Children should be taught about the perils of Twitter or they won’t get a job
Michael Fabricant, the vice-chairman of the Conservative party said that young people should know that what they write on social networks will affect their future job prospects
By Georgia Graham, Political Correspondent
Children should be warmed of the dangers and risks of Twitter if they are to stand a chance of getting a job in the future a senior Conservative has said
Michael Fabricant, the Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party and himself a voracious tweeter has said that young people could be risking future job prospects in ?serious professions? before they even start looking for a job by posting about their youthful indiscretions to Twitter and Facebook.
Mr Fabricant described himself as ?one of the more risqu? MPs on Twitter has revealed that some of his own 15,000 tweets have sent the Conservative?s whips office into ?sighs of despair? but that his position as an MP gives him protection that young people ?on the job trail? will not have.
In a piece for the Telegraph.co.uk he wrote: ?If the 15 year old Michael Fabricant had had Twitter, I think it would be safe to say he would have struggled to find a job if future employers could trawl through thousands of tweets, sent at all hours of the day and night for months on end. These tweets are filed permanently on the internet for all to see.?
He added: ?My concern is that for many of our teenagers and young adults, today?s contemporary ?banter? and jokiness could become tomorrow?s block to their future job prospects.?
Mr Fabricant joined Twitter in September of last year when his seven year stint as a Conservative whip came to an end. Since then he has been notably prone to Twitter gaffes.
In July Tory party vice-chairman Michael Fabricant revealed on site that there was a parliamentary ?crisis in the loo department?. He added: Nearly all House of Commons loos closed owing to burst water main in Whitehall. #constipated.?
In February Mr Fabricant asked for some rather surprising clarification on a sex act.
He tweeted to his then 9,200 followers: ?Why is it not called a Suck Job??
In March he used the social networking site to opening criticise the Conservative government which did not go down well with David Cameron.
He Wrote: "The Conservative voice is muffled and not crisp. It does not clearly project Conservative core policies or principles.?
For Michael Fabricant?s Twitter advice in full, visit Michael Fabricant: Teach children the perils of Twitter or they won’t get a job
Michael Fabricant: Teach children the perils of Twitter or they won’t get a job
The Conservative vice-chairman says that young people should be aware that the things they write on social networks now may stand in the way of their dream job in the future
Until September last year, I was fortunate to serve as a whip for over seven years both in Opposition and in Government. This role meant that I had to be silent in the House of Commons, and the National press ? that is why I decided to leave. And it also meant I could try my hand at Twitter.
Since my escape from the constraints of whipping, I have adopted the medium with ?ber-enthusiasm. Not only does Twitter allow me as an MP to be spontaneous to political events, it also allows for interaction from voters ? predominately those who tend to be younger and don?t engage with traditional political discourse. In the past few months, I?ve sent over 15,000 tweets. Some have been serious, others less so, some have been part of a sustained campaign, some just plain outrageous – and some have reached several million fellow tweeters. It might sound as if all I ever do is tweet. However, the very fact that it is so contemporary and instantaneous means that it can be done in literally seconds. And here is the issue.
If the 15-year-old Michael Fabricant had had Twitter, I think it would be safe to say he would have struggled to find a job if future employers could trawl through thousands of tweets, sent at all hours of the day and night for months on end. These tweets are filed permanently on the internet for all to see. Delete them? They?ve probably been retweeted or screen captured by others. My concern is that for many of our teenagers and young adults, today?s contemporary ?banter? and jokiness could become tomorrow?s block to their future job prospects.
I hope that I raise eyebrows ? that one of the more risqu? MPs on Twitter is raising such concerns.
There has been more than one occasion when I have sent the Number 10 Press Office or my former colleagues in the Government Whips? Office into sighs of despair with some of my tweets; but it is because so much of our political culture today is stage managed and stale that I believe in the need to push the boundaries if I am to communicate a message effectively. It isn?t quite the same for the millions of British youngsters soon to be on the job trail with much of their lives already openly displayed over social media.
The relevance of social media is understated to the job-hunter. It is seen as private and part of people?s social lives. It is not.
Social media maps out people?s thoughts at a given time. What can be written in jest or sarcasm at one moment can easily be read as distasteful at another time. I know that many of these risks are well known. We?ve seen the celebrities taken to court and sued for libellous tweets in recent months, and others who have been named in the press for foul mouth tirades, but do most of those who are only a matter of years away from employment really know the risks?
So I propose that social media should be part of wider careers advice at a stage when teenagers are taking to Twitter, Facebook and other networks when personal views and information are disseminated into the public domain. Otherwise, future employers could end-up rejecting job applicants for serious professions not on the grounds of inability, but on their own reputation management.
Every month, more and more people join social networking sites from all ages. No longer are countless tweets and Facebook postings generated from static computers, but are now from portable devices operated from pavements, classrooms, and even the green benches of the House of Commons. In the past, this level of communication would simply have been lost in the chatter. No longer. With employers and others, as well as GCHQ, taking a greater interest in social media, individual tweets can be highlighted and identified by computer algorithms designed to search for them.
Let?s not allow this to ruin reputations and careers needlessly ? especially for those youngsters who haven?t yet begun to embark on their careers. #FABadvice.