The term stereotype threat refers to situations in which individuals are, or feel themselves to be, at risk of confirming negative stereotypes about their social group. It’s a well-documented phenomenon, particularly in academic and corporate environments. Studies show that these situations result in increased heart rate and decreased concentrations. Ironically, the fear of confirming the negative stereotype leads individuals to perform badly, thereby fulfilling the stereotype due to fear of fulfilling the stereotype.
We know the power of social media–or we should. It has started protest movements, given presidential candidates a jump-start and had people fired. So while social media–Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Snapchat, Instagram and others–may be a boon for easing communication, working professionals (and those who want to be) need to remember that social media accounts are not completely private; tweets and other regretted posts can be screensaved and actually live forever.