Friday, November 9, 2012

Social Media: Pay Very Close Attention

Terps! For the past year, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences has been lecturing to select groups of students on the considerations of using social media & networking websites, the importance of data privacy, and what these things mean in terms of employment and academic admissions. It is our hope to regularly bring this information to our students, who are and will continue to be largely affected by these forces, and a common (but unfortunate) misunderstanding of the long-term consequences of posting questionable material.

The truth is that more than 80% of employers search an applicant's social media profiles during the recruitment process. 50% of law schools, and 30% of graduate programs do the same during their admissions processes. These numbers have climbed, exponentially, every year (in 2008, these numbers were all in the single digits). Very soon, social media and an individuals digital 'footprint' will be considered in any and all circumstances where your judgement, performance, honesty, reputation, and personality weigh heavily. Unfortunately, there are also nearly NO laws protecting you from the use of this information, as most items have been posted voluntarily, on public forums.

In response to a question from a 16-year old in Detroit, who recently asked President Barack Obama what advice he would give to someone who aspires to reach the Oval Office, President Obama simply stated,

"Be careful what you post on Facebook."

If you are interested in learning "why", and having BSOS give an engaging, impactful and eye-opening presentation on social media and its considerations for students, faculty and/or staff, please contact BSOS@umd.edu. We would be happy to work with you to make sure your group, organization, class or program has access to truly critical information.

Have a great weekend Terps, and...be careful what you post on Facebook.