you cringe then hit delete!

John Davies

e: jdavies@thrings.com

t: 01793 412634