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Take advice from James Franco.Understand what you share on social media gets shared with the world. Don’t give anyone a chance to judge you without your permission.
Not only is he someone who’s been active on social media for many years, he’s also someone who learned the hard way just how anonymous and far-reaching cyber communication can be.
His recent sharing of photos on Imgur and subsequent conversations invited a host of criticism when it was discovered his exchanges took place with a 17 year-old girl. For a 35 year-old man, “embarrassing” could have been the least of his worries; try potentially career-ending. According to Franco, “What I’ve learned is you don’t know who’s on the other end. I used bad judgment and I learned my lesson.”
Before you post, tweet, like, tag, hashtag, create status updates, or share comments…
There are a number of ways to enjoy the “social” aspect of social media, without ending up on the front page news. This is particularly important if you’re currently a student just carving out your niche’ in life.
10 Smart Social Media Tips for Students
1.) Get rid of any negative posts and pictures! It might seem obvious, but coaches, employers, and even potential partners do judge you by the company you keep.
2.) Remember what the Internet really is: a giant public record. They say nothing ever posted to the Web ever truly goes away, and you might be surprised how quickly and easily your personal information can be shared
3.) Connect with someone you value on ALL social media sites. Here’s why: they have your best interests at heart; they look out for you and have your back. It’s not about invading your privacy, but ensuring what you posts won’t come back to haunt you.
4.) Make sure to continue to privatize your social network accounts. You should know exactly what the world can see of your profile and posts. Privacy policies can change at any time and all the time. Being proactive will help you down the road.
5.) Set up a Google alert for your name. When a picture that’s been tagged or any mention of your name comes up on Google, you’ll know first. Information is still power.
6.) Just because you don’t post pictures of every event or party you go to, it does not mean it wasn’t fun or didn’t happen. Even though we are encouraged to post every detail of our lives online, you have to refrain sometimes. When should you start? Now.
7.) Download secureme.me. It’s a free app that connects to Facebook and alerts you of what looks less than reputable right now on your profile, pictures, and posts. If you are already in hot water, check out Reputation.com; just be aware that it comes with fees.
8.) Enjoy YouTube videos, but don’t feel the need to share them. Sometimes, it’s cat video that’ll make your day, but others, well…let’s just say a sense of humor is highly individualized! Be careful about what you “like” and what you “share.”
9.) Give your phone a break. This is especially true if you’re upset and feel like you might say something you regret later. You could also benefit from just turning your phone off once a week and giving those texting fingers a rest. You’ll be surprised how much you enjoy being disconnected.
10.) Highlight the good stuff. If you’re a volunteer, sing in a choir, are part of an environmental association, or participate in another community activity that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, be sure to write about it online, even if it’s just a couple of Tweets. Post so that Google will pick it up. Make it your Facebook status, or better yet start a blog about how cool the experience was and the interesting people you met.
There are social rules, moral guidelines and even professional career advisors sharing all kinds of suggestions about how to manage your cyber life, but the bottom is: if you can’t show it or say it to your mother, don’t post it ANYWHERE on social media. Period.