"Loose Lips Sink Ships": Social Network Sharing Tarnishes Teen Reputations on the Job

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Social network usage is synonymous with mundane daily activities for nearly all teens in the US. However, as a new report by the Family Online Safety Institute reveals, not all teens are choosing to hold back their tweets and posts, tarnishing young reputations in the work place. Founder of Sitter Pals, a social network for parents and babysitters, Amanda Armstrong warns teens of the irreparable damage negative social network posts can have on their prospects for jobs.

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Armstrong continues, “it is not a question of if, but when that post will cause you to lose your job now and in the future.”

For teens in the US, engagement with social networks is a regular part of their day, with 95% of teens (12-17) online, of which 80% use social networking sites, according to a new report by Family Online Safety Institute published this month. Among the findings, online bullying among teens is less prevalent than the percentage of teens choosing to publish posts with potentially negative personal implications. Teens reporting they have been the target of online bullying compromise 15% of the teens surveyed, versus 45% of teens who admit to posting content that may negatively impact them in the future. As a warning to teens and their parents, Amanda Armstrong, President and Founder of Sitter Pals, points to the findings as a red flag for social media usage and job prospecting for teens.

In a recent We Are Social People article, Armstrong reveals a snapshot of damaging tweets posted by babysitters about their babysitting jobs. Some tweets included:

“Babysitting for demon children #worthit”
“I am probably the worst babysitt[er] the world has ever seen. Do not trust me with your kids #Lbvs.”
“All these kids are going to make me lose my mind. #babysitting”

While online bullying has been widely reported in the media, teens are less likely to hear reports on the impact their social media posts can have on their own reputation, not only among other teens, but also for job prospects like babysitting. “From politicians to working professionals, we have seen the negative impact our posts and tweets can have on adults as reported in the national media, however,” Armstrong adds, “there is little focus on the younger population online and why what they tweet matters.” As a mother herself, Armstrong reminds teens their employers’ eyes are likely in the same social networks they are posting to. “With nearly 80% of moms using a social network site monthly”, Armstrong continues, “it is not a question of if, but when that post will cause you to lose your job now and in the future.”

About Sitter Pals

Sitter Pals launched in April 2011 as a nationwide secure social network of parents, their close friends, and the sitters they know, trust, and hire. The process of finding and booking a trusted sitter is transformed by the automation built into Sitter Pals, allowing both parents and sitters to effectively manage babysitting jobs in real time. Sitters can join Sitter Pals for free and receive an unlimited number of jobs from their network. Parents can join as a free Standard Member or as a Premium Member at $8 a month or $75 a year.

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Amanda Armstrong
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