Being Careful With Social Networks

We all know how important social networks have become to society. They connect us in ways we never thought we could connect before. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. are great tools to showcase yourself to the world. Many people don’t understand the weight that these sites carry. Social Networking can be used to propel someone to greatness, or send them into a downward spiral that they never saw coming. This is why I believe it is important to educate students about their profiles, especially college students who are at a pinnacle point in their lives as they start to build their careers.

Everyone can find everything on social networking sites. Even if you set everything to private, with a little diggiing, your information can be found.  I can’t stress enough that it’s not enough just to change your settings to private or block viewers. You must be conscience of what you’re posting at all times. Last month, I went to a presentation for Benedictine athletics that brought in a speaker who opened our eyes to the dangers of social networking. This was a man we had never met, who wasn’t following us on Twitter. By the end of the night, he had searched around and found personal tweets made by our very own athletes, blurred out the names, and posted them in a power point slide.  It was scary how easy it was. He also told us a story about a college with only 600 students where a student on the golf team decided to post a naked picture of him and his teammates only holding golf clubs over their private parts. He posted it on Facebook thinking nothing would happen. By the end of the week, the national news got a hold a hold of it and it followed him for the rest of his life.

Before you post ANYTHING on the internet, you have to think: Will this hurt my future career? Will this jeopardize my schooling? Will my mom and dad be proud if they saw this? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you probably shouldn’t post it.  Keep the party pictures to yourself. The world doesn’t need to know what you’re eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Use social networking as a way to portray yourself in a positive light to the world. The  rest of your life can be determined by the decisions you make at this age. Don’t let social networking drag you down!


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