I don't mind if you tweet about bowl movements or your latest sexual escapades, but why would you disclose information about your health, or your family members', or a friend's health on Twitter or any other social networking site?
Lately I've noticed a disturbing trend. Many of you are baring it all in cyber space -- and I mean everything from cankers to cancer. And that could spell doom if you're looking for a job or trying to buy insurance folks.
Here's a sampling from Twitter on what some of you are disclosing (I've removed the Twitter names to protect the innocent)
* i was havin stomach pains...but they tracked it bak to a cyst on my ovary.
* I know Mel, it was exactly a year this friday I got diagnosed with cancer so it just shows you how things can turn around.
* Confused By Test Results: After going gluten-free at home with my husband, who was diagnosed with celiac disease.
* Everyone please pray for XXXX, she was just diagnosed today with Type 1 Diabetes! Yes, the one Nick Jonas has.. :'(
It's a harsh reality, but some employers aren't big on hiring people with maladies because of the high cost of health care, or a potential perceived hit to productivity.
Many companies are starting to pay their workers to get healthier and some are even cutting insurance premium contributions for those employees who lose weight and minimize their chances of costly diseases. Employers are sick of paying through the nose to cover employees' health coverage. (Have you noticed the debate going on in this country?)
So, what do you think a hiring manager is going to do when they get your resume and decide to look into who you are?
They're checking Twitter and the rest, trust me. This from a recent issue of human resource publication Workforce Management magazine:
In the rush to cut recruiting budgets and avoid the avalanche of resumes now generated by job boards, employers are increasingly tapping professional and social networking sites as a sourcing tool. Some employers now rely heavily or even exclusively on Twitter or LinkedIn to fill open positions.
Using networks for recruiting is ripe with risk for future discrimination claims, says Pamela Devata, a partner at Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago.
Recruiters will Google you and suddenly a tweet you wrote comes up saying you have diabetes or some other ailment. They don't want what they think is an unhealthy liability.
It is indeed illegal not to hire you because you have an ailment, especially those covered under the ADA. But who's going to know if an HR person dumps your resume in the trash after finding out information about a malady you may have.
They may also think you're not up to the job.
Even if you overcame a disease folks, some employers may still hold that against you because it could return.
And, if you're self employed or an entrepreneur trying to buy health coverage on the open market, you better have disclosed all your aches and pains to the insurer if you've already told the world about them on Twitter. Folks, you could be denied coverage or have to pay way more for a policy for a preexisting condition. (Remember, health reform hasn't happened yet, if it ever will.)
If any of you have indeed tweeted, or Facebooked, or what ever about you ailments, I would consider removing all those references, especially if you're in the job market.
Full disclosure here: I have tweeted about my back problems and in hindsight it was a stupid thing.
Read this blog post quickly because it will self destruct soon so I remain more employable just in case.