By Laura-Jean Null
How often do you post on your social media? Do you ever second guess if your posting may offend or affect someone?Are you afraid of future employers looking at your social media and not hiring you because of something foolish you posted?
Well, you should be.
It is evident to see that social media has become a part of our everyday lives. From tweeting, posting photos and sharing ideas and information, we are consumed by it.
However, just because technology is becoming more prevalent, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s helping us.
In fact, in a study conducted by Baylor University revealed that they have “found that women college students spend an average of 10 hours a day on their cell phones, while men students spend nearly eight hours.” Along with that, the study also showed that approximately 60 percent of college students have admitted they may be addicted to their phones and show signs of agitation when they do not have access to theirs.
That is a lot of time on your cell and a lot of time to be making social media mistakes.
So, what’s the problem with always being on your phone? It’s simple, what you are posting could affect future employment options.
Here are a few common ways how.
• Underage Drinking Photos
Being in college, it is inevitable no matter the laws of the land and the school rules, there will always be students who drink underage and getting alcohol one way or another.
The issue with students is, even if they did not get caught or in trouble they post photos with the alcohol in their hands. An employer can easily look at the date the photo was posted and realize how old you are and go, “okay, they were underage drinking and not smart enough to keep this off their social media, let’s look somewhere else.”
• Sloppy Drinking
Okay, so let’s say you are of age and legally allowed to drink. There is a significant difference between a classy photo drinking wine at a banquet or ceremony in professional attire than doing a keg-stand or throwing up in a toilet.
Be smart about the pictures you post and who can see them. Also, be careful of who takes picture of you and if you are tagged in them, that can cause you trouble as well.
• The Marijuana Posts
Some states are legalizing it, and some places it’s still banned. With marijuana there is a negative connotation of it making people lazy and not willing to work.
Simply, don’t post a picture of that bud for likes. Don’t post a picture of you rolling or smoking it, it just won’t look good in the end to an employee.
• Inappropriate Captions on Pictures
Cursing in a caption is always and if-y thing to do.
There is freedom of speech that will protect you from saying certain words, as long as it is not hate speech. However, just be mindful of your followers. You would want to offend someone, also, think what would my employer think I he/she saw this.
Odds are, if you are debating whether or not you should post something because of backlash, you probably shouldn’t post it at all.
• Aggressively Political
Look, I’m not saying you cannot talk about politics on social media. All I’m saying is, maybe dial it down some. Support whatever party you want, or no party at all. But going out of your way to call people “snowflakes” or “Nazis” will get you in some trouble. Also, your future employer and even company might strongly support one particular party.
Sometimes it’s better to keep your personal beliefs off of a social sharing network.
• Cyber Bullying
Bullying can go as far as slut shaming, picking on someone for being a different race, religion, social class, etc. Simple, grow up and don’t do it. No employee wants someone that diverse and transparent, and sometimes you must make yourself that way also.
Overall, you’re probably saying, “Well it’s my personal private account, they cannot judge me for that!” Whether or not it’s ethical if future employees look at your account or not, most will.
According to Career Building, 70 percent snoop and search social media profiles.
Few tips, make your social media accounts private.Have professional accounts connected to your LinkedIn, which most employees will want or require.
Second, if you have personal accounts you want to keep personal, maybe change your user name.
Its understandable people need a place to rant and hide out in technology, so be smart about it.
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