Think Before You Like It
If you have your Facebook page open while reading this, you might want to leave it alone for a bit, because Brian Lamoureux ’94, a trial attorney, has a secret he wants to share with you.
Lamoureux recently returned to Providence College to present “What Does Your Facebook Say About You?” During the talk, sponsored by the Student Alumni Association, Future Friar Executives, and the American Marketing Association, the lawyer discussed how employers are using social media to both recruit, and possibly reject, potential applicants.
A business litigator with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West, LLC, Lamoureux has become a nationally-recognized expert on social media, where he has presented lectures, written columns, and commented on issues such as texting in the workplace, hiring in the digital age, and e-mail privacy.
The first half of the lecture focused on the digital record that Facebook has of every user on its site, and the ease by which that record can be downloaded by the user.
“The single scariest thing on Facebook today is the Facebook ‘Download Your Profile’ feature,” he said.
“Facebook has the ability to send you a zip file in your e-mail that contains everything you have ever posted to your profile, including basic profile information, status updates, messages sent and received, events you attended — even pages you liked.”
As a trial attorney, Lamoureux does see the advantages in a feature like this, as well as the benefit it can bring to a company for compliance.
Lamoureux usually shares this information with his clients, but he came back to PC to inform students on how to successfully manage their social media pages, and even how to use them to their advantage by following his “best practices” for social media use.
Best practices for social media
“Number one is to keep your work life separate from your private life,” said Lamoureux. He cited a legal case involving a firm’s former employee whose Twitter account is being debated as either property of the individual employee or the company.
Even though he warned of the possible dangers associated with social media, Lamoureux also stressed the importance of social media as a way to network and market oneself as a student and potential employee.
“When it comes to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn — don’t be a Luddite,” he warned. “Even though the rate of employers using Facebook as a tool is trending downward, 48 percent of corporate recruiters now rely on LinkedIn exclusively.”
Monitoring the amount and nature of what you post is critical to best-practice social networking, according to Lamoureux, and students should limit but also leverage their social media usage to aid them in their careers and lives.
Lamoureux himself has followed his rules, and he has even cut back on the amount of information and time he spends using social media, noting that the danger comes from posting too much information.
“When it comes to social media, a few grains of sand are not problematic, but if I dump a 5- gallon bucket of sand on your head, that is going to cause a problem.”
— Robbie Smith-MacDonald ’12
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