Columnists

Facebook will haunt many

EMELDA Musonda.

Analysis: EMELDA MUSONDA
GOVERNMENT recently announced that it is developing a system that will curb fake news and social media abuse.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Dora Siliya said the system will be used to track what people have been posting on social media before they are employed in a government institution.
The decision government plans to embark on is a call for people to use social media responsibly.
It is also a reminder that each individual is the chief executive officer of his or her own life and must guard their reputation jealously.
In the era of social media, people need to manage their lives well by cautiously selecting what information to be divulged to the public and what to restrict to the privacy domain.
Each individual is responsible for the way they expose and portray themselves through social media.
It is actually the careless display of information that has made some people vulnerable to crime.
As indicated by Ms Siliya, depending on what one posts on social media, they may not qualify for a job in any government institution.
Tracking how people use social media in the recruitment process will not be new or peculiar to Zambia.
Human Resource practitioners across the globe are now using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to do an integrity check on candidates seeking employment in their organisations.
This is because organisations have realised how the integrity of employees or lack of it impacts the organisational culture.
It is the individual employees who form up the image of the organisation through their conduct.
It goes without saying, if an organisation has more employees who lack integrity, that is the face the organisation will also wear.
For instance, the police service and traffic section in particular has been cited as the most corrupt.
This could point the number of officers who lack integrity and collectively dent the image of the service.
In the age of social media, we are witnessing a lot of abuse by users.
People post all sorts of things on social media naïve of the fact that such have potential to haunt them in future.
Needless to say, Facebook is a mirror that reflects the characteristics of users.
Through social media, it is easy to delve into one’s private life depending on how generously careless they are with postings.
Many people today are excited and post anything on social media including pornography.
But instance what one posts reveals their level of morality.
Today we have people posting nudes and other detestable Images on Facebook.
Others post pornographic images about themselves while others transmit other people’s image. It should however be known that even the mere act of posting nude pictures reveals a dirt mind of a potential defiler or rapist.
It is shocking how someone could post pictures of themselves in a bikini on Facebook and yet claim they cannot walk naked on the streets.
If one is free to post pictures of themselves in nudes, which can be accessed by the whole world including their in-laws, if married, then they have no self-value and respect for others.
A serious organisation that values respect and professionalism will not employ such an individual. This is on the basis that they are capable of compromising the organisation’s reputation by engaging in affairs with clients or fellow employees.
For such individuals the chances of being haunted by their own careless use of Facebook are very high.
Through Facebook, one can also trace criminality through association and posts.
If one’s Facebook page is littered with photographs taken with known criminals and in questionable places, it is most likely that people will perceive such individuals in that light. Moreover, the Bible says two cannot walk together unless they agree. A Japanese proverb says; “when the character of man is not clear to you, look at his friends”.
It is therefore possible for one to brand themselves as criminals using social media thereby jeopardising their future opportunities to either get a job or business deal.
As rightly observed by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, some people have made it a full time job to insult the Government. Such are people who cannot offer sober views on issues of national importance.
To them, the language they know is insulting. A serious employer, that expects value from its employees, will not dare employee such individuals with detestable language knowing that they will only take insults to the boardroom.
So the comments one posts on Facebook have potential to haunt them if in bad taste.
There are people that will lose out on potential spouses because of what they post on social media.
A check on one’s Facebook page can reveal whether one is husband or wife material and a decision will be made based on that.
While social media has brought excitement and provided a platform where one can freely interact with the world, it is wise to exercise maximum restraint on what one shares. Information shared could be the monster that will haunt you in the near or distant future.
The author is Zambia Daily Mail editorials editor.

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