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Students and Social Media . . . Are you sharing too much?!

04/12/2013 Published by: Suzanne

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Categories: Your Child's Ages & Stages, Student 2 Student Programs Worldwide, Transition to College, Special Topics

Consider this . . . you’ve worked hard in school . . . studied, held a job, participated in sports and/or other extracurricular activities.  What’s more your efforts have resulted in the award of a scholarship!  Then . . . it gets taken away.  Why? . . . Due to something discovered on one of your social media accounts.  Don’t think this happens? . . . Think again!

Advice . . .

  1. Think first!  Imagine walking into an interview . . . for a school, a scholarship, a job, etc.  Then think about everything you have said, shared and/or posted on the internet.  Would you be comfortable walking in and having to discuss every one of those things with those conducting the interview?  If not, delete any information and/or pictures that might be questionable and ask your friends to do the same.  Better yet, don’t post anything that could call your moral character into question at all!
  2. Know your social media site’s security settings and use them!  Recent statistics shared by Huffington Post say that 25% of Facebook users don’t bother with privacy settings.  Would you leave your house or car unlocked?  When it comes to your social media accounts ask yourself, “Who can see what I share? Who can post on my page/wall/board?  Who can “tag” me in something they post?”  If you’re not sure how these settings work, ask a friend or parent who also uses the site for advice, or utilize the website “Help” function(s).  Keep in mind that social media sites update their setting options OFTEN so you must re-visit them frequently to keep things as private as you’d like.
  3. The animated film Bambi had it right . . . “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” This adage applies online as well.  Just don’t “say” negative things online!  Being a “virtual” bully has far-reaching and long-lasting effects.  If you have been the target of, or have “witnessed” bullying through social media websites, let a parent and/or a teacher know about it.  Many schools have programs in place to deal with, or even better, prevent bullying . . . of any kind!
Remember when using social media sites . . . think first, be smart and stay safe!
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