Social media affects life’s future outcomes

Social media closely resembles a black hole of endless posts regarding politics, angry rants, nearly nude photos and inappropriate language.

Some social media platforms have filters to limit the most extreme content, but what good will those filters actually do? Sometimes, privacy settings actively filter, block or hide this content, but someone normally must bring attention to it before the content disappears.

So how does this type of content affect the average user and his or her ability to succeed in life when that person engages with it?

All social media users own their accounts and have the right to post as they please. But, inappropriate posts may inhibit their chances at a variety of opportunities without the person even realizing.

Unsuitable posts can invalidate the most capable students, excluding them from a minor occurrence like a second date to a career-altering chance like graduate school or job opportunities.

“As social media becomes the latest branding strategy, networking technique, job seeking tool and recruitment vehicle, it’s also becoming the latest way for people to get job offers rescinded, reprimanded at work and even fired,” said CNN’s Rachel Zupek.

People normally would not share their nearly nude photos on LinkedIn for the professional world to see, but what they often do not realize is the same professionals who monitor LinkedIn are also active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They see it all. This is important to keep in mind when sending in an application.

Northeastern University’s Office of Information Security published a list of the most common reasons for job application rejections. The article includes the posting of distasteful pictures and comments, drug and alcohol related topics, unfavorable comments about a previous job or employer and even poor writing and grammatical skills.

This list supports the idea that one’s profile reflects his or her lifestyle or how others perceive it. Often, perception is reality to someone outside of the situation.

However, as Zupek said, social media can be a beneficial tool in the professional world. Users can track trends, obtain news, network with other professionals in their field and portray themselves in a positive light.

Tools like social media and its services can lend people a competitive edge in the job market when he or she uses it correctly.

When people use common sense with social media, it could help with landing that big interview.

As college students, understand the importance of using professionalism online, as it carries over in person.

Good or bad, the content people see online can make all the difference in perception and reality.