Amid the fallout from the Illinois Batman killings, evidence that the accused did not use Facebook has sparked a debate over whether – with social media use becoming almost omnipresent among younger users – not having any form of online profile is inherently suspicious. It now seems to be a case of ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ where social media is concerned.

Forbes magazine has suggested that with social media profiles now an integral part of public life, employers would be nervous of candidates without one, suspecting that absent or deleted accounts could indicate an attempt to conceal relevant information.

So, with employers increasingly checking Facebook pages, LinkedIn profiles and Twitter feeds during the selection process, is maintaining a social media profile now becoming a prerequisite for job seekers?  With some major recruiters already using social media channels to promote vacancies and initiate contact with candidates, will non-users risk missing potential opportunities? And to what extent do employers currently use online profiles as part of routine candidate checks?

Comment: Could this be a carefully constructed conspiracy by social media networks designed to shame those allegedly last few people in the world who’re not participating in any social media activity to be bullied into ‘signing up’?

Probably not – since, attractive as conspiracy theories are, they’re usually unfounded since it’s so hard to keep a conspiracy both covert and cohesive.

However, it’s a sobering thought that what was intended as a way of ‘talking to your friends and family’ has been hi-jacked by the world of business – and your every ‘footfall’ on the web is potentially significant for your future career and prosperity.

Maybe the time has come for everyone to have their own PR consultant. Now that would be a good idea!