Faculty and students discuss social media behavior

Posting compromising spring break photos might have a negative impact on students’ futures.

Students should think before they post during the upcoming break, said Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator Tammy Jacques.

“What are people going to perceive about you?” Jacques said. “What are employers potentially going to perceive about you when you post pictures of yourself in compromising situations?”

Students need to keep these questions in mind when posting on their social media accounts over spring break and any other time, she said.

There is a difference between what is appropriate and what is not, she said.

“If you’re of age, have a beer and have a picture with a beer can, that’s different than being in a situation where you’ve got 20 different liquor bottles (surrounding) yourself,” Jacques said.

Students should think about the influence they have on others, said freshman Jessica Luna.

“I definitely think they shouldn’t post pictures of drinking and promiscuous activity because that sets a bad example for everyone else,” Luna said.

Director of Career Planning and Development Melissa Medlin takes a stricter approach to posting on social media.

“To be quite honest, when I think about stereotypical spring break activities, my best advice is to stay off of any social media,” she said. “(Employers) look at everything. They check out people to see what they’re posting, and it’s a matter of whether or not people have good judgment.”

Posting compromising photos on social media comes with a high price, Medlin said.

“(Career Planning and Development) has a story of a student a few years ago who had actually been offered a job and was in the final phases of signing contracts,” Medlin said.

“While he was at the business signing a contract, they came in and said, ‘I’m sorry, we need to pull our offer,’ because their (Human Resource) folks had been doing research and found something questionable on his Facebook account.”

Students should not post pictures of themselves drinking or smoking because of the potential negative impact it could have in the future, said sophomore Joe Lewis.

“That could come back to hurt you later on,” Lewis said.

Students need to watch what their friends are posting too, Medlin said.

“It’s not only a matter of what you’re posting, but what are your friends posting and then tagging you in,” she said.

Making your account private does not prevent employers from accessing it, she said.

“(The university cares) about our students,” Jacques said. “We want them to be successful, and we don’t want them to be in a compromising situation that could potentially affect their jobs one day.”

In order to be safe over spring break, students need to keep several things in mind, she said.

“Make good decisions,” she said. “Be safe, create buddy systems and watch out for one another if you’re going on trips.”

Senior Adan Abarca has a creative trick to keep students from posting anything compromising.

“If you know you’re slaughtered, have your friends hide your phone from you,” Abarca said.