Basic Tech Etiquette : Social Media Tips for College Students
Social Media. Love it or hate it, we live in a world dominated by it. Like anything in life, social media technology can be both negative and positive. As a college student, you’re closer than ever to your future career, and so it’s important to be aware of the image you project on social media. Lots of employers are investigating the online presence of their potential employees--and they’re looking at more than just your polished LinkedIn profile.
Don’t let a lapse in judgment or a slip-up in etiquette jeopardize your future job prospects. We’ve created a list of tips for social media etiquette specifically with college students in mind. Follow these suggestions and rest easy!
Imagine you spent three days studying for your organic chemistry test and still got a failing grade. Maybe there was material on the test that the professor hadn’t gone over in class and you’re angry because that’s pretty unfair. In this world of constant sharing, it’s all too easy to jump onto Twitter or Facebook and berate the test, the class, or the professor.
It’s best to think twice before you post anything, and especially if you’ve written your status update while upset. If your professor sees your status they may be offended or worse, and that’s not to mention that tirades on social media look very immature and unprofessional to prospective employers.
If you’re upset, try writing out what you really want to say in the heat of the moment, and then read it over a few times. Is this something you would shout out loud on the mall? Say to your professor’s face? If not, then think twice.
Remember you can always vent privately to your friends, family, or peers via text or phone call.
Oversharing--we’ve all done it or had to endure it. Remember that time your aunt learned about selfies and then shared twenty in a row, all with the same background and expression? That’s definitely oversharing, but that’s not the kind we’re talking about here.
The oversharing we’re talking about can often happen without you realizing it. Social media platforms can record and share your physical location, whether you purposefully check-in somewhere or your settings automatically add your location to your posts. Overly-specific details about where you go and when can end up in the wrong hands. Don’t share your location if you’ve gone somewhere alone, or if your post would alert people that you’ve left your home unoccupied.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t tell your loved ones where you’re off to or what you’re up to, but try keeping sensitive information in texts and private messages.
It’s not all doom and gloom, really! Don’t forget about the benefits of social media. Various platforms have aided revolutions, spread emergency information, helped people find missing loved ones, and changed the definition of what it means to be a citizen in this globalized world.
Just remember to always ask yourself if you’d feel comfortable sharing what you’re posting to social media with grandma, or a potential employer.