'Suspicious' Worker Backed After Losing Interview Over Lack of Social Media

Commenters were outraged after one poster explained why their job interview was canceled in a popular internet forum.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/antiwork, Redditor u/CascadianWanderer (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said they were prohibited from interviewing for a new job because of their minimal social media presence.

Simply titled, "Canceled Interview," the viral post has received 10,500 votes and nearly 1,000 comments in the last day.

Beginning with the explanation that a company they had applied to recently informed them that their scheduled interview had been canceled, the original poster shared the reasoning provided by the prospective employer.

"I just had an interview canceled because [they said] 'You are clearly hiding your social media presence, which we find suspicious," u/CascadianWanderer wrote.

Writing that they only have one, dormant social media account, the original poster also expressed their fear that this type of suspicion is common among employers.

"The only social media account I have is a Facebook account I haven't logged into in about 6 years," they wrote. "I hope this doesn't become a thing."

Canceled job interview
One Reddit user explained to r/antiwork how their lack of social media presence lead to a canceled job interview. tommaso79/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Nearly three-quarters of Americans regularly use at least one social media platform, according to The Pew Research Center.

This overwhelming prevalence of social media use throughout the United States, and the rest of the world, has created the expectation that everybody uses social media. So when an employer comes across a prospective employee who doesn't exhibit a robust social media presence, it can raise red flags.

Flex Jobs, a jobs website dedicated to helping workers find flexible or remote jobs, reports that applicants without easy-to-find social media accounts are sometimes considered "suspicious," just as u/CascadianWanderer was.

"Having absolutely no virtual footprint is highly suspect, and the first thing that a potential boss will think is that you've done something that you're trying to cover up," the website reads.

For aging applicants, a glaring lack of social media presence can also lead to presumptions about an applicant's ability to adapt to the modern work landscape.

"If a potential employer suspects that you might be an older worker—and then checks online and discovers that you don't have an online presence—[they] might jump to the conclusion that you're not social media savvy," Flex Jobs reports.

Despite the potential pitfalls of not having one or more social media accounts, many commenters responding to the viral Reddit post were adamant that, for some prospective employees, a lackluster digital footprint has nothing to do with their ability to do the job they have applied for.

"An employer always needs to know what you look like in a bathing suit at Spring Break '09," one Redditor commented, sarcastically. "It's important to know what you're bringing to the table for work stuff."

"I find it unacceptably intrusive that a potential or actual employer [researches] or judges my personal social media," another Redditor added.

In the viral post's top comment, which has received more than 6,000 votes, Redditor u/Redd_October pointed out the hypocrisy between an employer wanting to find an applicant's social media accounts, and their displeasure when employees use social media sites on company time.

"Meanwhile, they keep wondering why they can't find employees who won't browse Facebook during work hours," they commented.

Redditor u/FakeEpistemologist, whose response has received nearly 6,000 votes, assured the original poster that any employer who refused to interview them because they don't use social media is not an employer they should want to work for.

"I would call that a bullet dodged," they commented. "An employer doing sh*t like that is an employer you don't want to be working for."

In a separate comment, Redditor u/infinitebrucecruise said that they also have a limited social media presence, and speculated that they will soon find themselves in a similar position to the original poster.

"I've been waiting for this one to bite me in the a**," they commented. "I deleted all my social media accounts except [Reddit] and LinkedIn last year."

"Somehow choosing not to engage with social media makes you 'suspicious' instead of just being, [I don't know], a personal choice," they added.

Newsweek reached out to u/CascadianWanderer for comment.