Being responsible with social media

By Beth Ziehmer

October 03, 2017

Growing up, my mom would always remind me to make good choices. This sage advice has perhaps even more meaning today with social media.

In the past, making good choices in life was just the right thing to do. Today, making the wrong choice can be seen by millions and can ruin a life or a career.

Regardless if you are a student, seeking employment, or a working professional, you should consider what you post on social media and how your social media communication might affect others, and possibly your future.

Even if you think you have tight security settings (which is a great idea) on your account that only allow your friends to access your profile, wall, pictures, or feeds, or you think you are posting comments anonymously in a comments area, all of these types of activities can still be linked back to you.

It is no secret that employers are going beyond online searches using Google and LinkedIn for prospective employees and require potential candidates pass a social media background check. Inappropriate activity can still damage your career and reputation, even if you are already accepted into a program or have a career. Some high-profile individuals have been fired from their jobs due to offensive and inappropriate social media activity. Likewise, others have missed out on being hired for well-paying jobs because of something that came up in a search.

Another key consideration is that your social media activity may affect whether you are accepted into a college or university program. Consider that just because the picture or video only displays for a few seconds, or maybe 24 hours, doesn't meant that it is gone forever after that amount of time elapses.

Take the time to monitor every online account you have created and close those that you no longer use. Delete all photos or comments that do not portray you in a positive manner. Also, un-tag yourself in any inappropriate photos that friends have posted of you and ask them to delete the photos. Keep in mind that settings can change over time, so review your settings on a regular basis.

You only have one chance to make a first impression. In today's highly competitive society, don't let photos or comments ruin what you have spent a lifetime working to achieve.