Selfies are a global trend that has taken the internet by storm. They can be seen as a way of expressing yourself; of checking in with your friends; or of showing off to the world. But they may also have adverse effects upon your career.
Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter are full of them: in fact, Instagram has reported that 1,000 selfies are uploaded to its site every ten seconds. It has even been estimated that 3 out of 10 photos taken by 18 to 24 year-olds is a self-portrait. That’s a lot of selfies.
While selfies are all meant in good fun, they can have their dangers. In 2015, more people died in selfie-related accidents than died in shark attacks. And while death by selfie might sound a bit far-fetched, an ill-advised move with the selfie stick can kill your career if you’re not careful.
This is a lesson that some have learned too late. Last year a young professional in Chicago killed his career before it began by accidentally sending a number of naked selfies to his new HR Manager.
Within days of landing his new dream job, the 23 year old mistakenly sent the images to the HR Manager who had offered him the job. While he admitted taking the pictures, the young man explained that he had meant to send them to someone else. Unfortunately, as soon as the manager received the pictures they telephoned the police, and promptly retracted the job offer.
The police department which was called following the incident has reported an increase in “sexting” related complaints. According to the local police chief, “We’re seeing it much more often now with our young people sending inappropriate photos of themselves.”
Approximately 93 million selfies are taken every day around the world. While the vast majority of these will have no negative consequences whatsoever, there can be a backlash. In 2014 celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Erin Heatherton, Kirsten Dunst and Kate Upton all had naked selfies stolen and published online.
And while some celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Mylie Cyrus have raised their profiles by sharing scantily clad images of themselves, it’s not a recommended career move for the average person.
So, it’s always important to follow the golden rule: no matter how friendly your employer, or how well you get on with your colleagues, remember that it is vital to maintain a professional relationship.
Your boss is not your friend, and they almost certainly don’t want to see a picture of you in the buff. Avoid uploading compromising images to your social media sites if you don’t want to have to explain yourself to your manager. And whatever you do, check to whom you are sending before you share a selfie. For all you know, it might just cost you your job.
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