Social Media Use Could Come With A Price!
Social media allows us to connect with those near and far and opens doors to a variety of opportunities. According to the Pew Research Internet Project, 73 percent of Americans use social networking sites as of September 2013. Pew Research also shows that 95 percent of all teens ages 12-17 are now online.
While connecting and expressing one’s self on a global scale may be something we’re all entitled to, exercise caution. Posting inappropriate, vulgar, or disrespectful content comes with a price. Not only can you lose your admission to college and/or your scholarship, but you could also lose your job.
“Online reputation management and mitigation companies are a booming business because people just can’t stop posting things they shouldn’t, which often have long-term negative effects on their personal and professional lives,” says Robert Siciliano, an online security expert for McAfee.
Unless you have deep pockets to pay a company these fees, you’d better assume once you post something, it’s there to stay!
It is always a good practice to assume you have no privacy on the Internet. Assume your employer, prospective college, prospective coach, teacher, and parent can see everything you post. Be respectful of others and follow the golden rule. “Anything posted online can leak. So, generally it is a good policy to conduct yourself on social media just as you would in a similar group and context in the real world,” according to John Lincoln, who teaches about social media at the University of California, San Diego.
Furthermore, you never know who you may be speaking with through these social media outlets. You may have been told that the friend you met online is the same age and gender as you, but you never know who is actually sitting on the other end of that computer, tablet, or smart phone. To stay safe from online predators, you will want to make sure to never share any of your personal information via social media networks, especially with people you have not met in person. Personal information such as your physical address, name of your school, birth date, and phone number should be kept private.