Last week when I was walking around my college campus, I couldn’t help but notice almost everyone I walked past was looking down at their phone. It got me thinking, especially about social media. Many college students, including myself, use social media every day for communication, resources, and information. As technology rapidly evolves, new forms of social networking are created, making it easier to connect with people. This also means the risks associated with social media evolve as well.
In today’s day and age, almost everything is processed through the internet: college applications, job applications, and more. That means that a company or college has the ability to search your name and find your profile on different social media platforms.
Here are 3 social media tips college students should think about before posting:
1. Stay away from negativity
This may sound like common sense, but steer clear of posting anything negative. By that I mean any pictures, statuses, or tweets that you wouldn’t want a future company or school to see. With unlimited access to social media, it is so easy to post something you might later regret. Before posting anything, the best thing you can do is think about your own personal footprint on social media. Ask yourself, how will this project to others? If it isn’t a positive projection, you probably shouldn’t post it.
2. Remember: Social media is one large public record
I am sure you have heard it before; I know I sure have. Whatever you post on the internet does not go away. Before I go more in-depth, think about it, how many times have you taken a screen shot of a tweet, Instagram picture, maybe even Facebook status and sent it your friends? That picture you took is now in the hands of whoever else you sent it to, meaning that even if the person deletes the picture, status, or tweet, you and your friends still have record of it.
When you go to post something, remember it never goes away. That is why it is important to stay away from negativity (refer to #1) because you never know when something you posted may reappear.
3. Know your privacy settings
Privacy settings are important, especially for college students. Social networking allows us to share a lot about our lives quickly and easily, but if you are not careful it can slip into the wrong hands. Go through all the social media accounts you have and look at your privacy settings. Once you have set it to something you feel comfortable with, I advise you to go through the list of ‘friends’ who follow you and delete who you don’t know. I did this, and I was shocked with the amount of people I didn’t know but I was ‘friends’ with. By doing this you are protecting yourself, and you will also know where your posts go.
Overall, to get the most positive outcomes with social media you must think about your presence on the internet with everything you post. Don’t let a picture, tweet, status, or even a video impact your future negatively.
As times are changing, the way we communicate is changing as well. The old saying is ‘think before you speak’ but now the saying has become ‘think before you post’.
As Blogger and budget aficionado, Tara K. helps students across the country enhance their knowledge about money management and everyday life. She is constantly looking for new ideas to transform into great advice for you. Pursuing a journalism major, Tara K. has a passion for the art of inquiry, which is conveyed through her writing.