Social Media Can Be Dangerous By Paige Morrison | April 17, 2014 | RSS As a returning college student from the workforce, I can honestly say I have learned the proper usage of social media in the professional setting. Free speech and private living are easily being exploited all over Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Do users stop and think before posting the negative comments about their job? How about stopping to think if liking the picture of a half-naked model will look great to a future employer? Maybe if you’re applying for a job in the appropriate industry. But for the most part, my guess is “no.” However, most people strive for the feeling of getting that rant over with and having “friends” pat their backs on the encouraging or discouraging news. It is a “look at me” parade. As for the pictures, stop and look at what you are sharing. The page entitled “WTF Inc.” appreciates you sharing the fuzzy kitten photo, but I bet the school looking to hire you as a teacher frowns upon that. Offensive and inappropriate page names and pictures can do more harm than good for your future. If you put it online, it stays online. An article on Mashable.com highlighted ten people who have lost their jobs over social media. Connor Riley, a young woman in San Jose, Calif., was offered a job in 2009 at Cisco. She tweeted about her most recent hiring and added; “Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” After a fellow employee re-tweeted their response, they then forwarded it onto the hiring manager. Riley lost her job before it even started. According to Forbes.com, in 2012, 37 percent of employers screen potential candidates on their social media networks. One third of the employers that scanned social media said they found information that caused them not to hire the candidate. About half of them said they found inappropriate pictures and information posted on their pages, and 45 percent said they would not hire someone because of information about the candidate’s drug and alcohol use. However, there are hiring managers that are not looking for dirt; they are looking for positive information about the applicant that will give them the advantage. Most college students never stop and think about the photos they share or the words they post daily. The snooty comment about a peer’s appearance or the boring pointless homework you have feeds the ever growing drama that is social media. For people like me, I have family all over the country I can stay connected to daily. Chatting with them and seeing their growing lives is an asset to utilizing social media networks. The overall conclusion is that social media outlets are not an outlet for everything. They can make or break a life, career, or relationship. Being at the collegiate age, most people think they exceed the rules when in reality they are just hurting themselves. Think before you click because it could save your future.