Consider the following real case studies.
- A student was suspended from the university when he posted photos of himself on Facebook at a riotous campus celebration that led to destruction of property.
- A student had a job offer withdrawn when an archived Facebook entry revealed that she used recreational drugs.
- A student was declared guilty of sexual harassment when Facebook entries backed up testimony in a court case.
Social media such as Facebook and Twitter have and can often harm students in ways they never imagined. Employers, university officials, and police regularly use social media postings as a way of documenting student behavior.
Social media has obvious plusses if used properly, but you need to realize that what you post on social media will never go away. Here are some guidelines for using social media.
- Don’t post anything on social media that can come back to harm you. Think before you post anything and never post anything when you are under the influence of alcohol.
- Only friend those you know and who will use the connection to you in a responsible manner.
- Use social media to enhance your career prospects. Connections through LinkedIn can be very helpful especially when you are linked to someone who has a lot of connections in your major. Postings on Facebook and Twitter can also enhance your career prospects if you think of these sites as an electronic resume.
- Unfriend those who are irresponsible in their use of social media. Be especially careful of those who use these sites to abuse others or to make socially insensitive comments.
The key thing in using social media is to envision everything you have ever posted as a reflection of who you are. Proper use of social media is an expectation of a responsible adult..