Students and Social Media: Tweeting Your Way to a Dream Apartment
Fast forward three years from now. You’re in your third year of college, and you’ve just found the most amazing apartment off campus. You can’t wait to move in, and you send in your application – but wait! The landlord just sent you a strange email asking you to grant a service called “Tenant Assured” full access to all of your social media profiles.
This seems relatively harmless, and you really want this apartment. So you sign up for the service. The end result: a report sent to the landlord including data from all of your social media activity. Your entire online presence, including private messages, was just analyzed by a computer program and packaged in a neat little box ready for your potential landlord to review, all thanks to “Tenant Assured.”
Sadly, you don’t get the apartment. Was it that photo you sent via Facebook message to your grandma, the one of you partying on Cape Cod? Or the political debate you had last week on Twitter? Who knows!
Can you imagine a world like this? We can – thanks to this recent article in The Washington Post. If this is where the Internet is headed, what can you do about it?
- Be intentional with what you post online
Instead of posting any old photo or random thought on social media, think about what you want your online image to reflect about you. Consider your audience. Will potential employers see someone they want to hire when they look at your Instagram account? Being thoughtful about what you post means that you have more control over your online reputation, even if you don’t post quite as often.
And remember, it’s OK to keep some things private or even off social media all together! It’s nice to live in the real world sometimes.
- Be aware of how your different social media platforms have unique levels of ‘reach’
Remember that you can adjust the privacy settings for each of your social media accounts, so only people you approve can view your posts. And while your LinkedIn or about.me accounts may be more likely to reach potential employers and admissions officers, remember that things you post on Twitter or Facebook will reach a wide audience if people re-tweet or share your posts.
- Consider other avenues things take to reach the World Wide Web
Publishing an article in your school or local paper is a great way to show admissions officers and employers that you are conscientious, a good writer, and willing to take the lead on raising awareness in your community. Bonus: most papers publish online, so your article will help you create a positive online presence!
- Learn more about how you can harness the above to work for you… with Cornerstone!
Our two-hour virtual workshop is a great way to learn more about how you can create a positive online image. In a world where companies can potentially analyze your every online move, it’s a great thing to think about!
WRITTEN BY Deana Lederman. Head of Partnerships, Cornerstone Reputation
Deana manages strategic partnerships on behalf of Cornerstone Reputation, an educational company committed to helping students understand the impact of their online presence. Through tools and expert knowledge, Cornerstone ensures the time students spend online contributes to a positive reputation in today’s digitally interconnected world. Deana graduated from UC Berkeley and UC Berkeley School of Law. Her background is in law, education, and cartooning.