We’ve all heard the warnings to be cautious when using social media, that everyone can see what you post online.
When hearing this advice, most everyone nods their head in mutual agreement. However, for some college students, this rule is easier said than done.
With every weekend comes the corresponding onslaught of countless Twitter and Facebook updates regarding various drunken escapades. In turn, my newsfeed is clogged with sloppy, unflattering and downright embarrassing pictures, tweets and statuses. In fact, there is an entire twitter account dedicated to displaying pictures of the University of South Dakota students who have passed out @yotespassedout.
Now, more than ever, social media is used by an overwhelming majority of society. This group, starting with predominantly teenagers has expanded to include a vast amount of adults as well. This means your tight-knit group of college friends are not the only ones gazing at photos of you passed out on someone’s front lawn.
For a lot of college and high school students, social media may act as a scrapbook of parties and crazy nights. But for professionals and future employers, social media acts as a type of background check as to who they are looking to hire.
What one chooses to put on social media is a direct reflection of that person. So unless you want your future employer to think of you as a “party girl/boy,” save the stories of your wild weekends for a different place.
In more cases than one, a prospective employee has lost a job because of tagged photos of them participating in beer pong tournaments or Jell-O shot competitions.
Though many students think their privacy settings are secure, there is always a way for these professionals to find your page.
Think of Facebook and Twitter as a sort of resume. I’m not saying social media users should post past work experience and GPA on these sites, but try to portray a classy, reputable image online.
If you are looking for a way to present a professional image on the Internet, LinkedIn is a great resource, and a way to connect with other professionals. Think of it as Facebook for professionals.
In the end, putting a professional and respectable image on Twitter and Facebook is going to benefit a future career way more than a couple of pictures from a wild 21st birthday party.
Here are just a few rules to abide by to make sure you don’t have the same unfortunate future as the people listed above:
1. If under 21, keep alcohol out of the picture completely. You have the power to say what photos you are tagged in, so stay out of the ones with the Bud Light cans.
2. Avoid posting or being tagged in photos with promiscuous clothing, or lack of clothing. In other words, keep the pictures from those “Anything But Clothes (ABC)” parties off of the Internet.
3. Keep the inappropriate statuses and tweets to a minimum. A page full of f-bombs is a major turn-off for future employers.
When in doubt, keep the profiles clean, and the tweets even cleaner. If your grandma would disapprove, don’t post it.
It’s a dangerous World Wide Web out there folks, so choose to protect yourself from embarrassment and unemployment.