This summer, things got real. Too real. Instead of spending the afternoons lounging on lawn chairs or trekking down the shore for a day on the beach, many of us quickly found ourselves separated from our friends from 5 am until 5 pm at our various internships—working, sweating, and actually worrying about how to perfectly craft our new job descriptions for our resumes.
As the first week of work passed, a few of my friends announced that their employers had asked them to make their Twitters public so that the company could review it’s content. Review what exactly? If you are thirty years old and set in your field then yes, you are responsible for promoting your business and a professional business page is expected. But when you’re a sophomore or junior, or even a senior in college, what is a professional Twitter page? A feed of all of your boring tweets? A collection of 140 words describing the various jobs you have? How you love scrubbing the toilet at the laser tag arena at which you work at night? How driving the CEO to the airport everyday isn’t degrading—it builds… character? No.
We should not cave to the standard that states we must maintain a “professional” social media account in order to be employed. If you search my tweets from several years ago you will read me rambling on about how my parents were making out in MY bed and kicked me out of my OWN room. A year later I may have mentioned that PF Changs gave me explosive diarrhea for six hours and that I was boycotting their food for life. A year after that—no, no my 140 characters did not mature—I continued to hypothesize that Amanda Bynes was obviously clinically insane because her mom floated away in a hot air balloon. Three weeks ago I expressed my undying love for Lean Pockets and last week I explained a weird dream I had where I went to the Cheesecake Factory with Seth Rogen.
For those who are thinking, “Why do you tweet such dumb stuff—no one cares about your dreams or your disgusting Lean Pocket craving,” I would just like to say that is precisely my point. If my tweets are so ridiculous and absurd, then why do people favorite them? Why do I have 600+ followers? I will tell you why—because comedy sells. Describing my mother’s muffin top in 140 characters is a craft. And I purposefully set my Twitter to public in the first place so that all the CEOs of every company can look me up and see that I am nothing more than an authentic human being. My content is raw. I am the same person on Twitter as I am in real life. Therefore, unemployed college students of America should join together and refuse to censor our voices.
However, I have had a few fellow schoolmates say, “Should you really be bashing your plant science class? That creates a bad image of Maryland.” Well you say tomato and I say tomaaato. I am going to openly say that Plant Biology is my weakness and that I do not understand pollen nor plant ovaries nor will I ever care about any ovaries other than my own. The first step of knowing what you want to do is knowing what you do not want to do.
I’ve even had a few relatives say, “You know honey, I saw you posted a picture of some red Solo cups online. You know those are on the Internet…FOREVER.” Yes, Aunt Obvious, I know. But even if there are a few pics of me tossing back some brewskis on a weekend trip at the beach, at least there will be no surprises when my employer gets to know me.
I wish all employers the best of luck when they hire the kid who has a bland Twitter, expressing nothing more than a few comments about his honors thesis and retweets of football scores, and then he doesn’t show up to work the third week because he’s blacked out at the mini bar from 18 tequila shots. Then you’ll start to wish you had hired the girl who was open and real.
Think of how you feel when you stumble upon a cleverly witty or hilariously crude tweet on your feed. You laugh out loud, you favorite it, and you remember that person. So say what you want and write what you please. Stand out, embarrass yourself, and catch the world’s attention. As Dr. Seuss once said, “You have to be odd to be number one.”