Facebook is one of the most used apps on my iPhone. I use it most of the day to connect with friends and catch up with the ones I don’t see as often, but like most folk, I use it through boredom. My Facebook settings are set to private for a number of reasons, I’m not so keen on strangers being able to view my information and after an increase in identity theft a few years ago, I became very paranoid and set my settings to private. I’m also very aware that employers often check up on your personal life before interviews. I’ve nothing to hide, I’m a “normal” 25 year old female, who enjoys going out and sometimes making a bit of a fool of myself, but I’m young, I’m allowed to have a life, right?
Now, I’ve had quite a few lectures on self branding and how we portray our image to people, and I must admit that I have tried to polish up my presence on the internet. I started off by googling myself. Originally, I found some photos from my teens with my piercings and oddly coloured hair, I deleted these through vanity more than anything. I once joked that I would only get famous on the internet and well, that’s sort of already true. If you type in Cilla Block into Google, you will see pictures of me in my roller derby gear playing for my beloved Dundee Roller Girls. Now, in roller derby, it is perfectly acceptable to skate in minimal clothing. Most players adopt a persona, or an alter ego and when I started out I was just like all the other girls, I wore my tiny hot pants and thigh high socks, I’m glad to report that’s not a look I rock anymore. I’m not ashamed of my hobby, but I am somewhat embarrassed by some of the photographs. Some of these pictures are hosted by other photographers and I can’t get these deleted. My past is my past, I don’t want to be judged for having poor fashion sense, or a potential employer having the wrong idea about what I do for fun.
I am a big lover of Twitter and when I signed up nearly 3 years ago, I was constantly tweeting photos. Nothing out of the ordinary, a few of friends and me on nights out, my stuffed toy Vinny the Pup was often snapped trying to steal my food, friends at roller derby practice and so on. Before, these pictures were hosted by TwitPic, which changed name and then changed name again, making it harder to locate the original posts and delete them. One of the easier ways to do this, would have been to delete my Twitter account and start from scratch. I didn’t really want to go down this route as I’ve spent quite some time following the people I do for a reason, I’m not sure I’d have the patience able to find them all again. But again, I am finding myself refraining from tweeting ‘personal’ tweets.
I am actively trying to make my Twitter account a resource to share work I am doing, and/or create relevant contacts. Mike Press, lecturer at DJCAD said “Twitter is a broadcast medium NOTa messaging medium. Everything you post can be accessed by any other Twitter user.” In the link, Mike has posted some really useful tips on how to market yourself and making your own social media strategy, he also references an interesting article from the Guardian, it’s well worth a look.
To my knowledge, I’ve only ever had one employer snoop on me, my current employer. When I went along for my induction, my boss let slip that he was looking for a girl with pink hair walking in. I questioned him by asking if he had been doing some research on me, to which he replied, “but of course”. This caught my attention, I figured if my employer for a part time bar position was looking me up, then my future dream job employers definitely will be, but I suppose you never really know who is watching you….