Watch what you tweet should be the mantra of today’s young people. And Laura Gonzalez certainly does. She’s a rarity among her peers, if only for her discretion. After all, more and more employers are on social media site, too, scouting for the dirty on prospective recruits.
So you won’t catch Gonzalez 'statusing' about her wild weekend or her latest breakup any time soon.
"Facebook has become more of a branding tool more than anything else," said Gonzalez, a Wake Forest University senior who regularly shares on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. "Using social media is one way of putting out who you are, what your interests are, and showing how you can benefit the work force. But I always ask myself, 'What would a future employer think of this?'''
And it’s not just employers perusing Facebook, either. Higher education is having a look in, too. Nearly a quarter of admissions officers in the U.S. claim to use Facebook to help evaluate applicants, and 20 percent use Google.
Martha Allman, Wake Forest's Dean of Admissions, claims the process is not just about snooping and playing Big Brother. "Anything negative we find typically confirms other suspicions we have already.”
Because the majority of young people are active on social media sites, Allman has the following advice for managing what she calls their "digital personae:"
Bottom line (which goes for grown-ups, too): don’t post or share anything on Facebook or Twitter that you wouldn’t want your granny to read.
Ever had a cringe-worthy social media moment? Spill it.