By Patrick Hedden
With the abundance of social media outlets available at our fingertips, it is extremely easy to get noticed, especially when you do not want to. The real problem is that as we adapt to faster access to communication, the instant gratification of seamless connectivity contributes to a loss of patience. And when our patience goes out the window, so does our ability to rethink and revise before we send things out over the web.
A word to my fellow students: maintain a public online presence as well as a private one. Only give access to your private accounts to those who you can trust not to harm your good name. And give yourself a little time to revise your messages before you send them out to the world.
My Communications textbook titled: Reflect and Relate, suggests, “submit your online self-presentation to what I call the interview test: ask yourself, ‘Would I be comfortable sharing all of this… in a job interview?”
Just last month, The Collegian published an article about two GPC Deans who created Twitter accounts in their efforts to “communicate and get the information that we feel that students need to know.” That’s all well and good because students need that information; however, I guarantee that students are more concerned about those Deans seeing what is on their Twitter account than making sure they know about the next campus social event.
The same idea applies to life outside of school. Just about every person I talk to seems to avoid allowing their work supervisor access to their Facebook page or Twitter accounts. However, some employers require access to these as a part of the application process. So, you may need to think twice about posting that pic from last night’s beer pong session.
Even on a national scale, we have politicians who don’t seem to realize that anything they send out might end up as public knowledge. Anthony Weiner, a married man and former U.S. congressional representative, was put in the media hot seat not once, but twice, because of sexual pictures and text messages he sent to over half a dozen women. The attention caused him to resign from the mayoral race in New York City.
I realize that some of us are not planning on running for mayor, but potential employers as well as current ones can probably find you online. Or maybe an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, who you sent pictures to when things were good, might decide to use them against you after the relationship falls apart. So think twice before you take that sexy picture, or write that flaming post about your teacher and post it to your Twitter, or Facebook.
After you hit “send,” it is fair game.