Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a great outlet for sharing things with your friends and family, making connections, and reading interesting articles (like this one!). However, it’s not all fun and games. Despite monitoring your friends list, nothing you post to social media is ever truly private. Many people have learned this the hard way over the years. Employers are firing employees over inappropriate posts. Human resources departments are scouring profiles to judge the potential character of job applicants and candidates. Now, even colleges are turning to social media monitoring to keep tabs on their students, both current and prospective.
In fact, repercussions for inappropriate actions on social media have gotten worse. Most recently is the news of Harvard rescinding the admission of 10 newly admitted students after they engaged in lewd conversation and meme-sharing in a Harvard admitted students Facebook group. What the students believed to be a private, friendly banter in an attempt to impress their peers ended up turning their dreams into nightmares. After going through the exciting process of announcing their acceptance to a top Ivy League college, maybe even combing through financial software reviews to help stay on top of their impending tuition payments, they then had to bear the shame of being rejected before even setting foot on campus.
It has been disclosed that their group chat within the Facebook page included instances of racism, anti-semitism, and general bigotry. Little did they know, the school officials were watching and taking action.
This is not the only instance of colleges rejecting students based on their interactions on social media. If you aren’t careful with what you post, share, like, and follow, you just might end up in a similar situation.
Social media isn’t the only source that’s being monitored. Your entire online presence is vulnerable to judgment, from your book review blog to the heart rate statistics you uploaded from your Fitbit last week. Everything you do has the potential of landing in the public eye, so be mindful online no matter which digital platform you’re using.
To learn more about protecting your internet presence, read our related post:
4 Things That Can Affect Your Online Reputation.