Think back 10 years ago when Facebook was in its infancy. Did you ever think this single site would create a social media pandemic? Now, companies are increasing Facebook’s, and social media in general, power. As it turns out, in the future, you may not actually exist without a Facebook account. It’s a scary thought, but one that’s becoming an uncomfortable reality.
Social Job Hunting
As a writer, I always have to show clips of my work when querying new companies and clients. In the past few years, I’ve noticed a new requirement for at least 50 percent of the gigs I find – you must have a social media profile to prove you’re a real person. Apparently, it’s not enough that I’m sending a real email, from a real email account, with a real message along with real clips of my work. If you’ve been searching for a job recently, you’ve probably encountered the same thing on at least a few of your applications.
Many employers even search for you on social networks, especially Facebook and LinkedIn, before considering you for the position. They want an inside view into who you really are. With all of the controversial stories of people not getting jobs or even losing existing jobs because of what they posted on Facebook or lack of any social media activity, it proves that when it comes to finding a job, social media is important.
Social Credit Check
I cringed when I read the latest stories about how startup companies are using Facebook. I know how difficult it can be for young adults to establish credit, but what if all you needed was an active Facebook account?
Two companies at CeBit this year explained how they use social media to determine an applicant’s credit risk. Kreditech, based in Germany, and Big Data Scoring, based in Estonia, evaluate Facebook and other social media profiles in lieu of an actual credit check before giving out a loan. The latter company uses the data to provide information to other lenders, as they don’t provide loans themselves.
Big Data Scoring entices borrowers to include their Facebook profile by offering a discount on their loan. The company says they don’t actually look at individual messages or photos, but instead the daily actions a user performs, number of friends, work history and education.
Kreditech claims social media is a better indication of credit worthiness than traditional methods. They state it’s far easier for someone to fake basic information on a credit or loan application than years worth of data on Facebook. The company states they use as many as “10,000 data points” versus the 5-12 that traditional agencies use.
Choose Your Friends Carefully
According to CNN, the friends you have on Facebook could prevent you from securing a loan. Lenddo is one lending company that looks through your Facebook friends to see if any friends haven’t paid back loans from the company. If you happen to interact often with such a person, your loan could be denied. Apparently, if you should know what your friends’ credit histories are before friending them.
While some love the idea of incorporating social media into every aspect of their lives, others are skeptical. Should the things we like or the people we talk to on the site make or break important moments in our lives, such as getting a job or securing a loan? Would you be willing to share your social media profiles or would you look for a different employer or lending agency?