CyberSafe Parent Week: Social Media for Students

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Countless young students are unaware of just how powerful their cellphones and social media accounts can be.  

One quick post can change everything.  

Thomas Pincince, Assistant Athletic Director at Central Connecticut State University said, “The things you put up there now can affect you in your future both positive and negative.” 

Now more than ever, school officials and potential employers are looking at social media accounts as a judge of character. 

“Every college in the country is using social media to help with admissions decisions,” said Pincince.

“The latest numbers we have are that 60 percent of college admission counselors will actively search your social media accounts,” said Pincince.  

College admission councilors can see one picture or statement and their decision can change in an instant. 

According to the assistant athletic director, 90 percent of private social media posts end up going public, whether you posted it as private or not.  

A division 1 college athlete ran into trouble when he took to social media to verbalize his anger on his playing time.  

His posts were shared hundreds of thousands of times. When the athlete graduated and started the job search, he ran into a big problem.  

He couldn’t escape the digital trail that followed him.

“It took forever. Every time he went to apply for a job, they typed his name into Google and this stuff came up,” said Pincince.  

A team of softball players ran into a similar problem. The group of girls took a photo giving an obscene gesture. 

They sent the picture within their private group and people outside their group saw the picture. 

“Somebody shared it with their parents, who shared it with people running the tournament and that team was kicked out of the tournament, ” said Pincince.  

But not all situations involving social media end poorly. Students can use social media as an asset as well. 

Warren Murphy from Notre Dame of West Haven says he sees the potential to use social media as positive tool. 

“I know a lot of athletes like myself on my Instagram is my huddle link.” 

Great advice and guidelines from Pincince, “before you post something ask yourself, is it true, helpful, necessary, inspiring and kind?If it’s not…maybe we don’t need to share it.” 

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