It’s no secret that social media and other web-based applications are becoming more and more integrated into our everyday lives. In recent years, we’ve seen new technologies provide us with accurately personalised, targeted adverts. We’ve seen databases that act as the backbone for businesses worldwide and supposedly 1 in 5 of us let our computer fix us up with a life-long partner!

Technology used in the UK today allows us to record, track, communicate, share, measure and display almost every aspect of our lives, from keeping fit to reaching out to the ones we love.

Social media, above all, is a place in which we store our most telling information. At first, it was a casual place to connect with close friends but as the professional world has become more competitive, social media has become an integral part of the professional environment. Currently, social media is booming with companies, brands, services and advertisers and while many accounts are still very much personal, the way in which these profiles are being used is also changing.

As personal profiles merge with company pages and accounts, many suggest that traditional paper CVs may soon be replaced by LinkedIn profiles, blogs and social media accounts. For many tech-savvy job seekers out there, this switch over happened a long time ago.

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However, this switch-up isn’t as simple as it may seem. You see, as technologies continue to advance, more information is accessible. Those who are using their social media account as an online resumé could be giving potential employers a full view of their online personality.

Because social media can be linked with other applications and is at the forefront of many modern social studies, new technology has the ability to pick apart our online habits, considering not only the information you choose to display but also the subconscious actions you take whilst online.

One of the first companies to do so is San Francisco based consumer technology company, Five. Five Labs is a tool developed by the developers of Outline and is known to predict users’ personalities based on their Facebook posts.

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The idea of analysing user content used to only be considered in the professional world to generate sales and better marketing solutions, but now we are facing the concept of someone (or anyone) analysing our personal profiles and personalities. This may be great for talented professionals looking to fill the perfect role, and employers seeking out the perfect candidates, but it also blurs the lines of privacy.

We predict that, as these examining technologies advance, companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will have to take dramatic precautions to ensure that data is protected, allowing people plenty of choices and a much more dynamic, diverse and safe platform(s) to network on.

Written By Alex Benjamin

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