Mas Mania : Watch how you wine - Young adults warned about public image

March 23, 2017
Dr Leahcim Semaj
Scenes from UWI Carnival Beach Party.
Wayne Chen
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University students are being advised to be mindful of the behaviour they display at social gatherings and parties, especially given the fast-paced Internet era that they live in.

Psychologist Dr Leahcim Semaj warned young adults against lewd and crass behaviour, stating that although they should be allowed to let loose at parties and other events, should certain images surface on social media the effects may be drastic.

"Going out and revelling and having a good time, whether in dancehall or carnival, is a part of social behaviour. However, what is posted on social media can take on a life of its own so one should be concerned about the image that one puts out there," he said. "You enjoying yourself at one of these events can be easily taken out of context, and it has a level of permanence once it gets out there."

He went on to point out that the Internet has also become a vital part of the vetting process for many employers, and explained that while one's behaviour within a certain social space should not affect one's ability to secure a job, it can.

"It's the risk you take when you engage in any type of public behaviour so you have the option of making sure that whatever you do in public, you don't have to explain it away or rationalise it," he said. "Companies have their policies and a certain culture that their organisation takes on, so if you are seeking to apply for a certain job then you need to be concerned about how you present yourself."

President of the Caribbean Employers' Confederation, Wayne Chen, agreed to some extent. Chen expressed that while there are some employers who take the image of their potential employees very seriously, the matter of how much that image affects their employability is a non-issue.

 

PART OF CULTURE

 

"Throughout Jamaica and the entire Caribbean, carnival is a part of the cultural fabric, and certainly in other places where carnival is dominant, a certain type of behaviour is not seen as anything outside of the norm, so I don't think the majority of employers are troubled by men and women behaving a particular way in that space," he said. "As a note of caution, I cannot speak for all. It all depends on the organisation."

He said personally, it's a non-issue for him.

"I was a part of UWI Carnival for years, and many of the folks who were in carnival with me have gone on to become ministers of government," he said.

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