Social Media Safety Tips Are Not only for Kids
Kids sometimes feel insulted or frustrated when always warned by adults about the dangers of social media. They shouldn’t be. Just because someone has more life experience and education doesn’t mean they won’t make stupid mistakes on social media.
The Internet is full of frightening and sometimes laughable stories about adults who should know better getting in serious trouble over social media activity.
Young adults with high enough marks to apply for college will probably find that their social media history could prevent them from higher education. Admissions officers at universities and colleges commonly read a candidate’s Facebook page before deciding to accept his or her application.
Some goes as far as to search for candidate’s who have been tagged by friends to see pictures of that candidate’s behavior.
Rude and mean behavior isn’t all that recruiters look for; some potential students have lost athletic scholarships valuing in the hundreds of thousands of dollars because they posted pictures of injuries which scared off sports recruiters.
The scrutiny continues when adults apply for work. An on-line site published by Time Magazine reported that 93% of businesses check out an applicant’s tweets and posts before offering the person a job. Any behavior that reflects poorly on a company will tend to have a resume tossed to the side.
Even adult with good, solid jobs have to be careful on-line. People have lost their jobs because bosses saw posts critical to the business. Workers have been fired or reprimanded when bosses spotted posts that were made during work hours or found tweets where employees complained about their jobs in off-work hours.
Privacy settings don’t keep adults safe, either. Friends can like a post or re-tweet a few words that can easily be found by others.
You don’t even have to post words or pictures for social media to get into trouble.
In 2015, an Australian woman had a real-life dispute with a co-worker in her office. She later went home and unfriended the co-worker. A job-place tribunal found the woman guilty of cyberbullying—all because she hit the unfriend button.
Adults are absolutely correct when they lecture kids about being smart with social media. With more experience in dealing with life and the world, adults have a better grasp of dangers that lurk on-line. Yet all that experience and knowledge can’t prevent adults from getting into trouble with posts and tweets.
Regardless of age or education, anyone can get into trouble or be personally damaged by a simple slip on social media.