Life & Work
Dangers of oversharing your job on social mediaWednesday February 08 2023
In today’s workplaces, social media platforms have increasingly become important tools for employees’ career promotion and well-being.
Using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok pages to publish ‘A Day in my life’ videos is a trend that had caught up among employees, especially in the last few years.
While sharing details about their work life can appear harmless, experts warn that it can open Pandora’s box for both the employee and their employer especially when they overshare.
One common usage of social media has been as a ‘safe place’ for venting out job frustrations. Annoying bosses or colleagues are often reported with the intention being to simply get a different outlook on the whole situation.
Other intentions are driven by malevolence as some employees seek to drag their colleagues’ reputations through the mad for a perceived slight.
Jairus Walemba, the founder of Jairus Service which consults on personal branding says that employees tend to overshare information on social media as a result of peer pressure.
The need to belong and prove that they are also doing something pushes them to seek validation.
“Attention seeking is a pandemic that continuously feeds on people who want their 15 minutes of fame. The insatiable desire to get likes, comments, shares, and be talked about on social media platforms drives one to overshare,” he adds.
He adds that it’s like most addictions.
“The information that you share is warmly received and appreciated by others, you develop the tendency to share more due to a feel-good feeling known as dopamine that gives a sudden rush or burst of happiness.”
Oversharing has become a slippery slope thanks to technological advances in terms of devices and the internet.
Anne Bahati, a human resource practitioner shares that the risks of over-sharing work-life details on social media expose one to cyber bullying, stalking, phishing, hacking due to the attention received, blackmailing, misrepresentation of information, data mining, impersonation, and put both employee and the employer at a safety risk.
“Oversharing can damage one’s career in the sense that you may appear to be too desperate or an attention seeker,” she says.
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“You also risk losing your job should you be found to have violated the provisions of your internal company policies related to social media posts,” she adds.
Beatrice Nyamache, a human resource consultant at the Workforce Consulting Group adds that the reputation of a firm can be compromised.
For example, an oversharing employee at a reputable firm risks exposing its inside information that may not be intended for the public like how much it pays workers, the benefits, and vacancies available.
Its competitors could use this information to their advantage, which may cause harm or losses to the firm.
How does one know they’ve overshared?
Ms Nyamache says attracting scammers is a big telltale sign.
“When you start receiving unsolicited calls, emails, or inquiries from unidentifiable sources. When third parties get hold of your information and use it to extort you or portray you in a negative light, then the writing is on the wall, you have overshared,” says Ms Nyamache.
Ms Nyamache notes that one should be able to draw the line between personal values and orientation to avoid easily becoming a victim of hate campaigns, discrimination, and direct or indirect infringements of rights.
She points out: “For example, if you are associated with an organisation that is perceived to have defrauded people of their money, you may become a scapegoat or even risk being physically harmed.”
She adds that one can avoid oversharing by being cautious about what they share and with whom.
“Be prudent and conscious when sharing your information publicly. Ask yourself if you have conducted the necessary checks and in the case of leaking of information, will you be comfortable about the information that you have shared.”
Oversharing is considered a red flag as it is subjective in nature and information may be interpreted differently based on the receiver.
Furthermore, one may miss a job opportunity due to the information they shared on their socials.
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In the current job market times recruiters are asking their job seekers to attach a link to their social media handles just to see what they have been sharing.
This could have a bad landing on someone who overshared intricate details not only about themselves but about the company they are working at.
Mr Walemba notes that oversharing is deemed as a smokescreen for serious psychological issues including anxiety and borderline personality disorders.