by Mahala Proch
The line between public and private content on the Internet is blurring and CU is encouraging students to consider how information posted on social networking sites like Facebook may affect their future.
Facebook currently has more than 800 million active users. An estimated 85 percent of college students use Facebook. CU has hundreds of Facebook groups and its own network on the site.
What many students do not realize is that potential employers are logging on and checking profiles before deciding whom to hire.
Eli Laskey, a 19-year-old freshman film and advertising major, said that he leaves his Facebook profile public.
“I won’t put anything on there that could affect my future,” Laskey said. “And I don’t think my profession is really going to be affected by a few pictures.”
Luke Logsdon, a 21-year-old junior communications and environmental studies major, said that he prefers to keep his profile private.
“I limit my profile so only a couple of my close friends can see my tagged pictures and information about me,” Logsdon said. “You never know how something could appear to someone else.”
Any content, including pictures, that is published using the public setting is Facebook’s property. The site reserves the right to reuse any publicly posted content without notifying the person who created the material.
Privacy settings change when upgrading to the newer versions of Facebook. When the website is updated, user’s privacy settings return to the default public setting.
Elizabeth Newman, the associate editor of Sports Illustrated, addressed managing Facebook in the professional field.
“I want to maintain a personal level,” Newman said. “I would never put my real name on Facebook.”
Newman has a professional Facebook page that is available to the public and a private Facebook page that only close friends and family have access to.
Ann Herrmann, the senior student services professional in the Career Services office, said she advises students that the best way to stay on top of privacy settings is to check them consistently in case the webpage changes.
Herrmann recommends Linkedin for those looking to enter the job force.
“It’s a great way for students to summarize their career plans,” Herrmann said. “A lot of employers and recruiters use Linkedin. There are CU Alumni groups that have helped grads find jobs.”
Linkedin is a media tool that professionals can use to post and apply for jobs. Linkedin began in 2003 and has started moving the business and networking attention away from Facebook.
Herrmann said that employers have moved away from checking the Facebook profiles of potential employees because of Linkedin. She said that candidates looking to work in a field that interacts with people will be more likely to undergo a Facebook check from potential employers.
“Even so, you don’t want to put yourself in a position to lose an opportunity,” Herrmann said. “Be as discreet as possible, especially when conducting a job search.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Mahala Proch at Mahala.firstname.lastname@example.org.