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Social media's unintended consequences

By JASON LESLIE / VN STAFF WRITER
On April 12, 2016

Social Media has been a growing industry for the past decade. In fact, the percentage of adults using social networking has tripled since 2006.

Younger adults, between the ages of 18 and 29, are the most likely to use social media. Surveys show about 90 percent of that group are active on social media.

While social media can be an excellent tool to promote a product or stay in contact with a friend from halfway across the world, it must be treated with care.

The young adult age group includes students who are finishing up school with bachelor and master degrees. Securing a job after college can be an extremely tedious and competitive affair.

Employers are looking at social media accounts of candidates in making hiring decisions.

Andrew Hirsch, who worked in the hiring department for the Washington Redskins, said, “After putting resumes into a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ pile based on education and experience, one of the first things we look at is social media accounts.”

It is incredible to think that you might not even get a phone call or interview just because of something that can be found on the internet.

People who are already in the workplace have to be careful as well, as suspensions and removal are a possibility depending on the field of work.

Many firms have implemented a position that’s sole responsibility is to make sure people are doing the right things when they are not at work so they do not have a negative behavior that could be traced back to the company.

Not only is it important to be careful about word choice, there is also a time and place for social media to be used.

For example, current Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith faced repercussions after “liking” an Instagram post during halftime of a game. Smith is not the only professional athlete to get in trouble for using social media during a sporting event.

Whether it’s a sporting field or an office, a workplace should be used for work and not re-tweeting a random thought from a celebrity or a fact from CNN.

Senior psychology major Alexander Mendonca had this to say regarding social media: “I usually don’t post much, but when I do I’m always really careful,” he said. “It’s not worth saying something to get a few laughs that could have a negative effect in the future.”

While it can be used for many positive reasons, always be attentive to what you say.

You never know who might be watching. 

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