Marketwired Blog

Regrets — online users have a few

Almost all social media users have typed out a snide comment or careless insult they regret. It’s worse for young people.

According to a new survey of 1,000 American adults, by, a legal information website, these regrets are real. Among adults ages 18 to 34, 29 percent say they’ve posted words or images on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr that could have compromised their current or future job prospects.

The result is people are removing content. The survey found 74 percent of young adults have removed something on social media to avoid problems from bosses and future employers. Only 36 percent of adults 35 to 64 have taken down content for that reason, according to the survey.

Venting, inappropriate pictures, confessions of slacking off — it’s temping when everyone on social media is being so open about every minute, every emotion. Particularly when you have a clever crack about a hangover or how much you hate your boss, it’s easy to share.

This kind of poor social media protocol says something about the rashness of youth, for sure. But it also reveals how new this mode of communication truly is. Phenoms such as cyber bullying are just now working their way into school curriculums. Parents are now realizing just how potent the online world is for young people and are just starting to talk about do’s and don’t’s with their kids.

Our sophistication as social media users is bound to evolve. Marketers would do well to keep watch: as online users get more sophisticated, they’ll make fewer mistakes that upset their persona lives. They’ll also become more perceptive about the techniques businesses use while speaking to them online.

Until then, everyone online should remember: the boss is always watching.


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