We live in an age where social media seems to permeate every facet of society. These days, most people have not only a Facebook account, but also Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and the-list-goes-on accounts with which to share every picture, activity, thought, story, and recipe idea. And your nanny is unlikely to be an exception!
Social media, while fun and engaging, can also be risky. And while we all have different ideas about what we consider acceptable to post online, by sharing snippets of her day, your nanny could inadvertently share your child(ren)’s whereabouts, living situation, schedules and/or photos with strangers. In order to avoid a situation that can be (at best) uncomfortable and (at worst) dangerous, it is important for parents to be aware of your nanny’s social media presence and to discuss expectations and rules regarding social media use.
Before the interview:
- It’s never a bad idea to look up potential hires on various social media sites to see what they’re doing and saying in a non-professional atmosphere. (NannyTrack can do this for you, too!) If you notice a candidate tweets or posts excessively and/or too candidly for your taste, follow your instincts and move on to another candidate. If possible, take this step before wasting valuable time interviewing someone who you know from their online presence isn’t going to be a match—joking tweets about careless driving? Nope!
- Figure out where you stand on social media use and your nanny. Would you like to be a Facebook friend or Instagram follower, for example, of your nanny so you can monitor her use of the various social platforms? Or do you feel this creates a familiarity you’re not comfortable with?
During the interview:
- We suggest a straightforward approach: Tell your potential nanny exactly what is and isn’t okay to share on social media when it comes to the job. No pictures, stories, tweets, etc. about your children, at all, ever? State that, explicitly, rather than assume your nanny knows what you consider proper social media etiquette. Some parents go farther, and ask their nanny to sign a social media contract declaring that she understands and acknowledges the rules, or incorporate this into a broader employment contract. Here at NannyTrack, we always encourage parents to use caution and this is no exception. Having a written agreement signed by both parties is an excellent way to avoid future misunderstandings.
- The interview is also a good time to make clear to any potential nanny that time dedicated to caring for your children should not instead be spent using social media (whether it’s about your children or not).
- Be sure to stay proactive, even after you’ve decided on a nanny! Check in on her social media accounts periodically to make sure she’s following the agreed-upon rules.