Social media affects image


Christina Browning

Students should “scrub” their social media posts if any of them contain comments or photos that may affect their future job prospects.

Growing up, I didn’t have to worry about the repercussions of someone snapping an image of me and posting it online.

Employers couldn’t judge me based on what skimpy outfit I decided to wear to a party, or of me drinking underage.

I didn’t have to worry if I was going to be fired over some rude joke I made. Work and our personal lives were separate.

Not anymore.

Times have changed. Cameras are everywhere and people are posting photos of us without our approval. And as a mom of two, I worry about the effects social media can have on my children’s future.

So it’s important that you think about how social media represents you and if what you post now will hurt your chances of getting the high-paying job later that you’re working so hard for in school.

First-year early childhood education student Elisa Tuck said she tries to stay mindful of what she shares online.

Tuck said she knows that what she shares online can hurt her future.

How you represent yourself online could make or break your future. Your social media essentially brands you.

Fourth-year creative writing student Lydia Ray said her family taught her early to watch what she posts. But third-year psychology student Marrissa Parker said she never thought about how social media can hurt her future.

“Sometimes when I see a post, I ask myself, ‘Why did you post that? What do you get out of it?’” Parker said.

According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70 percent of employers use social media to check out job applicants.

So stay proactive and really evaluate how your social media brands you.

Here are some tips for cleaning up your social media.

  1. Google yourself. See what pops up. You could be suprised by what you may find about yourself.
  2. Make all of your accounts private. Unless you operate a business, being public doesn’t make sense.
  3. “Be aware of what you share in public, especially if you have a public Instagram, and [of] what information can get out,” Ray said. If you must be public, keep all images, posts and tweets positive so they represent you in an appropriate way.
  4. Delete anything that sends red flags to employers, like photos of you using drugs or alcohol. Delete any offensive language and all mentions of criminal activity. Get rid of photos that are sexually explicit—of anyone, not just you.

Potential employers will Google you just to see what pops up. Make sure they see the best you have to offer.

Christina Browning is a nontraditional student studying web design. She is Campus Current’s multimedia editor.