Authenticity and Employment

Hello classmates,

As you may know already, our class has been invited to write about our thoughts on the implications of public sharing.

In this blog post, I am going to talk about two things: what the challenges of authenticity are with guarded online sharing and how public sharing relates to employment.

Let me start with my first point, the challenges of authenticity with guarded online sharing. One of the areas that I struggle with is the ability to be authentic in the online environment. Christina talked about our duty to educate and shared an image that got me thinking…  

think before you post

When we are posting online, we should be thinking “Am I showing a bad side of myself?” It is a critical question to ask ourselves considering how we are posting to the world wide web where nothing is forgotten. Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt’s blog post “Digital Identity in a World that Never Forgets” refers to the internet as having “the memory of an elephant.” We cannot undo the thoughts that we have put out onto the web. 

When nobody wants to show a bad side of themselves to the world then how authentic can we possibly be? Obviously we all have areas that we want to improve, but what are the implications of a new digital standard of being? In my opinion, we have to consider that in online sharing, we should all be striving to create a POSITIVE online identity. We must encourage strong censorship of what we post online, but we also have to have conversations around the standards that may be created as a result of only projecting positive images of ourselves to the world. 

The second thing I want to discuss, in addition to authenticity, is what does open sharing mean in the context of employment?

Since I teach in an employment program, I think about how one may be working in a particular position that may allow them to be outspoken about political issues and current events at the local, national or global level. However, if one loses their job or one decides that they want to move on to a new organization then their online political opinions could quickly diminish their chances of getting a job if they do not align with the political views of the person in charge of hiring.

 Alec and Katia’s blog post encourages online users to “use the grandma rule”.  We have to ask ourselves if it is something that we would want our boss and/or our future employer to see. Although it may be permissible with our current employer, we also have to think about what it may mean to future employers. I know that I avoid making any political posts all together, but, is this the answer? 

So now, I would like to ask you a few questions. How do you all see authenticity in the digital world? Considering that we have to tread very lightly with what we post, do you feel pressure to perform or act in a certain way because of the pressures of social media? Do you talk to your students about authenticity?

In terms of employment, do you feel comfortable making political posts? How much do you censor your posts?

Thanks for reading.


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4 Responses to Authenticity and Employment

  1. Chris says:

    I think about this a lot. I know that I self censor (or curate) a lot. This is not because I am ashamed of any of my beliefs or opinions but because I find myself thinking about how “person X” will respond to this and is it worth the long online back and forth that it will take to help them understand why I feel this way? Sometimes it is worth it and most times I think it is not worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. strauchc says:

    I agree! It is not worth it a lot of the time. Some conversations (in particular difficult or polarizing conversations) are a lot easier to have face to face where you can follow body language cues and react accordingly!


  3. Pingback: Embracing Social Media in the Classroom – Ms. Cameron

  4. Pingback: Sharing in Open Spaces | Advocacy and Learning

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