Are Social Networks a Threat to Your Future?

Jennifer is a 17-year old from Long Island, NY. She enjoys playing squash and the violin. Her favorite subject is English because she loves to write and read.

Due to the release of the popular movie “The Social Network” a lot of focus recently has been on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and others. A growing concern among teens and adults are what goes on and what is posted on these sites. The real question regarding social networks is: do these social network sites make it easy to post a picture, write a comment, or join a group that could potentially prevent you from getting into college or getting a job? In some cases the answer is yes. Below you will find out the biggest concerns regarding social networks and how to protect yourself from being put in a negative light.

1. College Admissions:

Do admissions officers look at applicants Facebook pages? According
to The Wall Street Journal article “College Applicants, Beware: Your Facebook
Page Is Showing” a survey found that 10% of admissions officers said they
looked at a social-networking site to find out about applicants. Of those who
looked, 38% said they were negatively affected by what they saw, while only
¼ of the schools said checking the sites improved their views of the applicants.
So, the truth is that most admissions officers do not have time to look up every
applicants social-network page. However, if an applicant is being recruited there
is a high chance of a coach or admissions officer looking that person up online.
Also, if an offensive Facebook or online post came to a college’s attention, the
school would examine it. However, teachers and advisors advise all applicants
to restrict public access on their pages, and to refrain from putting or saying
anything that your grandmother wouldn’t approve of!

2. Jobs:

Employers are more likely to look up someone and look at their social-
networking site. There have been many instances when a person has not been
hired, or has been fired due to someone finding something on their page that
the employer did not thing was ‘employee material.’ You may be thinking, “well
I have security setting on my page that no one I am not friends with can see.”
Although this may be true, fellow employees could show your boss something
inappropriate on your page and you will end up in trouble.

3. Ways to prevent getting a bad reputation due to your social-networking


  1. Adjust security settings to make sure your page is safe and not public.
  2. Do not post or put up anything inappropriate. What seems cool now could end up ruining your future!
  3. Blurring out beer cans does not disguise what you are trying to hide. In fact, sometimes it makes it more obvious.
  4. Do not post any comments with foul or offensive language, nudity, photos of illegal things (i.e underage drinking or using drugs), or join any inappropriate groups.
  5. Think twice about what you write or post.
  6. Be careful about who you become ‘friends’ with.

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2 Responses to “Are Social Networks a Threat to Your Future?”

  1. Cierra L.
    November 21, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    I’m an 18-yr-old freshman in college, and I wholeheartedly believe that social networking can be detrimental to your reputation and future. Not only are there issues with privacy settings and hacking, but people you think are your friends can post things that sabatouge you on your page, their pages, or others’, such as dirty rumors or pictures. I have never experienced this, but it is only because I have never made anything inappropriate postable. But keep in mind that even if you get rid of something nasty, once it is on the internet, it is there forever. Someone will save it or copy it into a message. It will haunt you.

  2. Chelsea
    December 1, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    Yep, it’s important to realize what you put on FB and related sites can come back to haunt you, especially if you use your full real name and don’t have good privacy settings. As unfair as it might seem, many colleges and companies that are hiring automatically do a social networking search on prospective students and employees. Be careful what you put out there because you never know who’s watching.

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